From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


12/18/2012 2:51:53 PM
Vicki Bentley--HSLDA
Toddlers to Tweens--How to Start Homeschooling Mid-Year

HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru the Early Years Newsletter
December 2012--How to Start Homeschooling Mid-Year

Dear Friend,

Are you considering homeschooling for the first time mid-year, or know
someone else thinking of starting after the holidays. What does
homeschooling look like? Do
you have to buy desks? Or set up learning stations? Maybe you are
excited about just reading books with your child and exploring the
worlds they open how important is it to have a really formal
school program if you start homeschooling in the middle of the school

Start With a Plan--Even if It is Very Basic

Regardless of your kids' ages or your homeschooling "style," it's
important to have a plan--set some goals, determine what you want to
accomplish the rest of the
year, and then select materials or activities to help meet those

Of course, you'll want to first be aware of any legal requirements for
your state. HSLDA members
have personal access to the legal staff for their state. (Not a
member? This is a great time to join.)

From the practical perspective, 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. Same with homeschooling!

Need help figuring out where your child is? Our site has information
on placement tests, skills checklists, and other evaluative tools.

Not sure where you're headed? Need help with age-appropriate and
developmentally appropriate expectations? Check out our article, "What
Should I Be Teaching?"

Freedom or Formality?

Some children coming out of a conventional school, mid-year or not,
may feel more secure in the familiar, structured class
setting--especially at first--so you can do "the desk thing," or you
can relax a bit and sit at the kitchen table or the coffee table. The
organization section at our
website has more tips, including how to incorporate learning stations
into your home decor!

If by formal, you mean having an outlined plan, many moms feel more
comfortable having some specific goals, and we all feel more secure
with a routine of sorts.

With primary students, our
main goals are to give them lots of physical and creative play,
experiences and discovery learning--think of these as "hooks" on which
to hang their future learning. Remember, what looks like play to us is
work to them!

As our children get older, our expectations increase with their
maturity. We want to continue to nurture academic excellence (along
with faith and character) to encourage self-motivated learners!

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/character . When we
start out, sometimes we only know to do what we experienced, so we
tend to re-create 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.

How Will Your Child Handle the Mid-Year Change?

The transition is not only academic, but also emotional and spiritual.
His familiar routine--his security--has changed. Be patient with your
child, and remember that this is new for him, too. He may miss his
friends or activities --or
even his teachers. Be prepared to hear, "That's not how my teacher did

Invest some time to become reacquainted with your child. While the
temptation is to delve heavily into academics--especially if one of
your goals is to catch up a child who has lagged a bit
scholastically--pay attention to his passions, gifts , interests, areas of strength
and areas of need. Have a plan, but hold it loosely and make
adjustments along the way.

On the social front: Local support groups are a big help in providing
social opportunities, but don't get overwhelmed with extracurricular

By the way, not all kids are thrilled to be homeschooled--whether a
mid-year decision or not.
One of our girls, at age 14, became unhappy with our decision. We told
her we were sorry she wasn't happy, but as parents, it is not our job
to make our children happy--it is our job to do what God has called us
to do with them. Her dad and I will stand before God and answer for
how we raised our girls.

She graduated as a homeschooler and sent us a thank-you note for
sticking with homeschooling even through the tumultuous times. She now
writes curriculum and homeschool blogs, and they homeschool their
three little girls. What would she say was the greatest benefit? That
her heart was drawn to God and to her family.

Her advice to you today:
"Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if
we do not grow weary." (Galatians 6:9)

Here for you on your journey,
Vicki Bentley
HSLDA Toddlers to Tweens consultant


"Commit your way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring
it to pass."
(Psalm 37:5 KJV)

"I Feel Overwhelmed! Where Do I Begin?"

"Charting Your Homeschool Course"

Before-school checklist
"What Curriculum Should You Use?"

"What Does It Cost to Homeschool?"

"Lesson Plans"

"What to Do with Your Preschooler/Early Learner"

"The Middle School Years"

A Day in Our Homeschool
Read the accounts of more than 100 homeschool families--ideas and
inspiration (and encouragement that you are not alone)

"Dad to Dad"
Messages to homeschool dads from homeschool dads!

Check our website for more resources for homeschooling toddlers to
-> Can you call your attorney at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning?

Our members can get in touch with their attorney even after
business hours, when they have a legal emergency. Wouldn't you
like this level of service?

More reasons to join HSLDA...

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