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Monday, July 21, 2008

Homeschooling: Get Started

If you've already read my message about making sure you want to homeschool, and you're ready to get started, then you've come to the right place. Congratulations on your decision! (Don't forget to scroll down for our HomeSpun Education description)

First of all I'd like to introduce you to the first book I read when we decided to homeschool. I read about The Well Trained Mind on a homeschool message board and found it at my local library. It took me just two weeks to read through, but by the time I got the the third chapter I knew I would need to own this book. I found a used copy on eBay and I am so glad I made that investment.

I then proceeded to borrow every book my library had on homeschooling and began surfing the internet for other homeschool moms. I found a great resource of support and advise from various blogs, groups, and websites. I bookmarked all of them and began reading them daily. I wanted to be as educated as possible in the area of home education.

Now here are a few sites that I have found full of helpful information and resources to help any homeschooling parent get started:

Homeschool Websites
Design Your Homeschool: I found this websites well after we got started, but as I read through this site I found that this is an invaluable source of information to get any parent started.

The Homeschool Lounge: An online network of Conservative homeschool moms. This site has groups and discussions, giveaways, reviews and more.

The Homeschool Blog Awards: Each year this site runs a contest of the best homeschool blogs on the World Wide Web. Each site they have awarded is listed in their side bar and I have found wonderful tips and inspiration in each of the blogs listed. The rest of the year their team writes articles to inspire and support.

The Old Schoolhouse: The Old Schoolhouse(TOS) has a homeschool magazine, online store and runs a blogging network called Homeschool Blogger. A friend loaned me a previous issue of TOS and it was SO good that I subscribed myself and a friend for a year. I just resubscribed for another year and I really must have this magazine to help keep me going with awesome articles and reviews on various homeschool products.

The Heart of the Matter: HOTM is also another online publication for moms with a magazine and daily blog. They also have an online conference ministry which is amazing when you just can't make it to a convention.

Alpha Omega Publications: This website offers a daily homeschool devotional called Daily Focus, that is free and sent right to your e-mail inbox.

Your State Laws: Be sure you know what your state laws are for homeschooling. Each state's laws vary and you'll need to know exactly what they require.

Josh and Anna Duggar: Son and Daughter-In-Law of the Duggar Family share about their Biblical Courtship. Their resources page has links for the family, financial freedom, and homeschooling.

Growing in Grace Magazine: This is an online publication of moms and daughters who homeschool and use this wonderful resource as a way to connect with other homeschooling girls who are striving to please the Lord. Their monthly magazine and daily blogs brings a variety of topics for education and spiritual growth for young ladies as young as 8 years old. Your daughter can learn various ways to find education in the lives of stay at home daughters in the areas of cooking (Science), biology(Gardening), History, Health, Government, Bible, Reading, Grammar, etc.. The team strives to share their education with their readers and they are accepting voluntary submissions from other girls who desire to write for the Lord and share their education with other girls just like you.

Homeschooling With Encouragement: Read my review on this new E-book that's available at the TOS store.

Throughout these sites you'll also find many more just waiting for you to discover them. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment and a way for me to contact you.

HomeSpun Education
: We're Organic Homeschoolers!
As with most homeschoolers people ask, "What kind of homeschooler are you?" I tried to figure that out for the first two years we homeschooled until it finally dawned on me. We are Organic Homeschoolers. What I mean by Organic is that we rely upon the Holy Spirit fully each and every day. We do not educate by any systematic formula and our entire family is widely known for our spontaneity. We fly by the seat of our pants (four of us are in skirts though) and there's no need for a seat belt for this flight. (Unless we're in the car and then yes, of course we are all buckled in.) We aren't unschoolers although some might consider us a close second to that. We do read books and have some workbooks for the kiddles, but most of our education is organic and at times it can be quite explosive.

When our children find a deep interest in something we allow them to feed upon that pasture until they are full. Why stop them if they are getting it? If this means they get three hours of Math and accomplish long division with mastery we don't worry about diagramming sentences until another day. When you plant a seed of education, water it, and it begins to grow, let it grow. The Holy Spirit can take that precious seed and cause a combustion that you don't want to interfere with. Let the Holy Spirit does what He is there for, teaching! John 14:26, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you ALL things, and bring ALL things to your rememberance, whatsoever I have said unto you."

Happy Homeschooling!

The HomeSpun Life

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