Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dear New Homeschooler,

If you are reading this blog, it is probably because you are frantically searching the internet trying to find
out as much as you can about this crazy thing called homeschooling. Your head is probably spinning. I know. I was you not too long ago. You are probably spending hours and hours searching the internet for websites, curricula, and blogs. Like me you may have checked out every book the library has about homeschooling. When I did this, I got very good at skimming. For me this lasted about 2 years.

Beginning in year 3 the spinning may start to slow. Around this time, I started thinking maybe I should stop searching and reading and actually use some of the ideas I was finding with my kids. And I realized that my husband might actually want to spend time with me instead of seeing me glued to the computer or with my nose in a book. But by this time I was addicted. Could I really
homeschool without being a member of 25 yahoo groups? If I stopped searching the internet, would I miss out on a great new resource?

Now in year 4 (technically we are in our 6
th year of homeschooling, but the first 2 years I didn't know about all of the homeschool websites, curricula, and blogs - ah, ignorance was bliss!) I finally feel confident that I can do this. I have unsubscribed from all but 3 yahoo groups. I have deleted bookmarks of websites that I know I am never going to use. I have limited my blog reading to a handful that I either really like or find especially useful. I don't frantically examine every curriculum that crosses my path. If I am happy with what we are doing for math, history, etc., why do I need to spend time looking at something else?

Sure, I still have a ways to go. I may have deleted 1000 bookmarks, but I kept 1000 that I will probably never refer to "just in case.” I still read the digests of the 3 yahoo groups even though I rarely get anything out of them. But one day someone may mention the perfect
resource that will revolutionize our homeschool ...

Yes, I have taken off the training wheels, but sometimes I still need someone to give me a little push. Some days I can ride by myself. Even then, I like it when others show me the cool trails they have explored because I may enjoy exploring them, too.

So, new
 homeschooler, right now your head may be spinning, but eventually you will find your balance. And even then you may feel wobbly, but only for a while. Pretty soon, it will be a smooth road with just an occasional pothole. You can do this. Just don't forget to enjoy the ride!

Yours Truly,

An Almost Veteran Homeschooler


Heidi said...

I could've written this post!! Well, except i never subscribed to too many yahoo groups...but maybe I made up for that in reading a lot of message boards about homeschooling. :) It's so nice not to be wandering and searching any more for what works for our family. We may not have everything "set" the way it needs to be .... I imagine tweaking will continue until they are grown and married. :) But it is so nice to feel comfortable and confident and more relaxed about it and have found things that work for us, without my brain comparing "us" to "them". :)

Michelle said...

Now I want to know what you have figured out, Heidi. You should do a post detailing what works for you guys. I always love hearing what other people do. Even though I feel confident now, I still love getting new ideas from others.