This post, Getting off to a Good Start with Successful Homeschooling Made Easy, was made possible with the chance to review the Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Course from as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.
This month, I will be an active participant at my eldest son’s high school graduation as his home educating parent. We began this journey when I pulled him out of our parochial school at the end of his 3rd grade year. I can not believe how time has flown and how much our lives have changed in the process. In a few short months, he will be learning at college and I’ll be starting more formal instruction of my rising kindergarten son.
When I was discerning my call to homeschool the boys, I spent hours researching options and talking with friends who were already homeschooling their children. I also checked out the few books available in the libraries near us to read more about it. While I am so grateful for all of those resources, I sometimes wished there was an easy to digest resource that would not only give some guidance as to WHAT to do as a homeschooler, but also be a source of encouragement for me on those darker days where doubts prevailed.
If I was just starting out the journey, I would definitely have purchased the Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Course written by Stephanie Walmsley. She has a wonderful, conversational style of writing which is also rather no nonsense in approach. She’s laid out all of her wonderful advice to be delivered in 26 weekly installments direct to your inbox.
Each week’s material is provided as a pdf file you can download and print. She suggests putting them all into a binder to both keep it organized and go back later when you need to revisit a particular lesson. Each lesson covers a different topic and usually includes assignments for you to complete (on your own) which will help you on the path to successful homeschooling.
Having been a home educator for 9 years, you might wonder if there is anything to glean from this course when I’ve covered preschool through high school in my home. I can honestly say YES there are gems throughout the pages which I know will help me become a better homeschool mother. Even in the earliest lesson I was encouraged to rethink how much I am doing.
When I began at home, we took things slow so the boys could adjust to a new way of learning. I selected a faith based curriculum which had a Charlotte Mason approach to learning and had everything clearly marked as essential, nice, and if you have extra time. However, I am finding with my youngest on the verge of more formal school that I needed a reminder that our days do not need to be packed full of every subject imaginable. This is hard when I’ve spent the last few years making sure my older sons have their bases covered for courses. This meant having an eye towards not only high school graduation but also what was needed for college admissions. That mindset is NOT the more delight learning approach my mother’s heart craves.
Stephanie reminded me with her initial schedule setting that if we are getting basic needs of the home (e.g. morning chores) and spending time with both literacy (reading and writing) and math that the kids WILL be learning. A schedule sheet is provided to guide you with an option for those who rise early and those who are a little bit later to approach their work. You can add more material in as the weeks progress. She targets both art and science which tend to be more hands on for learning and subjects that younger kids truly delight in pursuing. Music appreciation is another layer which can easily be added in those early weeks with a lighter schedule.
Setting goals is another important part of the early lessons. Even with those 9 years under my belt, I found myself struggling with this aspect. To be successful at anything in life, you need at least a general plan and idea of your motivation. Stephanie includes time for you to reflect upon key questions that will help you get a better handle on what you want, why you want it and where you are heading. She provides some examples of what answers someone might have for each question. And, you are encouraged to really dig deep rather than giving a very broad answer (e.g. My family is important as a response to what things are important to you.) Having gone through those questions on my own, I am thinking it will be quite helpful to set aside time with my husband to discuss them so that we are on the same page in what we want for our family and how we’ll make it happen.
So far, I am only through lesson 8 in the course (as it is delivered weekly), but have already seen interior growth in myself. With an eye towards this next year of homeschooling, I will be continuing through this course and using it to lay a firm foundation for how our family will homeschool.
Are you currently considering homeschooling a child (or more) and in need of guidance?
If you are currently homeschooling, what resources did you use to help discern how to educate your children?
Don’t just take my word for how we found this to be. Visit the Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Course Review post on the Schoolhouse Review Crew website to see what other homeschooling parents thought about this and other self-paced courses.