A new land
On her first day in a foreign land, Kathy walked into a giant banquet hall. Hundreds of platters and bowls overflowed with unfamiliar foods. Eager hosts picked their way toward her through the mass of tables.
"Try everything and decide what you like," they said.
Kathy stared wide-eyed at her unorganized options. She spent all day sampling this and that. More often than not, she didn't know what she was eating. Some of it was great; some ... not. By the end of the day most things tasted the same and she couldn't even remember what she had liked and why.
Google ... a foreign smorgasbord
If you're new to homeschooling, an innocent Google search for "homeschooling" could transport you to a strange land of countless (well, only 4,820,000) options.
But don't worry. "Homeschool" only turns up around 20,000 results at www.amazon.com.
A friendly tour guide
Want a little help? Sonlight has been in the homeschool world for twenty years. We've even been around to see most of the current homeschool world come into existence and take its current shape.
Let us show you around some resource options. We won't give you an exhaustive tour; we'll just point you in a few helpful directions as you get your bearings. We're sure you'll discover more goodies from there!
So here it goes. If you're new (or not) to homeschooling, consider these helps:
- The 2012 Homeschool Blog Awards
This list of award-winning homeschool blogs is a great place to find some fun and helpful bloggers.
- Books and Bairns
Meet Mary Grace, a fun Christian homeschooler with a true knack for writing. You'll appreciate her obvious passion for children and homeschooling.
- Homeschooling Research Notes
Wonder what's happening in the larger conversation about homeschooling? Head to Milton Gaither's blog to find links and thoughtful responses to what others are saying about homeschooling.
- The Pioneer Woman
There's no disputing this blog's popularity. If you want to be in the loop about the most widely acclaimed homeschooling mom blogger, head to her site.
- for Evangelical Christian homeschoolers
- Home School Enrichment
This non-denominational evangelical magazine is filled with encouraging articles that offer practical advice and real inspiration for homeschoolers. Home School Enrichment happens to be a favorite among homeschoolers who use Sonlight Curriculum. Click here to request a free sample issue.
- Practical Homeschooling
Written from a theologically and politically conservative perspective, Practical Homeschool speaks to everything from creative teaching ideas to paying for college to political trends that could affect homeschooling. Six issues each year.
- The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
Available digitally, as well as a HUGE annual print edition, this free bi-monthly publication offers practical helps for homeschool families. Hear from popular authors such as Heidi St. John and Dr. Brian Ray, read product reviews, sign up for the e-newsletter and more.
- Home School Enrichment
- for Catholic homeschoolers
- Mater et Magistra
Taking its name from the concept of the Church as mother and teacher, this magazine offers encouragement and practical suggestions for Catholic homeschooling families.
- Mater et Magistra
- for non-religious homeschoolers
- A magazine for those homeschooling for non-religious reasons, Secular Homeschooling provides practical suggestions, thought-provoking articles and curriculum reviews.
Center for Homeschool Liberty (CHL) and The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) are sources of help, advice and resources about homeschooling and laws. They provide legal assistance to families who face a government challenge of their homeschool rights. Head to their sites for homeschool regulations and organizations in your state and lots of relevant statistics and information about homeschooling.
General Homeschooling Website
- The Heart of the Matter
Clean and friendly, this Christian homeschooling website offers organized encouragement and help for your journey.
- 7 Secrets to Finding the Best Homeschool Curriculum by Carletta Sanders
This free e-book walks you step by step through the process of finding the right style of homeschool curriculum for your family. The most helpful part of this book might be Chapter Four (i.e., "Secret 4-Learn About Different Homeschool Methods"), which gives helpful overviews of each major curriculum style. Click here for the e-book.
- The Way They Learn by Cynthia Tobias
Ever wonder if you and your children came from different planets? Cynthia Tobias helps you determine the difference between how your children learn best and how you teach best (even if those are completely different styles!). She brings her sense of humor to the fore and gives great suggestions regarding how to successfully mesh learning and teaching styles.
- The Three R’s by Ruth Beechick
Dr. Beechick's educational philosophy (including the concept that parents can be their children's best teachers) is a foundation of Sonlight Curriculum. This volume is jam-packed with down-to-earth help for the early grades. She offers the basics you need to know about teaching early reading, language arts and math and gives plenty of fun suggestions (like teaching math concepts by matching socks!).
- Help for the Harried Homeschooler by Christine Field
Find help balancing the many roles involved in the homeschool life: teacher, parent, spouse and more. Experienced homeschool mom Christine Field helps you find balance in your life.
We hope this provides some helpful places to start. If you have any questions regarding homeschooling, don't hesitate to contact a Sonlight Homeschool Advisor for some free help.
For help brainstorming about your family's homeschool adventure, check out "How to Set Great Goals for Your Homeschool" or learn how to "Find Your Curriculum Style."