New Homeschooler Packet Ideas

I get questions about homeschooling all the time from various people. In some cases, it might be a wife who is trying to persuade her husband (or the other way ’round!). Other times, they come from families who are on the verge of homeschooling, but haven’t started yet. Parents in their first couple years of homeschooling are often full of questions as well.

What I am wanting to do is put together a packet for new and potential homeschoolers in my area. Once I have everything together, I will probably post it to my blog as well, although some things (such as local resources, field trip sites, co-ops, etc.) will be location specific. Perhaps I can just give pointers on how to search for these things in any given area.

Anyway, I know I have lots of homeschoolers who read my blog, so I was wondering if you all could help me come up with a good list of resources to include in the packets. So far, I have thought of things such as:

Two or three catalogues from major curriculum companies,

A description of the HSLDA, with a link to their website (possibly even a registration form),

A couple of articles on time-management, budgeting, discipline, etc,

FAQ,

Local groups and activities,

Copy of current homeschool laws,

Etc.

If you all could help me out with the FAQ aspect, and maybe some other ideas of what to include, I would be very grateful! For instance, what do you think are the most frequently asked questions, and how would you answer those? I would like to include several different perspectives as long as I can do so without creating confusion. After all, each family is different.

To get the discussion started, what do you think is the absolute best advice you could give a new homeschooler, concerning any main issues such as socialization, curriculum, schedules, etc.

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7 responses to “New Homeschooler Packet Ideas

  1. I think the biggest question for a lot of people just getting started is “What are the laws over home schooling?” Luckily there aren’t many in our state, but I know that people who are new to it get a lot of conflicting information. (My cousin started homeschooling this week, had DFS called on her, and was told that if she didn’t register with the State, she would have to pay a $5000 fine!)

    The best advice that I always give new homeschoolers is to take your time to find your groove. Every child learns differently, every parent teaches differently, and sometimes just diving right in to it with blinders on can cause a lot of undue stress. Just ease in to it, try different methods and curricula before you go out and spend a lot of money on something that isn’t going to mesh with your child(ren)’s learning style.

    As someone who started homeschooling nearly a decade ago, the best advice that I have received to this day is, “Libraries are a homeschoolers best friend.”

    • Thank you for your reply, Julie! I’m really hoping to get these packets organized and put together by the middle of next month, and it’s valuable advice like yours that’s going to make it all possible!

  2. I think the strong recommendation to join HSLDA is paramount. And they have a lovely brochure they will supply you for this purpose which has a sign-up page in it.

    A most frequent complaint or objection I hear is “I don’t have the patience (intelligence, degree, organization, etc.,) to home school. We always reply, “Neither did we, but we learned along with our kids.” It is most important, to me, to destroy every objection and complaint, so the fearful, energy-challenged, and/or chotic parents will realize they could improve.

    Beyond that, you could include my “Curriculum Cheat Sheet” which helps parents choose the right type of curriculum for their lifestyle and their children’s learning styles. In fact, a simple explanation of learning styles would probably also help many people.

    I am anxious to read all the answers you get here! :)

    • Awesome, Katherine! Thanks for the info! I did not know that the HSLDA had stuff like that already, but I wondered if they did. Now I won’t feel so funny asking! LOL I intend to include several articles that will help answer objections or difficulties. I want to make this as easy and streamlined as possible for people just beginning or who are still considering. Where can I find your “Curriculum Cheat Sheet?” On your blog? Thank you so much, Katherine! If you have an article or two that you would like to be included in the packet, just let me know. I will certainly give you credit, and we can include a bio as well.

  3. Some of the people I talk to say that, while they like the idea of homeschooling, and see the benefits, they don’t believe that they, or their child, could be disciplined enough to do so. Is this a valid reason for not homeschooling, or is there a way to persuade them from this?

    The other main issue(other than the curriculum itself) is indeed the socialization issue. Perhaps the packet could be a good way to combat this. If you add a list of sports clubs, music centers, performing arts(such as theatre, drama), and other clubs(4-H, YMCA Leaders Club, etc) that either receive and/or encourage homeschooled participants, I think that could go a long way in convincing them in the socialization aspect. Most parents don’t realize, that their kids are as exposed, or NOT exposed, as They choose.

    • I wonder about the discipline issue. I have problems disciplining Ian, and I have no idea what I’m doing wrong. I just know that nothing seems to work as well as I hope. But we keep plugging along anyway. And he’s not a bad kid, he’s just not as disciplined as the kids in your family! LOL That’s what I really want. Your mom has given me lots of tips, and I can see bits of progress, but I guess it just takes time and consistency. I really feel for other parents who just have no clue how to discipline. It’s not that they don’t love their kids or that they wouldn’t stick to a plan if only they knew what would work. Your mother gave me permission to use her ideas about discipline any way I want, so I will probably include her article in the packet.

      Also, I really appreciate your ideas about listing activity opportunities in response to the socialization question. I had intended to list activities on a separate page as a resource, but making a direct connection between the list and socialization will help people who are concerned about that issue. (Or those who have friends and family that are concerned.) Personally, I don’t feel that socialization is as big a deal as people claim, but it’s still one of the first things that comes to the mind of a nay-sayer.

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