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New to Homeschooling? Where to Start

9 May 2007 5 Comments

Where do we start when we don’t know where to start?

The first place to start, is to deschool. Get it out of your head that there is a starting point. There isn’t. In real education, there is no starting point. There is no end. Only in the school frame of mind is there a start and end. But that is arbitrary. In your child’s brain, there is no start or ending.

You’ve already started. The real decision, is what to do next. And what you do next. Right now. Is to move forward from where you are.

Where are you? Right now, where is your child? Is he curious about something? Drawn towards one thing over another? What kinds of experiences does he prefer?

Then, do more of those things. And as you do more of those things, watch. That is where to start, by watching, and knowing. Knowing where you are now.  If you don’t know where you are now, how can you possibly know where to go next?

Then, try jumping off of a cliff. Well, not literally (at least not without proper gear). Do something you’ve never done before - just because. Try something totally new and different. Break all the rules. Do something scary, fun, outlandish. And watch. Where are you now?

But, what about curriculum? What about the educational to-do lists? What about preparing kids for the future? How do we start that?

I think curriculum is overrated. But I also think curriculum is awesome. It’s overrated because far too many parents depend on it instead of using their own instincts and vision to figure out what to do. It’s awesome because if you use it like the tool it’s supposed to be, it can be a lot of fun and interesting.

So if by asking “Where do we start”, you mean, “What books should I choose among all the books that are out there?” The answer is simple. Take your kid, put her in a book store or a library or a curriculum sale, give her twenty bucks and let her loose.

The kinds of books that she chooses will give you 99% of the information you need to know about what kinds of curriculum to get your child.

We can’t know what curriculum to get next unless we know where we are now. To start homeschooling, figure out where you are now before trying to move forward. If you can’t figure out where you are now, then get out into the world and interact with it. It won’t take long to see where you are.

Once you know exactly where you are, it will be a whole lot easier to know where you want to go, and how to get there. When you know where you are, you could walk into a room with 100 different curriculum and not be afraid.

Start where you are. Over and over. Until it becomes a habit. That’s how to start homeschooling. That’s how to create an education for life.

Related posts:

  1. Perfect Homeschooling, Curriculum Choice, and Regretting Decisions
  2. 40 Homeschooling Tips
  3. Stressing About Preschool
  4. Adjusting to Homeschooling
  5. Words of Homeschooling Wisdom

5 Comments »

  • southerngirlmusings said:

    Great advice! I went to my first curriculum fair and I thought I might go crazy but I knew where we were, where we wanted to go and it made it a lot easier. Also, it helps to do your own research before you just start doing whatver the current trend is…unfortunately some of us never completely deschool thus we still have school timeframes and mindsets and are afraid to mix methods, curriculum and the like and enjoy the freedom of learning.

  • Tara said:

    A great attitude for starting nearly any new venture. Once again, thanks for the inspiration!

  • tobeme said:

    Great advice! Watch and listen for the education process is always happening. Deschooling is a great way to eliminate self imposed limitations.

  • danohalloran said:

    My wife and I aren’t homeschooling, but we’re looking for ways to encourage our kids’ interests. On the weekends its always a struggle to find something to do with the kids that isn’t the same old thing. This is a great way to approach our time with them.

  • Throwing Marshmallows » Insightful Deschooling Links said:

    [...] New to Homeschooling? Where to Start [...]

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