Are you ready for another year of school? This year begins the Britton household’s 17th year of homeschooling. We began in 1991 with a 3rd grader and a 6th grader. Those little boys are now godly grown men, gainfully employed and a blessing to their Dad and me. Since that time I have managed with God’s grace to educate 3 other children and now have just two at home in 5th and 9th grade. This will be the first year in 17 years that I have only had two students.
When we started homeschooling, I was so apprehensive and not at all convinced that I was capable of teaching my children. There was a lot of good encouraging information available at that time but homeschooling was a relatively new venture in the 20th century and no one really had all the kinks worked out, they just had some experiences and some ideas about how to do it. One of my favorite books at the time was Cathy Duffy’s 100 Top Picks For Homeschool Curriculum: Choosing The Right Curriculum And Approach For Your Child’s Learning Style. It is updated now and still a great resource.
Linda Dobson is a new author for me and I like her book, The Ultimate Book Of Homeschooling Ideas. Its a good resource for any homeschool packed with creative learning ideas for children ages 3-12.
Now if you, like me, find yourself in the strange and wonderful land of homeschooling teens, this is a must have book: Homeschooling: The Teen Years: Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the 13- to 18- Year-Old by Cafi Cohen and Janie Levine Hellyer. There is a lot to think about when a homeschooler enters the highschool years. My 4th child just started 9th grade, so I have been down this path several times. College is looming, state laws, credit hours and transcripts are all staring you in the face. This book will help you walk through it correctly.
Some other good books for the high school years are: College-Prep Homeschooling: Your Complete Guide to Homeschooling Through High School by David P. Byers, PhD. and Chandra Byers; Complete Guide to Online High Schools: Distance Learning Options for Teens & Adults by Thomas Nixon and Homeschooler’s Guide to Portfolios and Transcripts by Loretta Heuer.
There are all kinds of books and magazines out there to offer support for the homeschooling parent. My favorite homeschooling magazine is The Old Schoolhouse. I have written for them in years past and have had lots of good interaction with their staff. The editors are all homeschoolers themselves! And they get out there and find out what homeschoolers want. Right now you can get $5 off a subscription to the Old Schoolhouse!
Another great resource for homeschooling books and creative toys of all kinds is Vision Forum. I have bought numerous products from Vision Forum, from little girls hats and dolls, to books about throwing tomahawks to biographies and everything in between. I have never been disappointed in the quality of their products and those products have served us well in our homeschool.
These are just some of the basics of homeschooling. My next article will be about the wild wonderful world of curriculum and how to go about choosing something that your child will be able to truly learn from.