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Beginning at the Middle
Volume 118, Program 43
2/5/2013
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The beginning might be a very good place to start, but what if you’re already in the middle? Parents pulling their children out of public school midyear to homeschool face just this question. And today on Home School Heartbeat, host Mike Smith and his guest offer some answers for new and prospective homeschoolers!

Mike Smith:
Today, HSLDA’s Toddlers to Tweens consultant Vicki Bentley joins us with more help for parents who are thinking about starting to homeschool midyear. Vicki, welcome to the program!

Vicki Bentley:
Thanks, Mike!

Mike:
Vicki, when a parent decides to withdraw a child from public school midyear, what’s the first thing they need to know, in terms of practical teaching?

Vicki:
Well, Mike, think of homeschooling as a journey, and your curriculum—your course of study—is the road map, or the directions. If I called you and asked for directions, you’d probably want to know where I am, and where I wanted to go, and it’s the same with homeschooling! If you need help figuring out where your child is, our site has information on placement tests, skills checklists, and other evaluative tools. If you’re not sure where you’re headed, you can check out our article “What Should I Be Teaching?”

Besides curriculum, establishing a workable routine will give your children security. You can be somewhat flexible, but don’t compromise on basic skill subjects and Bible or character.

Also, be prepared to hear, “That’s not how my teacher did it!” and be patient with your child, and remember that this is new for him, too. Parents, when we start out, sometimes we only know to do what we experienced, so we tend to recreate school at home. But home education is more than just school at home—it’s a lifestyle choice, a relationship of mentoring and discipling our children—a lifestyle of learning.

Mike:
Thanks, Vicki! That’s a great place to start! We’ll talk more about making a midyear transition to homeschooling in our very next program. And until then, I’m Mike Smith.


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