Rich and I went to our first homeschooling conference last weekend.
Here's what I learned, in note form:
1) Teach the 4 Rs - Reading, 'Riting, 'Rithmetic and aRt. As it wisely was said in Mr. Holland's Opus (I think), if there is not art, what will the kids read and write about??
2) Be balanced in your approach. Make sure you have the right mix of learning and fun. The kids need alone time and free time in order to develop their own personalities, hobbies and talents.
3) The "S" word - socialization. All socialization is not positive. Homeschooling allows freedom to mix with people of all ages and walks of life. Personal problems between students will not get in the way of academics.
4) God has called us to teach all our children, even the youngest. Stay on the course!
5) Be transparent. Apologize to your kids as needed.
6) Keep God first.
7) You can't homeschool if you're never home. Be involved in outside activities, but not at the expense of your school work and sanity!
8) Be scheduled. Be flexible.
9) Have a goal. Decide on what is most important in your homeschooling journey and go for it. Have a long term vision. Decide on a block of time that you will homeschool, and re-evaluate only at the end of that block. This is best if it's a few years instead of only a few months because this will minimize self-doubt and instability.
10) When you need help from the hubby - ask for it! They aren't mind readers! These are our children, these are our decisions.
11) Train your kids. (even non-homeschoolers need to do this, right?)
12) Read, read, read. Especially aloud.
13) Your homeschooling role is a natural extension of parenting.
14) Find support with other homeschoolers, and make friends with another homeschooling family that is similar to yours.
15) The corrosive nature of public school doesn't show up until grade 5 or 6. It's a matter of pay me now, or pay me later.
16) Be decisive. Be the parent.
The good thing about New Brunswick, is that there is a huge support system when it comes to homeschooling. We're lucky to be here when it comes to homeschooling.