10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Homeschool
1. Why do I want/need to homeschool?
Tremendous anxiety in public middle school caused behavioral problems, inability to learn, and stress at home.
2. Strengths and weakness of your child
S: Disciplined with schedule, hardworking, charming, funny, creative, loving
W: Short tempered, easily frustrated, loud, inflexible, destructive, demanding
3. Strengths and weakness of you
S: Resourceful, confident, flexible, intelligent, adventurous
W: Short tempered, easily frustrated, isolationist, sensory overloaded easily
4. Child's Interests
Jackson loves music, TV & movies, iPad, photography, drawing, and shopping.
I prefer to make a smaller investment up front so I can make adjustments during the year as he seems to constantly change. We allot $200 at beginning of school year and $50-$75/month during the year.
Our house is not huge and I do not like clutter, therefore I like to keep all his materials and work in the dining room area, but they seem to have taken over a corner in the living room as well.
I am not a morning person. So my husband helps with the early morning activities. And I like to be done an hour before my daughter gets home, so I can decompress before all the afternoon activities.
9:00-2:00 Me (6:30-7:30 with Dad and 7:30-9:00 Independent)
We live in suburban D.C. which has plenty of access to services, therapies, socialization and educational opportunities, but it's heavily populated, so all outings need to be in the morning to avoid overstimulating situations for both Jackson and I.
9. Support Network
No family and limited friends, as I'm a bit of an introvert. Most support comes from husband and a few close friends with special needs children. This can cause loneliness and feeling overwhelmed easily, so I need to take periodic breaks during the school day and time away on the weekends.
10. State Requirements
Virginia's requirements are minimal which makes my life a lot easier! We do a letter from a certified teacher who has reviewed and approved my son's work from the school year. Check for your state's requirements here as some are much, much more rigid: http://www.hslda.org/hs/default.asp
Notice that not one of these questions is about what curriculum to use - that is secondary, and the subject of my next blog. A lot of people get hung up on WHAT they are going to teach, that they forget that HOW and WHY they are going to teach is more important. It reminds me of the mistake a lot of couples make when they get married...they focus all their time, energy and money on the wedding, and not on the marriage that follows. Curriculum choices come much more easily once you understand your child's emotional, social, physical, intellectual, and spiritual needs - all within the confines of your adult realities.
As an optimistic realist, I firmly believe in being brutally honest with myself, but I'm also hopeful that everything will work out in the end:) "What could possibly go wrong??" is the Trotter family motto!