Homeschooling Secrets

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

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Homeschooling Secrets |There are secrets, and then there are homeschooling secrets that you should know| #homeschoolpodcast #whyhomeschool #truenorthacademy #homeschool #TheSecretToHomeschooling #secrethomeschoolingHomeschooling Secrets ~ Episode 490

There are secrets, and then there are homeschooling secrets that you should know. This podcast is not for the faint-hearted! Here we will discuss the truth that, as the Scriptures say, will set you free! This podcast is brought to you by Felice Gerwitz, who will share her top tips for her thirty-two years of homeschooling. Buckle up!

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Considering Homeschooling

As a young married woman with my first child on the way, I didn’t consider homeschooling, nor was it on my radar. Many years later, I found myself at playgroups with a toddler and hearing people discuss the possibility, so I did what any sane person would do and talked them out of the idea. After all, did they have teaching degrees or certifications as I did? I wasn’t planning on homeschooling but returning to teaching once my school-aged children were enrolled.

What happened instead was after some frustrating meetings with the school system, it turned out my oldest child had mild learning issues and was speech delayed. I placed him in a private school and my daughter in a high-end-high-dollar preschool. I began to research and met a friend whose husband was a doctor, and she herself had a master’s in education and began homeschooling her daughter. She helped me put things in perspective.

After my first frustrating year, I found that I had to make my own decisions and what worked best for my family. Other than following whatever the laws are in your state (and I would have moved if our laws were like some states which mandate what books you can use), we were free to learn in a way that was best for my kids.

I’ve broken these secrets down into various categories. The first is just general information about how to look at homeschooling, the second regards parenting, the third is practical, regarding curriculum, and the last is important in regard to household chores and meals.

So here you go some top-secret tips to help you in your homeschool planning:

Homeschooling Secrets 101 ~ General

  1. Decide your homeschooling philosophy – just like a business has a slogan, come up with one for your family. This will help, I promise. We brainstormed as a family and came up with things like: We are stronger together, Gerwitz Strong, and what we decided upon: As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15)
  2. Know why you are homeschooling. Is it academic? Is it to help your child with their worldview? Is it to give your child a stable family life? Is it to help your child spiritually or psychologically? Is it for a reason, learning advanced or learning delayed? Is it to avoid the issues plaguing education in our world today?
  3. Get a support group, whether it is a best friend who has your back, your spouse, or a good homeschool support group.
  4. Ignore well-meaning extended family members who think they know what is best. Polite responses include, “Bless your heart; thank you so much for sharing your opinion with me.” It goes a long way instead of arguing your point. (Tell the story of tongue twisters.)
  5. Select a time frame to homeschool. I am going to do this for one year, etc. Time Management for Parents.

Homeschooling Secrets 101 ~ Parenting

  1. Create Memories – Family Bonding Time
  2. Know you are the parent and are in charge. Obedience is not an option, and getting the kids on board is important. Set boundaries. Tell the kids what you expect during a typical homeschool day.
  3. Give kids time to think. Blog post here
  4. Set rewards upon completion of work at the end of the week.
  5. Catch them doing going and encourage the—power of words.

Homeschooling Secrets 101 ~ Curriculum & Planning

  1. Learning begins with life lessons, at home and outside of the home, through hands-on exploration.
  2. Begin with research, and start with Cathy Duffy’s website of top curriculum picks. 101-102
  3. Podcasts – Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network – search any topic
  4. Plan your year – summer is best. Break down your books with monthly/weekly goals
  5. Keep Friday open if at all possible – doable in younger years. Catch-up day, field trips, etc.

Homeschooling Secrets 101 ~ Household

  1. Plan once and forget it. Meals, laundry day, etc.
  2. Routines rather than schedules. Every day is the same, with some revisions (laundry etc.)
  3. All hands on deck. Enlist the kid’s help with chores.
  4. Bulk cooking, so meals are easy during the school week. (Make double each meal and freeze)
  5. Plan trips on one day. Doctor, lessons, grocery (order online and pick up).

Overall the secret to homeschooling is to be true to yourself and your goals and vision. Once I lost that, I floundered. With my oldest two, I had more energy being younger, more resources, and more time overall. When I had my next three after a gap of some years (My story is here), my oldest daughter reminded me to make learning fun for my youngest kids. I did this by adding some hands-on activities like science fair projects and history fairs, giving them time to think and delve into their interests. I also added extracurricular activities like sports; my children, the youngest three, were very good athletes and played competitively and in college. This focus and motivation helped tremendously in their school work.

My homeschool journey felt never-ending at times, but I was committed and all in – the result is we have a family that is very close to each other. My youngest kids even roomed together for a year in college. I have kids who love the Lord and are faithful and, best of all, who know that we are there for them no matter what lies ahead. We are a family, and we are there for each other. And that is the best outcome I could hope for, and I pray that for all of you as well.

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