Finding Your Homeschool Fit
Recently, I shared how I thought creating and maintaining a homeschool was similar to creating and maintaining a wardrobe. Maybe it is, or maybe the stress and strain of outfitting four children and two adults (OK, just one adult - me, my husband is quite capable of taking care of his wardrobe) for the warmer seasons has gotten to my head.
However, there is no doubt that homeschooling is customized, just like clothing.
Every homeschooling family needs to find their own personal fit.
Some people prefer to get curriculum out of a box. That works for some, but honestly, I have yet to meet one family that uses just the boxed curriculum without any alterations. Most of the time, families who choose the boxed curriculum supplement or alter a few pieces.
More often than not, the homeschooling families I know make homeschooling fit their family's particular interests, needs, and lifestyle.
This has to be my personal favorite thing about homeschooling: It is not a one size fits all endeavor. There is freedom to change, try, discard, add, alter, forgo, and embrace.
But how do you find what fits?
1. Pray - Because I believe in the sovereignty of God and His plans/purposes for my family, I always encourage others to begin with prayer. Pray for God to reveal His way for your family. Pray that you and your husband will be encouraged and willing to obey. Pray for your children to embrace the vision God gives your husband and you.
2. Educate - Learn about the different methods, styles, and approaches available. You don't need to become an expert in all areas, but learn the basics. Know what unschooling, directed learning, interest led learning, classical education, and hands on learning mean. Find some families who have, or are homeschooling. What wisdom, if any, is to be found at their feet?
3. Plan - Develop a plan for your homeschool. Decide what kind of approach you will use, which resources you need, and how you will order your days. Remember every family is unique. Your plan will not look exactly like another family's plan.
4. Pull Together - Gather your supplies. Whether you purchase, borrow, or receive free resources, now is the time to start pulling together all that you will need. Place supplies, books, and resources where you need them in an organizational system that is convenient to you.
5. Execute - Put the knowledge, plan, and resources into action. Allow a reasonable time to adjust to any changes you have implemented. Sometimes, a new routine or approach needs a few weeks to 'feel' right.
6. Revise - Finding your homeschool fit is a constant cycle. Your family is growing, literally. Each of you learn, change, and grow every day. The way you homeschool will reflect these changes. So ask the questions: Is this working for me? for my children? for our home? Do we need to change the curriculum or approach we are using? If changes are needed, then return to step number one.