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Where Do I Begin (in Homeschooling)?

There are a lot of places to start. You can ask the advice of your friends who homeschool, you can research, you can google, you can buy books, you can compare curricula, you can poll your kids.

My suggestion is this: get a pad and pen, sit down, and start working on what you want to see after your kids have finished their home education. In the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, this process is described as beginning with the end in mind.

You want to ask yourself, “What kind of students do I want to produce for this world?” If you value character, that might shape your approach a certain way. If you want your children to be able to work hands-on with tools, that might take you in a particular direction concerning shops and mechanics. If your end goal is to have academic children, especially reading and writing abstract thoughts or mathematics or science—you want to determine what you really want to produce!

Beginning with the end in mind is important because it sets the frame for your schooling. I can tell you what we settled on. We wanted to raise happy adults, not necessarily happy kids. That was a bonus, but our goal was to produce happy adults who could teach themselves. In order to do that, we tried to balance education between art and science and literature. That was our conviction, because we were trying to grow self-taught self-learners.

So where do you begin? I say you begin with a blank sheet of paper, just like an artist with a blank canvas, and start trying to think through what you want your endgame to look like. That’s going to help you pick curriculum, clubs, support, and additional tools for your kids more than anything. Spend time with that and keep revisiting it regularly, because you’ll refine that vision, that picture, of how you want these kids to turn out.

-Dr. Fred Ray Lybrand

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What if I’m Only Planning to Homeschool for a Little While?

Some people homeschool for a temporary period of time to get their kids through a certain transition, maybe to a certain age. I think the more important question isn’t if it’s okay to homeschool temporarily, but how to effectively use your time homsechooling to prepare your students. Ask yourself, “Does it matter how I approach education?”

On one hand, homeschooling briefly is fine however you do it. Education is education. All you want to do is the right things, especially around the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic.

But I’d suggest figuring out specifically how to homeschool your children. Don’t view it as a filler until they get into school. Be intentional. Your strategy, firstly, depends on where you’re going to put them. What are you getting them ready for? So if you begin with the end in mind, and look at the school where you want to enroll them, figure out what they’ll need to know to enter it (especially with private schools). You’ll want to view homeschool as the method of getting them up to speed for the level that they’re entering. Figure out what they need by the time they enter that grade and then work backwards to craft your game plan.

Regardless of whether you change your strategy or not, your focus should be on constant improvement. You’re dealing with education as a system in your home. You’ll want to measure, “Are we doing better this week than we did last week? Are we doing better this month than we did last month? Is my student doing better in these subjects compared to past struggles?” Education is an ongoing game.

Hope that helps,

Dr. Fred Ray Lybrand

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more videos about home schooling: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheWritingCourse

As found on YouTube

What Grade Should I Start My Homeschooler In?

What a great question. If you’re just starting homeschool, especially if you’re leaving a public/private school situation, you have that question. Do you keep your student in the grade they were already in? Do you advance them? Do you possible move them back a grade?

I think there are two things to consider.

Test your student. You can do this in a variety of ways. Google it, look online, talk to homeschooling families in the area. There are nationalized tests that are consistent, but you really just want to test their grade level. Chances are your community provides this sort of help, but you do want to test them in some capacity. I would recommend that you so start low. Maybe your student tests a certain grade level, but I wouldn’t be afraid of backing them up.

The reason for that relates to my second suggestion: I think you should consider schooling all year-round. It’s what we did with our students. We took breaks too, and maybe slowed down a little bit in the summertime. But schooling year-round is useful because if you start your new homeschooler back a grade, you can get those fundamental basics of schooling down first, and then they’ll advance at their own pace. Just about all of our kids finished school way ahead of “senior year.”

In summary, start your kid where you test them, but maybe back up a little bit. Consider going longer or further in your school year, rather than just mimicking the public school system.

-Dr. Fred Ray Lybrand

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more videos about home schooling: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheWritingCourse

As found on YouTube

10

Fixing Your Homeschooler’s MATH Struggles

 

Struggling with math is common for all of us, even those with a knack for it. The truth is that math requires a kind of growth through stages, which every child (yes, yours too) can survive 🙂 Here are 2 ideas that will make the difference. In fact, if your child is struggling, it’s probably one, the other, or both.

 

Off to learn,

Fred Ray Lybrand

I’d love to hear your comments or answer your questions