First off, not to digress, but I always thought Mary Poppins said 'Just begun is half done.' But it seems she might have said well begun or once begun. I wanted to clarify that before I started for those of you who get annoyed at things like that :). Okay we can begin then.
You may remember the scene. Mary Poppins, Jane, and Micheal are looking into the very messy nursery. The thought of cleaning it up is quite daunting as it appears to be a monumental task that will take the entire day. The children are overwhelmed at the thought of all the work they will have to do, and they would rather just close the door and run away. Mary then points out that work that is simply begun is half done. Then they snap their fingers and everything goes away into it's home.
So, I'm not going to be able to give you any secret keys that allow you to snap your fingers and allow your school year to fall into place, but I AM going to bring Ms. Mary's advice into this series of posts.
"Just begun is half done." I can assure you that the hardest part of homeschooling, is to start. You can plan all you want, buy all the things you want, talk all you want, but all you really need to do is to START.
Now, when I say that starting is the hardest part, what I mean is the decision to start is the hardest part. The actual work, you may find is waaaay easier then you ever imagined.
So how do you start? If you have purchased curriculum, you may choose to write out lesson plans and follow the guides in the book. But, you may just want to see if homeschooling might work for you before you start planning it all. I know of many families who have tried homeschooling during the summer time, or even tried after schooling (adding extra learning to the school year) to see if it is something that might work for them.
One idea may be to find something your children are interested in-lets use the moon as an example. You can help them find books at the library about the moon, look up internet sites about the moon, visit the planetarium or science museum near you, go outside at night and observe the moon. Ask them to draw pictures of the phase of the moon you observe. Look at a calendar and see how the moon cycles through the month...the list can go on. That's just an idea of MINE.
You can plan and schedule and make lists until you are blue in the face. But even though I know I gave you a whole list of ways to plan yesterday, I also want to challenge you to not over think this. Things are not going to go 100% smoothly, and that's OKAY. Things may change 1/2 way through the year, but that's not something you can plan for right now. You can ask all the homeschooling moms you know 487,000 questions, but you are never going to know EVERYTHING until you have experienced something.
You, like Jane and Michael, might be looking at the new world of homeschooling and feeling overwhelmed. You might imagine all the little things you might have to do, all the challenges that could come up, all the things that could go wrong, and be afraid to start. You might be tempted to just close the door on homeschooling, sign the kids up for school and be done with it. But, I would challenge you to not give up so easily.
Just beginning the journey is at least half the battle. With everyday, every lesson, every success under your belt, your confidence will grow and you will begin to feel like maybe you can do this! And, that confidence will help you when you come to tough times in the journey.
Start simple, start small, start with something you can easily plan and easily finish. But mostly, the most important part of the beginning the homeschool journey...is to just START.
Thank you for stopping by! Tomorrow I will be wrapping up with the some of the misconceptions of homeschooling, and also some of the honest truths that you may have to work through. Pretty much the 'but I...' questions that I believe are swirling around in your head now, I hope you will come back.