making the decision to homeschool

The reasons for homeschooling are as wide and varied as homeschoolers are themselves.  Some people homeschool right from the beginning, and others make the switch after their kids spend some time in public or private school first.   For some, homeschooling is just a temporary pit-stop, and for others it’s a lifelong commitment.

There’s a whole subset called “accidental homeschoolers”, who never dreamed they’d be homeschooling their kids but their circumstances changed and they now find themselves happily homeschooling.  Many accidental homeschoolers pulled their kids out of public school after something clicked for them and they suddenly knew that keeping their kids there would just not be acceptable anymore, whether the academics were lacking, or the pop-culture social fabric was too much for them, or perhaps even they perceived their child’s safety being at risk.  There are many reasons people find themselves homeschooling.

If you’re considering homeschooling, look up the pertinent laws in your state and consider that information in your decision making process.  Some states require very little record-keeping or paperwork, and in others the reporting requirements can be overwhelming.  Next, look into potential homeschool curricula you’d like to use with your kids and compare the pros and cons of each.  There are many choices, and it will take some time to narrow down your favorites.

The decision to homeschool is an immensely personal one.  Don’t be swayed by well-meaning friends and family, unless you’ve asked for and value their input.  With some thoughtful consideration, you’ll be able to make the right choice for your family, whether it is homeschooling or not.

Tall Tales

Second graders are at an age where vivid imaginations abound, and they’re beginning to be able to really express themselves through their reading and writing.  Tall tales, sometimes called folk tales, are the perfect thing to use as an enrichment activity to break up a boring school day.

Stories of Johnny Appleseed, Mike Fink, Davy Crockett, and Paul Bunyan, just to name a few, really get kids thinking and imagining.  What a great way for a 2nd grade homeschooler to spend an afternoon!  You can check out books from the library about these famous people, and then use the subject as a theme for art projects, writing prompts, and all sorts of other things.

You could also incorporate some of these tall tales into your regular curriculum.  For example, when learning about fall apples, talk about Johnny Appleseed, or when doing a history lesson about pioneers in Tennessee, learn about Davy Crockett.  (He was also in the battle at the Alamo – so you could use him there too!)  The possibilities are endless, and tall tales and folk legends appeal to the fun side of a 2nd grader, making regular school lessons a bit more bearable.