Welcome, my Tenacious Homeschool Tribe to our introductory episode of Homeschooling with Dr. B!
And just who is Dr. B? Well, that’d be me! I’m a retired college professor who’s been homeschooling her kids for the last five years. Boy, let me tell you. When I started, I thought it would only be a three-year, well, a two-year journey. I was thinking about going to homeschool third, fourth, and fifth, then I would be done. But guess what? Then it turned into sixth, fifth, and eight. And the girls don’t want to go back to traditional school. So, let’s see what happens next year.
But, I was thinking back to when I started. I was so terrified, terrified of messing up my kids academically, terrified of not being able to handle one of my child’s ADHD. Just nervous about the whole process, completely unprepared. If you listen to episode three, you’ll find out how it was we decided to homeschool one day, and we’re homeschooling the next. And so completely unprepared, lost, I didn’t know anybody that was homeschooling at that time. Of course, today, I know hundreds of homeschool families literally because Facebook and Meet-Up make it so easy to meet new people on this homeschool journey. Part of the reason I decided to do this podcast is that I wanted to pay it forward. I met some really neat ladies that really helped me get started. They encouraged me when I was down, gave me tips, introduced me to materials and different options that I just would not have been aware of had it not been for them.
I learned many lessons along the way, not to over-buy curriculum, what curriculum to buy. Not that there’s a perfect curriculum, how to find out what the curriculum is best for your kid or your family. How to modify the curriculum that you enjoy that maybe is not perfect for the family because it comes out of the can, so many different tips and advice that I really want to pass on. Especially when you get started, we all kind of wibble and wobble, to be honest with you. Or at least the majority of us. And one of the things that I find when I go to conferences is that newbies will often ask, “How do I get started?”
Old pros tend to say things like, “You’re gonna feel your way through this. It’ll come to you as you go.”
But for people like me, that just makes me more nervous! It stresses me out more. I need a little bit more guidance. So, I’m going to attempt to provide that for those who need it and those who don’t, listen to the tips, see if it works for you and if it doesn’t, discard it. Because ultimately homeschool journey is about individualizing the educational process for your family, for your kids.
Another big thing that people want to know when you first start homeschooling is, “What’s my style, what’s my homeschool style?”
It doesn’t matter! That is the thing that you should worry the least about. Figure out what works for your family. Style develops over time, and it changes over time. My daughter coined my homeschooling style, “College chic.” She says that I treat my kids like I treated college students. I expect them to be involved dynamic learners, and I make them responsible for their learning process. But everything else, it’s a little bit of everything. My style, I think I would say it’s eclectic.
I was really concerned that I knew how to teach adults, but I certainly had no idea how to teach children. And I did realize that it was going to be completely different. There are some things in my years as a college professor that I’m incorporated into my homeschool teaching experience. But there’s a lot of things that I’ve discarded. And some things have worked at the beginning that didn’t continue to work, so pitch, bring something new. I picked up a lot from other homeschooling moms, from conferences, from many different sources.
So, I’m a mish-mash of different styles. If you want to give it a name, I would say my style is eclectic. Okay. A little bit of everything, a little bit from everybody. Whatever works for our family.
So, the podcast, every week, I will drop a new episode on Mondays. There will be a story that’s part of our journey with tips to help you in your own homeschool journey. And I’ll do my best to throw as many freebies as I can. If you visit our website, there will be worksheets, Prezis, lectures. Things that you might find helpful. There’s a ton of materials out there that you can find and use. I will also evaluate programs, let you know what we use, what we have chosen, why we have chosen them. And things that we had decided not to use because it just didn’t work for our family. But I will give you the rundown of those things to help you make an informed decision for your family. Don’t ever be shy! That is what is best about homeschooling. Take what works for your family, leave what doesn’t work for your family.
Homeschooling is a very individualized journey. The outcome is entirely up to your level of commitment, dedication, and willingness to explore new and exciting things. So, you will find many resources on our site, use what works for you. And as I was saying in the beginning, I was afraid. Now I realized that really I was afraid of the unknown. So, you will also find lots of encouragement and support throughout this podcast. Occasionally, I will have interviews with other homeschooling moms or people who have created an industry around homeschooling and have products and services you might find useful. And certainly, I will let you know if the products and services that we use as a family have well worked for us.
If you are just embarking on your homeschool journey or you are an old pro, I hope you will join us in our sometimes crazy, but always fun homeschool family by subscribing to our podcast or blog (or both!). For links and resources, please visit our website. Till next time! Enjoy your kiddos!