We’ve homeschooled for a grand total of 12 years, and we’ve tried every style, philosophy and type of homeschooling you can think of.
In 2004, we pulled our then 2nd and 3rd graders out of public school. We did it without thinking, and without considering the huge responsibility that came with our choice. It was disastrous. They both went back to public school that fall. Then in 2007 our 7th grader asked to be homeschooled.
My immediate response?
A resounding no.
All I knew about homeschooling then, was that I didn’t want any part of it. But after very little research we agreed to do things the easy way. We signed our 6th and 7th graders up with an online school, while the rest of our girls attended public school.
That too, was disastrous.
For the next few years, we would try public school at home, multiple online charter schools, independent study, three days at home and two days on campus, and finally weekly check ins with a charter counselor.
After a sobering visit with the charter counselor, we realized it was time to take serious charge of our kids education. Our then 12th grader would not be able to graduate the following fall, and our 11th grader was in serious trouble.
In hind sight, it’s easy to see all this would’ve been avoided.
If I had only taken the time to:
- Pray for wisdom regarding our kids education.
- Learned all I could about homeschooling.
- Plugged-in to a homeschool community or support group.
- Connected with a mentor.
There was so much I didn’t know, so many opportunities lost, so many mistakes that would’ve been avoided.
If this is your first year, but even if it isn’t.
The purpose of education is to train the child to be a faithful servant of God, to seek holiness, and to be equipped (i.e., competent) to fulfill God’s commission.
– The California Homeschool Manual p. 17
A few years ago Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker received backlash when he suggested that the purpose of education was to “meet the state’s workforce needs”. Though many disagreed, I suggest to you that the basis of this statement is true in our society today.
Meet workforce needs, move on to the next stage, repeat.
Now, let me ask you…
Why did you decide to homeschool? Why is this the absolute best decision for your family?
Are you merely trying to prepare your children for college, entrepreneurship, missions work, or the workforce?
Chapter one of The California Homeschool Manual, covers this subject in detail. It encourages you to consider biblical admonitions, the law, your children, your family, your lifestyle, yourself.
All things I had not considered until my son’s senior year.
Are you legally homeschooling in your state?
Earlier this year, I took a closer look at homeschool laws in my state as well as others. California homeschoolers were under serious fire, and I was appalled at the lack of knowledge and understanding of homeschool laws, as well as at the lack of concern of the violation of homeschoolers rights.
The fundamental right of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children is guaranteed by the First, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.
– The California Homeschool Manual, p. 27
The homeschool manual outlines legal foundations, attendance laws, steps for withdrawing from public school and your private school set-up. Clearly lists private school requirements, record keeping best practices, required health records, immunizations waiver, and detailed instructions for completing the private school affidavit.
Again, so much I had not considered until several years into our homeschool journey.
Información en Español
California has a very high concentration of Spanish speakers, and the Spanish homeschool community is growing, not just in the United States but across the globe.
The California Homeschool Manual, includes a Spanish section. As a Spanish speaker, who has repeatedly searched for trustworthy information in my native tongue, I can’t tell you how excited I was to see this.
Despite the growing popularity of homeschooling among Spanish speakers, informational resources are very hard to come by. I highly recommend sharing this manual with your Spanish-speaking friends, regardless of the state you’re in since a listing of educational material providers is included.
Large selection of forms.
Many of us, are affiliated with an umbrella school, and therefore have access to a variety of forms. However for those of you who are not, you’ll find a large selection of samples and blank forms for planning and record keeping, in the back of the book. Below is a list of the forms you’ll find:
- courses of study
- attendance records
- lesson plans
- daily diaries
- reading records
- extra curricular activity records
- cumulative records
- high school transcripts
Why you should add it to your homeschool mom library.
After doing this homeschool thing for a while, it’s easy to become complacent and lose focus on why you began in the first place. We can get caught up in the activities, teaching methods and philosophy, learning styles and every homeschool mom’s favorite subject, curriculum.
Putting all that aside, I ask you again:
Why is homeschooling the absolute best decision for your family?
After reading this manual, I seriously began to ponder on this question. I began to remember and reflect on my why. Unlike other homeschool how-to books, the purpose of this one is to get you back to the very root, and to the true purpose of education.