One of the biggest hurdles to overcome with homeschooling, after you make the decision to jump in and go for it, is procuring your resources.
The choices seem endless and the opinions about what to use and how to use it are just as vast.
It can be overwhelming and your decision to teach your children is monumental enough without adding 572 bazillion choices in the mix.
There are 572 bazillion choices, nonetheless.
If you are in the planning stages of homeschool, or even still in the deciding stage, here are a few links to help you begin to sort through the plethora of options:
1. Homeschool Legal Defense Association: you can click on the state of Oregon and access information about the requirements our state has for homeschoolers. In a nutshell, you are required to notify the ESD of your plans to teach your child at home, and have them tested by a certified test administer in grades 3, 5, 8 and 10.
2. The local library: search for books under the keyword "homeschool" or "home education" and you will come up with a good variety of how-to books to get you started.
This is research. Before you begin teaching your child at home it’s good to start getting an idea of your personal views on education. This can come from gleaning from the thoughts of others, looking at the history of education, and educating yourself on the stages of a child’s learning process.
You are going to come across words like classical, traditional, Charlotte Mason, unschooling, and interest-led education. You don’t need to define all these terms or choose a label for your method of homeschooling or your theory of education. Just learn with your child and you’ll both grow into your own rhythm.
The library is also a great source of curriculum. From books that help you teach your child to read, to books that teach your reading-child about the Great Wall of China – use your library card to learn together. It’s free; it gives you access to all the libraries in the county through the online catalog; and it’s quiet. Hallelujah for quiet.
Check out the calendar page for preschool story times and other library events.
3. Websites and catalogs and blogs, oh my! Prepare to be overwhelmed. Since you are reading this online you already know that the internet is a great abyss of information, opinion and buy-all-the-things temptation.
Let me reiterate that homeschooling does NOT have to cost you a small fortune, especially in the early years. Read online with wisdom and self-control and a good dose of buyer-beware.
A few places I’ve used for book buying throughout the years are CBD (good selection of Christian resources and reviews), Timberdoodle (grade-level packages and great hands-on resources), Rainbow Resource (HUGE catalog of everything-under-the-sun), and of course, Amazon. When I see a book I’d like to buy, I always check with the library first.
These websites and catalogs will give you a feel for what is available and offer suggestions for age-appropriate subjects and materials.
4. Think local: visit DC Homeschool Central. There are many homeschooling families in Douglas County doing fun things and encouraging one another. This site will keep you up-to-date on local conferences, events, and co-op groups, as well as tell you how to sign up for the Yahoo group.
After 13 years of homeschooling, I’ve learned not to box education up in a tidy package that is one-size-fits-all, but rather to support and encourage parents to pray about what is best for their family and their specific needs and desires.
If you want to know what I use for x, y, and z, I will gladly share with you what has worked for us and why.
This post is meant to be a starting place for you to find your homeschool rhythm, but suffice it to say that my true belief is that less is always more.
Choose a few books and use them well.