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"Parents are a child's first and most important teacher."  I've said this countless times to  parents throughout my teaching career.  It is true; who taught him to walk, talk, eat with utensils, play nicely, use the potty, etc.?  Mom and Dad teach every "subject" including language, math, physical eduation, music, character education, and health for at least the first 3-5 years.  If you think you aren't a teacher, you're wrong.  If you think you don't know enough, don't have the right education, can't be responsible for all your child needs to know-you're wrong.  You do not need to be a certified teacher to Home Schoool your child.  Your children will learn at home and it's never too late to start.  And, you do not have to do it alone. 

There are a few important things you should do when you start thinking about whether or not to Home School your child.  First, pray and see if this is right for you and your family.  Secondly, be sure both parents are on the same page.  Discuss the sacrifices and changes the family may have to make.  Talk about your educational philosophies and goals for your children.  Be sure both parents are willing to teach and support each other.  Then, look into your state's laws regarding homeschooling; they vary widely from state to state.  Reading the information offered from the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is a good place to start.  You may wish to join that group or another group similar to it.  Also, talk to anyone you know who homeschools or has done so in the past.  If you don't know anyone, seek information online about co-ops in your area.  Join a Yahoo Group that supports homeschooling. 

Once the decision is made, you can look into what style fits your child(ren) best whether it be traditional schooling (paper, pencil, teacher directed) or unschooling (informal learning that takes place through everyday living) or anything in between.  There is a lot of information out there about different approaches and one size does not fit every learner (or teacher).  You do not need to purchase a lot of expensive curriculum.  You can use the library and free resources on the internet.  You could join a co-op where families get together and children take classes from other parents.  You could purchase inexpensive materials online (look at efantasmic.com or any lapbooking sites).  Also, look for materials at your local Wal-Mart, Half Price Bookstore and Sam's Club.  If you don't feel comfortable deciding what to teach your children or when or how to go about it, you can look at the Scope and Sequence for your local school to see what types of things those kids are learning.  You can purchase curriculums that have everything laid out for you, even scripts so you know exactly what to say (Saxon Math and Phonics are examples of these). 

There is so much information out there it is almost overwhelming.  But the best advice is to pay attention to your children.  See what they're interested in and what kinds of things they like to do.  Depending on the age of your child(ren), you may be able to enlist help by asking them what is most interesting/fun/hard/etc. and tailor your approach using that information.  Playing is very important and learning takes place during a child's play without any lesson plans.  Observe your children playing to help you see if s/he is a visual or more hands on type learner.  Take some time and really prepare yourself.   

Home Schoolers are the only students who really get one on one attention.  No matter how hard a school teacher tries, s/he can never truly individualize learning for a student in a classroom setting.  Feel free to respond with specific questions if you are serious about homeschooling and need some advice.

Reviews
themccalls2009
This was very encouraging. Thank you very much!
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