Homeschool is a Journey, Not a Destination

The past couple of weeks, I’ve been working with other homeschooling mamas to share information about homeschooling with our community. People are searching for answers and alternatives, after dealing with “crisis schooling” and facing possibly more changes for the upcoming school year.

Everyone has a story, a unique perspective for why they choose certain paths. Homeschoolers are no different. When you begin to look for information, you will find new and unfamiliar terms. Words like Charlotte Mason, Montessori, classical education model, school-at-home, child-led learning, and unschooling to name a few. In reality, homeschooling is as diverse as the families that choose this path. 

Some choose to homeschool because they were homeschooled. Some choose to homeschool because of bad experiences in public school. Some withdraw their children from public school because of bullying or learning challenges. The list goes on. 

Our Story

Our journey began as we faced a time of transition. If you’ve followed us for any amount of time, you know that we lived in Germany for three years. During that time, Dietrich attended the local German Kindergarten. Their education model is very different, focused more on play and experiential learning during those early years. The teachers were surprised that he already knew his letters (I found out later that typically, the kids all learn to read together when they go to the grade school, or first grade). We were already doing some very informal schooling at home. German Kindergarten was more for his social needs, learning the culture, and giving me a couple of hours with baby Madilynn. Our time in Germany ended in October 2014, which as you know, is after the school year starts. We had no plan for where we would be, so rather than enrolling him in one school and transferring at least twice, we opted for homeschooling.

When we started this journey, we said we would evaluate each child and each year to determine what made the most sense. For our family, homeschooling continues to make the most sense and we are blessed to have many other homeschooling friends in our community.

What you really need to know

If you want/need/have to do any kind of schooling at home, what you need to know is there isn’t a right or wrong way – there is only the way that works best for your family. This may change with each child, or from year to year (sometimes more often). The greatest advantage of homeschooling is that you can try many different things to figure out what works best for your child and create your own timeline and schedule. Everything is a learning opportunity! Helping in the kitchen, planting a garden, and looking up the answers to questions together take up parts of our school days.

The final scoop

Homeschool laws and guidelines vary by state. Texas happens to be one of the easier states for teaching your children at home. You can find your states information at https://hslda.org/legal.

Crisis schooling, the changing from public school at the school building to school at home, is much different than homeschooling. Some of the same resources might help you, but you are subject to the lessons and schedules of the school district. Honestly, I believe those of you in that situation have a much harder task. We only “lost” our outside activities but we maintained a consistent school schedule otherwise.

I would love to hear from you about your experiences and answer any questions I can.