About the time my oldest was starting Kindergarten, I began attending the annual homeschool book sale in our area looking for homeschooling options. It was around the year 2000, and I already knew a number of homeschooling families from teaching art classes. I remember one sale in particular – not because of what I bought or who I saw, but because of what I was wearing. I remember putting on jeans and a sweater and thinking how I would surely stand out. After all, the other homeschooling moms would be wearing blouses with jumpers and skirts.
I’m sad to say, no one paid any attention to my clothes. Instead, everyone was focused on buying and selling those school books to increase their homeschooling options. Many had huge collections of hands-on curricula for multiple ages. While the kids may have had some lessons outside the home, such as music or dance, much of what they learned was taught by Mom.
Homeschooling is much different now than when I first began. Perhaps it’s because jumpers have gone out of “homeschooling style”, but it’s probably due more to technology and the Internet. If a family wants to homeschool their children, the resources are unlimited. No longer do they have to scour book sales and catalogs for just the right curriculum. Homeschooling options have changed as now almost everything is just a click away.
If you considered homeschooling but weren’t sure you could do it, take heart. There are so many homeschooling options available now — so many ways to teach your children. You just have to find what works best for your family.
Teaching With Texts At Home – This is how it all started for me, so we still do a lot of this at home. We usually use a variety of curricula from a number of different publishers.
Video and Computer Courses – When we first started homeschooling, I remember hearing about a course you could purchase on VHS tapes (yes, VHS!). You can still find video courses, such as those offered by BJU Press and A Beka, although now they’re on DVD. These companies offer interactive courses on the computer as well.
Online Classes – Depending on where you live, some public school districts offer classes for free online. You can find free curriculum online, too. If you have the extra funds to invest, you can sign your child up for courses such as Classes by Beth or BraveWriter.
Co-op Classes – There are as many different types of co-ops as there are homeschooling families. Sometimes parents serve as the teachers; other times, teachers are hired. Some co-ops are looser in structure, focusing more on enrichment classes like music and art. Others are structured more like a school. One year, we participated in Classical Conversations, a co-op that follows the classical model of learning. My elementary students memorized a lot that year!
The good news is, if you want to homeschool, there’s a way you can do it. And you don’t even have to wear a jumper!
Photo by: Ginny