It always helps me to remember that schooling isn't a race to be won. It is an adventure to be enjoyed. The most important skill to have in life (in my opinion) is to how to look up information and learn new things as you need to. Jam packing a childs brain with information so they can answer test questions and then for get it does not really help them later in life. I would suggest taking some time to read some books on homeschooling and let your kids get some books on topics they enjoy and you all just take some time decompressing from school and thinking about what you want next school year at home to look like. You will do great and so will the kids.
Love it, Amber! And welcome, Megan. I second everything Amber has written. And I will quote another one of our moms in the co-op now. "Well, I can't do any WORSE than the public schools would." So at least hold tight to that. Soon you'll find there are so MANY ways to do this. There's not a right way. And that there are many, many resources to help you on the journey. NM is a great state in which to homeschool.
We have all made the decision to homeschool at different times for different reasons. What I believe we all share is the desire to provide something perhaps more positive to our kids' life and school experience Some us have never sent our kids to school and some of us, like me, did have our kids in public school and then pulled them out. Ditto on the decompression time....it varies for different families but it does give you guys some time to adjust to a new schedule and moreover the big adjustment of being with each other a great deal more of the time. There are so many wonderful book resources as well as people resources out there to help you get started and we are more than willing to share. I myself have not been doing this very long at all and it is still evolving for us. Some days are good and some days are not good but life is that way anyway...yes? Looking forward to meeting you and your kids at the park on Thursday.
I empathize! Especially with the family support issue... I'd love to connect with you, Megan. I have a 6 year old daughter who needs to connect with some other kids her age, and would also probably get along really well with your 11 year old. (My daughter is 6 going on 20... lol!) I'm not sure if I can make the park gathering, but you can contact me individually at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What time do ya'll gather at the park, and where? I'm also new to the group and haven't made many connections yet.
Momma to Daughter Eastwood 9yrs and baby Leonidas Co-op member
Hi. I agree with Anna. Everyone at Park Day is so cool and friendly. I have a 7 year old daughter and she attended Private school. I was scared as well. But thanks to the mommas at Park Day and their encouragement it has been a easier road to adapt to. They have shared their wisdom and knowledge and I have so appreciated it. We will be at Park Day this week so it will be nice to meet you. Homeschool Mommas ROCK!
Congratulations on your choice! I ditto all the friendly moms at park day, although I haven't attended in a LONG time. I was home-schooled 4th through high-school (back when it wasn't popular and my parents caught a lot of flack), and I and my sisters all went on to attend college, etc.
As has been stated earlier, there are so many different ways to do it. Something I've focused on is that home-school doesn't need to (and probably shouldn't) look like public school. When we surround our kids with learning opportunities, good books, and a desire to discover, they will go much further than public school can ever force into a child. My husband hated public school because he felt it was mostly busy work and he did all of his learning on his own (he now has a PhD and is passionate about helping kids get a better education - he keeps me going sometimes when I feel like giving up!).
Give your kids time to re-discover the joy in learning, by providing a great environment, and then you can start to figure out learning styles and what will best help each child. It is too easy to feel pressured to make sure your kids measure up, when often relaxing will help them the most. There have been times when I have felt both I and my son were hitting our heads on a wall, and I've given him a couple of weeks off, only to discover upon return, that he understood the material better than when we left off.
If you'd like to look into how to educate, I recommend resources about Charlotte Mason. She lived early in the 20th century, and promoted giving kids GOOD reading material, giving them real stuff to look at and listen to, so kids weren't handed the "twaddle" (worksheets, reading books, excerpts, etc. that just fill time).
All the best on this journey!
--Emily (and Samuel) Eirik (8 ), Sigrid (6), Hanna (3), and Ada (1 - born April 2011)
I will second the "giving your kids time to re-discover the joy in learning." There are sooooo many diverse and fun things to do in Albuquerque -- both through homeschooling groups and just city stuff, like museums, open space, etc. And Santa Fe is close. The library system is wonderful. Take the time to really get to know your new place together and give yourself the gift of "no pressure." Your children won't stop learning because they're not in school -- they'll probably just learn a whole lot more! There is so much spectacular freedom in homeschooling -- for the kids, but also for the whole family. I feel blessed to be homeschooling. I get to have all this time with my children -- it's not slipping away while I'm not looking, we're right there together. Congratulations on your courageous first step!