May 12, 2015

Schoolhouse Review Crew: Successful Homeschooling Made Easy

Homeschooling can be an overwhelming proposition. I remember a few years ago, a brand-new-to-homeschool-mom told me, "We've only been doing this a few months and I don't know what I'm doing!" My response was quick, "I've been doing this for years and I was homeschooled myself and I don't know what I'm doing either!" She was not reassured, but it would probably have been more helpful if I could have given her a copy of Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Course from Successful Homeschooling Made Easy.

This is a 26 week course that you can do in the comfort of your own home at your own convenience. Each week, a lesson is emailed to you in PDF form and you can either get started immediately or download and print and work on them when you get a chance. She does suggest that you set yourself a schedule, just to be sure it gets done, but there is no time limit on getting the lessons done, nor is there anything to turn in.

"She" is Stephanie Walmsley, who started homeschooling way back in 1985 and has been a part of the community ever since. She wrote this course to be the "experienced and helpful friend" we all needed at the beginning of our journey.

The lessons are short and easy to read, perfect for a busy mom who needs to get to point and act on it. The first one has been the longest so far, at 26 pages. It starts with an overview and explains how to use the course. Entitled "You can start homeschooling today" it gives you a quick and easy starting point that won't overwhelm or stress you. Just a couple of simple things that you can implement right away and feel like you are well on your way. Each lesson ends with a "homework assignment" that you complete on your own timetable. This is just a way to implement the program, you will not be graded. :) There is also a booklist in each lesson of recommended reading, for further learning and help, although purchase of these books is not required.

In the following lessons, she explains how to be confident in teaching math, offers some encouragement to moms who didn't start out homeschooling, but brought the kids home from a traditional school setting, how to set your vision, be successful, fulfill your dreams, keep yourself from being distracted by some "good things", and how to juggle homeschooling and housekeeping. The last one was really more of a how to include your children in housework and how to teach them to do it well. It included age-appropriate chore charts that gave me some ideas! ;)

The Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Course was simple for me to use. I read the emails as I received them, and then later in the week, I would work my way through the assignments. It didn't take up a bunch of my time and I was able to keep up with it fairly easily. Now, of course, I've been doing this crazy job for a long time and this was all basic, first-getting-started information, so that might have had something to do it. I already have a good grasp on what my goals are and how to reach them. But I do believe that for someone just starting out this would be an enormously helpful course. It seems calming and empowering all at the same time. It definitely gives you a place to start and something to do while you figure it all out. You can read more about it in these articles.

If I were a new homeschool mom, I would have my husband go through the course with me. I think it would be a great way to get both parents on the same page, as well as answering any questions or concerns he might have.

In short, I would recommend this course to any mom who was brand new and terrified, or even mildly freaked out. It's a fantastic resource even if you have been homeschooling for a year or two or more.

Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Review
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