Dear Mother of a Preschooler

Hello! I’m Michelle Curren, a retired homeschool mom of two. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be a guest on This Wife & Mommy Life and write a note especially to you! You’re probably thinking about your precious preschooler’s future and what educational path you’ll choose for them. As you’re considering this important topic, I want to present homeschooling as one of your options. I’ve helped many families get started and I would love to help you, too!

Designed to Learn

You’ve already watched your child learn to roll over, sit up, walk and talk. You’ve shared in their excitement as they’ve overcome challenges. I know my babies were trying to roll over and sit up before I was ready (they grow up too fast!) and yet, there they were trying to figure it out, with or without my help. Homeschooling is much the same way. Your child was designed to learn and explore their environment. As a homeschool mom, your job will be to provide resources, guidance, and encouragement.

Maybe you’re already teaching them their ABCs and 123s. That’s the beginning of spelling and math. If you’ve shown them how to hold a crayon, that’s the beginning of writing and fine motor skills. Have you taken them to a zoo? There’s science. Do you read them bedtime stories? There’s listening skills, vocabulary, and grammar. Homeschooling isn’t as hard as you may be imagining. Learning is everywhere!

Our Story

When my son was about three years old, I started having thoughts about homeschooling. I didn’t know anyone who did it. I had never even heard of it before! The first time I mentioned it, my husband said, “No way!” But you know what? God changed my husband’s heart and made it clear that He wanted us to homeschool. There weren’t near as many resources on the internet back then, but through research I managed to get started.

That was at the beginning of my son’s 2nd grade year. His little sister had just turned three, but she wanted to join in, too. She listened in on read-alouds and helped with art projects. As she grew up, I added more activities for her until she was officially being homeschooled, too. As a result, she had a larger vocabulary and seemed more mature than most children her age. Both kids were homeschooled until they graduated and they are both doing very well.

Homeschooling was a huge blessing for us and I would do it all over in a heartbeat! That’s why I want to make sure that you have the opportunity to consider it for your family. You can read more about our story in “The Birth of Curren Christian Academy.”

Benefits

Homeschooling isn’t just an educational choice, it’s a lifestyle that offers many benefits such as quality time, stronger family bonds, freedom and flexibility.

  • You’re free to choose the approach and curriculum that best suit your family’s needs.
  • Your schedule can be tailored to work around other obligations and opportunities.
  • Your children will spend more time around you and other caring adults, resulting in a larger vocabulary, more maturity, and better character.
  • They’ll spend more time with their siblings, creating stronger bonds between them.
  • Children have the consistency of the same teacher and peers (siblings) as they grow up.
Fears

The idea of homeschooling may be scary. Can you spend all day, every day with your children? Do you have enough patience? Is it expensive? Are you smart enough? What will your family say? Will your children have any friends? Will they be…weird?

Do you have to sew all their clothes and wear denim jumpers?

LOL! That’s my sense of humor! I have nothing against denim jumpers, and most moms don’t sew their kids’ clothes. (Although there are some that do.) I think all homeschool moms had at least some of those fears in the beginning.

As I already mentioned, your children will be different if they’re with you all the time. Parenting still requires patience and persistence, but if you train your children, they will be enjoyable to be around. If you’re struggling with discipline, I highly recommend books by Dr. James Dobson. (I have a page of recommended homeschooling books on my blog, which includes Dr. Dobson’s for child training.)

If you have any of the above fears, I invite you to read my guest post for Proverbial Homemaker where I discuss each of them more in-depth.

Yes, You’re Good Enough

As a mother, you already love your child and want what’s best for them. Believe it or not, that’s the only prerequisite to be a good homeschool mom.

Dr. Brian Ray, of the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), has done extensive research on homeschooled kids. The results of his research will probably surprise you. Be sure to visit his site and read all about it, but in summary, it shows that homeschooled children consistently outperform students in both public and private schools. The education level, economic class, and race of the parents make an almost indiscernible difference. As long as the parents are diligent, homeschooled children do very well.

The Alternatives

Sometimes parents consider putting their children in public school for a year or two and then homeschooling. I want to caution you about that. It may sound good, but often parents find theirselves with behavior problems as a result.

Just the other day I saw a mother asking for recommendations for books that taught about sex, because she had to undo what her children had already learned from peers during their short stay in public school.

The most common question I hear is, “What about socialization?” (Yes, I have a post about that, too!) You have to realize that there are both positive and negative types of socialization. Under negative, I would list things such as bullying, indoctrination, and peer pressure, all types of socialization that will likely be encountered in the public schools. Homeschooled children participate in all sorts of activities that offer opportunities for socialization. Even just being among family members is socializing. Trust me. It isn’t a problem.

In another group, I saw a photo that a mother shared of a local school’s registration form. When it came to “gender” it had about ten different choices that could be checked. No matter what your beliefs are, passing them on to your children is your right as parents. When children spend about 35 hours per week at school, you have no idea what they’re being taught, by teachers or peers. Homeschooling means knowing who your children are spending time with and having some control over their influences.

There are many good private schools, but they are expensive, and the teacher/student ratio can’t compete with homeschooling.

Great Beginnings

Homeschooling young children doesn’t take very long or require very many resources. In fact, Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore, advocated not having structured schooling until later in a child’s life. (Their book is also on my “recommended” list.) For preschool up to about first grade, you could probably do it in 30 minutes to an hour. You learn to teach them as you go about your day, doing your housework and running errands. As they get older, you gradually add more structure and time. That gives you plenty of time to learn more about approaches, curriculum, and find a routine that works for you. Starting young means having plenty of time to learn the ropes.

I’m Here to Help

Should you decide to homeschool, I’ve written an ebook called “9 Easy Steps to Homeschooling” that’s meant to be printed out and worked through. My advice comes from my own fourteen years of homeschooling, and has been honed by helping many other families get started. It’s well worth it’s small price, but you can get a coupon code for 50% off by subscribing to my blog. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

I’ve written a lot of posts for the encouragement of homeschooling families. Many of them are more in-depth on the above topics. I invite you to visit my blog at http://midlifeblogger.com, and choose the Homeschooling category to read more.

Thank you, Kristin, for this opportunity to address your readers!

Michelle Curren, Mid-Life Blogger

Related Reading

The “S” Word ~ What About Socialization? Link: http://midlifeblogger.com/s-word-socialization/

Homeschooling Fears ~ What’s Holding You Back? http://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/homeschooling-fears-whats-holding-back.html

Helpful Links

Homeschooling Pinterest Board:  http://pin.it/u-fgnx1

Homeschooling Preschool Pinterest Board:  http://pin.it/UTyx52U

 

 

About the Guest Blogger

Michelle Curren homeschooled for fourteen years and graduated both of her children. Her son is a small business owner and her daughter is in college. She lives with her husband on a rural homestead in the Missouri Ozarks with a menagerie of dogs, cats, and poultry. Writing as Mid-Life Blogger, she hopes to encourage the next generation of homeschooling families.

Her blog can be found at http://midlifeblogger.com.

 

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