Today I am thrilled to have the lovely Thaleia from Something 2 Offer answer my questions about homeschooling. This will begin a series I’ve entitled, Homeschooling Made Simple, where I will interview several bloggers who homeschool and get each of their perspectives, ideas, and suggestions and offer it for those of us who are new to homeschooling or thinking about pursuing it!
Homeschooling is something our family is seriously considering, since our oldest is now three. I am disappointed with the public school system and just love how homeschooling offers so many opportunities to tailor-fit education for your child. The one-size-fits-all philosophy doesn’t always work well, and ends up being one-size-fits-most, in my opinion. So, here is a way for me to learn from experienced homeschooling parents to help make our big family decision and help others who might also be in my shoes.
7 Homeschool Questions Answered
Hello, My Merry Messy Life readers! I’m Thaleia from Something 2 Offer stopping by to talk about homeschooling. Sara asked some questions and I was excited to answer! I love sharing what I’ve learned and know about homeschooling with current and prospective homeschoolers! Hope you enjoy learning about my family and homeschooling.
1. How long have you been homeschooling? How many children do you homeschool?
We are in our third year of full-time homeschooling. Once my husband lost his job and our third child was born we knew it was time to take the plunge! When the big kids were younger (preschool age) we had a membership to science center and we took them to nature programs. We would visit museums and attend special kid friendly events.
Our children are: Eldest who is 9 ½ in 4th grade, Princess who is 8 in 3rd grade, and Lil’ Red who is 2 ½ in Tot School.
2. I am fascinated by homeschooling, but am overwhelmed at the same time to know where to begin. What is the very first thing a newbie like me should do?
You need to research your STATE LAW and really become familiar with it and how a parent can follow its requirements flexibly to fit your family’s needs. Read lots and lots of homeschool books! I will elaborate more on this on my blog since I could write a small book about it!
3. How do I go about choosing curriculum? I am worried about the cost – is it expensive?
Homeschooling can cost as much or as little as you want. Free to $1,000 per child can be spent on homeschooling. It really boils down to the amount of time a family puts into research of resources online and within your community. It really depends on what you can afford and what works best for your family. I wouldn’t recommend buying a boxed by grade curriculum since children are usually at different grade levels for at least one or two subjects.
Homeschool Freebie of the Day
Here’s some info about what curriculum we are studying this year!
4. Do you know anything about the Montessori philosophy? I am most intrigued by that one.
When I was in college earning an AAS in Early Childhood Development I thought Montesorri was a little weird and nutty. I have to laugh because now we use Tot Trays and Busy Bags with Lil’ Red, which are a inspired by Montessori Work Trays. We also like to use FREE resources and some of those include Montesorri inspired or related printables. Living Montessori Now is a great resource online both website, Facebook, and Pinterest.
If you have connections with someone already involved in Montessori, great. Otherwise you would need a pretty big budget or lots and lots of time to create your own materials. If a group of 3-4 local moms all wanted to do Montessori then you could possibly set up a make and swap materials group. You can check out these yahoo groups:
- Montessori Makers
- Buying/Selling Montessori Materials
- Files Shared for Montessori Materials Making
5. Describe a typical homeschool day.
There is no typical day in our homeschool. Both mom and dad attend college and we participate in monthly activities that vary by day for field trips. We host a Co-op for Little House on the Prairie every first, third, and fifth Fridays with a handful of other families.
6. Are you part of a support network, club or homeschool group? For me, I think this is essential for my success as I will need a lot of support at the beginning.
I signed up for a dozen different yahoo groups to learn more about the variety of homeschooling before we actually started homeschooling. We are a part of a local Christian homeschool group. This year I started my own co-op for LHP/Praire Primer/Pioneer Club for families with children K-8. I would search yahoo or facebook for groups related to what you think your style or curriculum for homeschool might be.
7. Are your children involved in extracurricular activities? How did you go about finding them?
Yes, but not as much as I would like due to the cost involved. It’s a little cost-prohibitive with gas prices and fees of $3-$7 per child per class. We do live in an area where homeschooling is booming! Keepers of the Home & Contenders of the Faith is a group similar to Girl Scouts/BoyScouts/4H but has a focus on character, service, and is a family program. Some groups split into two meeting rooms with boys/dads and girls/moms BUT they can meet at the same time making nice for families with boys and girls. Our group is coordinated by another homeschool blogger mom and coordinate the crafts.
Princess enjoys ballet and some dance studios in the area offer homeschool class times in the day. Eldest enjoys art and attends a weekly class at a new art school we helped get off the ground for the ballet teacher. We traded advertising and brainstorming and website help for classes. This has saved us from telling our children no to things they enjoy.
If your child likes an activity which you cannot afford then find a way around it. Barter your services, skills, homeschool connections, etc. for free or discounted classes. All you have to do is ask and be able to come through on your end of the bargain. You ever know what great opportunity awaits your family.
Thaleia blogs at Something 2 Offer writing about homeschooling, parenting, and frugal living. She is a wife and mother to her three homeschooled children. She is Craft Coordinator for Keepers of the Faith Homeschool group and Pioneer Homeschool Club Coordinator. She has enjoyed crafts all her life while growing up being involved in Girl Scouts and 4-H. She lives in the city but is a country girl at heart!