Our first message in this series helps you prepare for your best year yet.
Tea with Julie

Welcome to "Tea with Julie," a weekly missive by me, Julie Bogart. My wish is to give you food for thought over a cup of tea to enhance your life as an educator, parent, and awesome adult. Glad you're here. Pinkies up!
P.S. Was this email forwarded to you? 
Add yourself to the list and get your own!

Cincinnati, August 15, 2020

Hi Friend,

Are you new to homeschooling? So glad you're here. Even if you are not new, it's always good to get a refresher at the start of a new school year.

Here are ten tips for newbies and those wanting to re-up for the new year: 

1. Establish a philosophy of education, first. You may shift or change it over the years (of course you will), but start there anyway. You want to know

  • why you are home educating,
  • how you understand learning,
  • what you believe your role is in your children’s lives as educator,
  • and how you expect your home to feel while you home educate.

2. A curriculum does not provide you with a philosophy of education. It will reflect the philosophy of its creators, but it can’t create peace in your home. It can’t cause learning. Natural learning comes from how you understand home education and what you do to create the context for learning to flourish. As you deepen your relationship to your kids and understand what learning really is, you’ll discover what sorts of books and educational tools foster peace and progress and which ones undermine them. It’s up to YOU to create the context. No book or tool will do it for you.

3. You don’t have to answer all your questions about homeschool before you start. Some of your answers come in the “doing.” Get started—now, imperfectly—and then evaluate. Then try something new and see how that goes. As you do, you'll become aware of how learning happens best with your kids.

4. Give the materials you purchase a fair trial. It’s not enough to page through them and give a half effort and then declare that the program doesn’t work. Prepare—read, ponder, try a few of the problems or exercises yourself first. Even “open and go” curricula work better if you understand the goals of the program.

  • Use the tools for several weeks, adapting and adjusting how you use them, to determine if they work for your child or not, if your child likes the program or not.
  • Be conscientious.
  • Spend time outside “school hours” reading and discovering how to teach math or grammar or to prepare for a science experiment. 

If all the tools you use are “open and go,” it could be that “nobody is home” in your homeschool. It could be that you are falling into the trap of “getting done” rather than enjoying your educational exploration.

5. Scrap curricula no matter how much it costs if it causes your children misery.

6. You matter. Homeschool is not a solo experience, even if you are unschooling your kids. You are the most critical educational tool in your child’s life. You provide conversation, reactions, enthusiasm, tools, money, involvement, partnership, modeling, typing, bragging, and pride in your child’s accomplishments. Your kids need YOU, not just supervision.

7. Remember that not every day will be a “good one.” Some are boring, some make people unhappy, some are ridiculously harmonious and exciting. So is life. Homeschool is life. Expect it to have ups and downs and resist the temptation to analyze it too carefully. Let homeschool be the warp and woof of your lives together.

8. Be around supportive cheerleaders, not naggers, not naysayers, not relatives in the school system who don’t believe in homeschool. Makes friends who support your choice. Do not be isolated. Get help.

9. Take pictures and jot down anything good! Keep records not just for “credit” but for your memories! Homeschool is delightful. Celebrate it by treating it like a birthday party. Get good photos, display them. Write the funny comments your kids say, or the amazing facts they recite. Keep these as souvenirs of a life well-lived together.

10. Take breaks! You need them. I suggest once a week getting away from the house alone for a cafe latte or to take a walk. Go somewhere to process and reflect. Make adjustments. Take notes on your own thought process about learning. Then come back renewed.

You can do this and we are here every step of the way to support you!

Looking for more ideas and insight between Saturdays? I invite you to follow me on Instagram.





P.S. Catch up on all the “Tea with Julie” emails here!

Julie Bogart
© 2020 Brave Writer LLC™

Brave Writer




Share this email: