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Homeschool 101s: Insights and Tips from the Spanish Fork Event

As co-executive director of Homeschool Hub Utah, I had the privilege of attending the Homeschool 101 event in Spanish Fork. Listening to the personal stories and practical tips from seasoned homeschoolers was both inspiring and enlightening. Here are some key takeaways from the event that can guide anyone considering or currently on the homeschooling journey.



Emphasizing Family Culture

Anna from Spanish Fork shared a poignant insight about the importance of family culture in homeschooling. "I'm really glad I focused on family culture and keeping the kids at home during my first years while they were little. As they get older, they are so busy (speaking of her 17-year-old)." Her words highlight how creating a strong family bond and culture can be a cornerstone of successful homeschooling.


Personal and Flexible Approaches

Nany reminded us of the deeply personal nature of homeschooling decisions: "Every reason to homeschool is as personal as choosing how to have your family." Kaylie added, "We don't know every year how we're going to do it but it works out and we figure it out." Their experiences underscore the importance of flexibility and adaptability in homeschooling.



Youthful Voices

Hearing from the youth themselves was particularly enlightening. They shared how homeschooling allowed them to pursue their passions and enjoy more family time. Here are a few of their thoughts:


- "I like homeschool because I could get my black belt and I get to spend time with my friends."

- "I love to homeschool because I have the best brother in the world."

- "I was afraid to tell my friends [that I was going to be homeschooled]. But they were excited when they learned and wanted to be homeschooled, too. I get to do cool things like cooking, sewing, ropes course and more."


Transitioning with Support

Transitioning to homeschooling, especially for older children, can be a significant shift. One mom shared her strategy: One mom of teens wants to pull her kids out of school. Her oldest, however, wants to stay in public school. "So, he'll do that," she says. The next child will do part-time public school and the rest of the time will be at home learning. Having the older kids take responsibility for their education is healthy. "Now I get to do the things I want to do [referring to homeschooling her kids]," she says, "And I get to be their mentor."


Quotes from veteran moms on what they wish they had known before they started homeschooling were displayed.

Mentorship and Planning

Effective homeschooling often involves structured support and planning. Katie shared that regular mentor meetings and family councils can provide this structure:


- Mentor Meetings: Parents meet with their children once a week, bring their planners, and discuss what they need to focus on and what support they need.

- Family Council: Regular family meetings with a calendar to schedule and plan activities are crucial for guiding and motivating kids.


Choosing the Right Curriculum

Selecting a curriculum can be daunting, but, as one veteran mom pointed out, these steps can simplify the process:


1. The curriculum doesn't really matter very much.

2. Figure out how you want your homeschool to look and what values you want to prioritize.

3. Read up on different curriculums and see if they resonate with you.

4. Narrow down to a curriculum that aligns with your values and your child's learning style.

5. Be flexible and willing to change if something doesn't work.


Encouraging Interests and Fun

One of the most exciting aspects of homeschooling is the ability to tailor learning to your child’s interests and make it fun. Here are some suggested activities by veteran moms to foster a love for learning:


- Watch science videos together.

- Play educational games.

- Go swimming.

- Have daily devotionals and discussions.

- Provide lots of experiences, travel, and fun activities.

- Encourage reading and learning in a way that avoids excessive screen time.

- Focus on building relationships and creating a bond with your kids.


Conclusion

The insights and experiences shared at the Spanish Fork Homeschool 101 event reaffirmed that homeschooling is a dynamic and rewarding journey. By emphasizing family culture, maintaining flexibility, and fostering a love for learning, we can create a nurturing and effective educational environment for our children. It was a joy to listen to these stories and I am excited to see how our homeschooling community continues to grow and thrive.


Would you like to attend a Homeschool 101? I guarantee you won't regret it! Check out which ones are happening in July and August near you!

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