A Challenging New Beginning

C. Maguire By C. Maguire, 15th Oct 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Education

Our first few months of homeschooling have presented a few challenges - some expected, some surprises.

Our Ascension into the Ranks of Homeschoolers

It's the end of an era, and the beginning of a grand, new adventure - a foray into the unknown and uncharted territory of 'home schooling'. Terrifying and empowering, and a huge responsibility!

Technically, we've been homeschooling for almost four months. I never understood the necessity for taking summers off for children, in modern times. Sure - there used to be fields to manage and harvest - but not for a very long time has this been commonplace for the majority of the nation. I gave my daughter two weeks after the final 'act' of attending public school, (which is about the time she get bored anyway), and we were off and running!

I can understand now why everyone says the first year is the hardest. It's a challenge for her to see me as an educational authority (beyond Mom-thority). I'm the disciplinarian in our house, so it's a bit easier, but there's definitely an adjustment period. For all of us - even the dog has had to adjust. It's still difficult, but the challenges vary - today it's focus. Yesterday it was hormones (yay tweens!). Tomorrow it may likely be a curriculum issue, and by Friday I will be out of ink or toner (again).

I spent months researching, studying, agonizing and second-guessing. I'm one of those people. I research, I plan, I study. Then I make lists, and study the lists. I lamented over the never-ending options of curricula - and reviews. As a secular family, I winced at the insertion of religious dogma into history, science and even handwriting lessons. I reverse engineered the process - I knew what I wanted to teach my daughter, I just needed the right tools. I learned to extract pertinent information and leave 'the rest'.

I finally decided upon an eclectic grouping of secular curricula from many, many different sources. I pieced together books and workbooks, lesson plans and worksheets. I figured out what I needed for books and equipment. I bought used whenever possible, knowing I would be adjusting and revising on the fly. I spent under $500 for all of our curricula, equipment and supplies, that included a 'splurge' on a creative writing curriculum for $150 and a laser printer at a thrift store for $5. I was quite proud of myself.

My daughter, on the other hand, wasn't particularly impressed. She didn't care how much effort I had put into researching the best possible education for her. She didn't care that I had considered the requirements for entrance into Ivy League universities (just in case). She wasn't concerned that I spent hours working out how to record information so her high school transcript would be accepted at just about every college and university.

"What?! <insert hefty sigh and eye-rolling here> You're going to grade me???"

Oh boy.


Curriculum, Daughter, Family, Family Life, Family Matters, Homeschooling, School, School Days, School Life, Schooling, Tween

Meet the author

author avatar C. Maguire
Colleen Maguire is a freelance writer, editor and blogger in beautiful, scenic Maine.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
16th Oct 2013 (#)

Unforeseen challenges crop up but there is always a way out! siva

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