Preparation

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The first time my husband and I tossed around the idea of homeschooling Samuel, it was almost in jest.  It seemed like it would be a great solution to the problems he was facing at school, but there was just one problem:  I am not a teacher.

Not only am I not a teacher, but I wasn’t even that great of a student.  How on earth could I offer my son a quality education.  Luckily (and unfortunately) I didn’t have to make the decision myself.  Samuel’s issues at school progressed over the months to a place where homeschooling was his only chance at success.  And I was terrified.

But today, I am grateful for that fear, because it drove the months of research and preparation that is making the launch of our school year, well, easy, actually.

There are a million options for homeschooling your child, and it’s hard to even know where to start.  I began by identifying Samuel’s needs, and our goals for the year.

 

Needs Goals
  • To learn in an environment where he is receiving positive sensory input, instead of negative.
  • To be involved in areas where he has strengths, gifts, and talents to build his confidence and be affirmed.
  • Curriculum material that is easy to understand, more literal than abstract, and free of possible distractions like colorful animations.
  • Meet or exceed grade-level expectations by the end of the school year.
  • Identify specific things that cause Samuel to perform better and can potentially be written into a future IEP.
  • Successfully self-manage his anger and anxiety with healthy coping mechanisms.

 

That helped me answer some important questions:

  1. What curriculum should we use?
  2. Should we join a co-op?
  3. What kind of professional oversight should I have?
  4. What specific topics are supposed to be covered in 5th grade?
  5. What supplies do I need?
  6. How will our days be structured?

After pouring over books, blogs, reviews, and feedback from other homeschool moms, I decided on the following workbooks:

  • Saxon Math
  • Spectrum writing
  • Abecca US History
  • Common Core spelling, grammar, and punctuation from Engage NY
  • A variety of grade-level fiction novels for reading and comprehension

school roomNext, we needed a workspace.  The boys weren’t too excited about the idea of sharing a room, but now they are loving it, and the whole family is enjoying having a quiet room for homework or paperwork.

 

Then we needed stuff.  This part was a little tricky, since I left my job to tschool suppliesake this whole venture on, and stuff is expensive.  So we put our plan out there to all our friends and family as well as Social Media.  Throughout the Spring and Summer, books and supplies began to show up from UPS at our door.  By July, we had everything we needed to get started as well as extra funds for Band, Drama, and a few field trips.

 

 

There was just one more thing.

I didn’t know how to use any of the stuff I had.  But that was okay, because a godsend teacher from our local school heard what we were doing and wanted to help.  I was incredibly blessed to have her come to the house and show me how to use our curriculum, how to structure our day, and many other great tips and ideas.  In addition, she has also offered to meet with me throughout the year and review Samuel’s progress.

Now, we are ready to get this year started!

 

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