Friday, November 14, 2014

Homeschooler Spotlight: I Sure Hope I'm Doing This Right


Welcome to Homeschooler Spotlight. Each week I feature a different homeschooler and her blog. This week is Tawnee from Adventures in Homeschooling. She's sharing about one of the biggest worries all homeschoolers have - Are we doing this right?


Tawnee and her husband Chris live in Indiana with their four children (16, 9, 5, and 1).  She blogs at Adventures in Homeschooling where she shares their family adventures in homeschooling, parenting, and life in general. She is a baby-wearing, cloth-diapering, Navy,-at-home mom who loves spending time learning with her kids and feels blessed to have been called to homeschool. Also visit her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

I Sure Hope I’m Doing This Right?

One of the biggest worries that homeschooling families have is – am I doing this right? We worry that we are missing something, not doing enough, doing too much, expecting too much? There are many things to be concerned about and we homeschooling mamas can DEFINITELY get ourselves wrapped up in concern.

However, in most cases, kids who are homeschooled perform better on standardized test, college entrance exams, and integrate well into public and private schools and colleges, whenever that may be.  So, it seems that the worry is unnecessary. But….we still worry. What can you do to keep that worry and concern to a minimum? Here are some suggestions:

Document what you learn – One of the best things you can do to keep yourself in check is to document what you are doing and what your kids are learning. You can do this in many ways. You can keep key documents, have a log books, or even just put together a portfolio with test scores, completion certificates and grades if you keep them. If you have a running document of what you are doing and what you have learned, you will be able to refer to it at any time and see what you have been working on and the progress that you have made. You will likely be SHOCKED at what you actually cover in a year if you track it successfully.

Participate in testing – Some states require testing for your students; however, even if it is not required, participating in testing can put your mind at ease. You will see just how well things are going for your student and even highlight areas where you can focus on your studies to continue your improvement. There are many homeschool co-ops and groups that offer yearly testing. There are even websites that provide online testing annually. Plus, participating in standardized testing can help your students develop their testing skills, something with which many homeschooling students do not get a lot of practice.

Compare what you are learning with your state’s core standards – You state’s Department of Education website will likely have your states core standards for each grade. If you are truly concerned that your kids are “keeping up with the Jones,” or, in this case, keeping up with their public school friends, you can compare what your kids are learning with what their public school counterparts are learning and ensure you are covering what the schools are covering. This can be important if you plan to re-integrate your students into the public or private school setting at any point before graduation.

Relax – This was truly the most difficult for me. To relax and enjoy learning with my kids can be the easiest way to bring down the level of worry and concern. Enjoy watching your children learn; watch them learning to love learning. Ask questions, discuss topics, watch videos, read books, and play games. Relax and enjoy being together and trust that you are working through what you need to and learning at your children’s pace. It is refreshing when you actually relax and stop stressing about whether you are doing enough because, YOU ARE DOING ENOUGH!

Who hasn’t said to themselves – I sure hope I’m doing enough! But I’m here to tell you that you are. Who knows your kids better than you? Who knows how they learn, what they need, what they like, and how they are mastering math, improving their reading, and developing critical thinking skills? You are doing enough and you are doing it right. Because you KNOW the right way to maximize the learning of your kids. Because no one is better equipped to educate your kids in the best way than you!

So mama – you are doing it right so keep it up!
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