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Homeschool: Where to Begin


Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.                       
Malcolm Forbes
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For many months, even before the final decision was made, I’ve been scouring the internet for state requirements, legal help, curriculums, personal stories, and anything that can help as we set up our homeschool.  If you haven’t had the pleasure of comparing unschooling, Charlotte Mason, classical education, and a list of other ways of homeschooling, you’re saving yourself a headache.  The more I read the more I thought what I have gotten into?  How am I going to know what kind of books to get, where to start, how to lay out the school years, etc. etc.?  I mean I can divide the required hours into an actual calendar year, but what exactly were we going to be doing to fill those hours?

Enter The Well-Trained Mind.  A classical education fit with the structure and order in which both my children and I thrive, but as I tried to read the book I thought I had made a mistake.  It wasn’t until I stopped trying to read every word that  I realized a comprehensive plan with plenty of room for adjustments was right there; along with a number of different book series for every subject.  For us, this was the How, Where, Why, What, and When of it!

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A couple of Amazon orders later and with many, many books ‘donated’ to our humble little school from a fellow homeschooler and family, we’ve begun working on our yearly schedule, which begins in just a couple of weeks.  Yeah, I’ve heard it from the kids why do we have to start in the summer!?  But when I told them we’d have five to six hour days, four days a  week, they quit complaining.

On the social side of things, we’ve been lucky that Teagan’s involvement with PFAA has helped to introduce us to many homeschooling families and I’m very grateful for the class he’s already been taking with some of them along with the advice given.  In August we hope to get more involved with a coop group out of Lebanon and I’m sure that the kids will be playing soccer and hopefully starting piano lessons.

Some people might think we’re crazy and other’s might think we’re brave but what I know is that there is no doubt in my mind that I can provide, just as good, if not a better education for my children than anyone else.  My responsibility as a parent is to help them learn the skills necessary to live productive, fulfilling, meaningful lives.  I’m sure it’s not going to be easy, but life isn’t easy. 


Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.                               Theodore Roosevelt


It’s no surprise to anyone who’s had a conversation with me this past year that we have decided to homeschool.  As we work our way through the year I’ll be giving updates about assignments, trips, products and the basic trials and tribulations along the way.
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Erin Sipes
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