1. Helpful Links
There is a ridiculous amount of online information for homeschooling families, but here are a few basic sites that provide a lot of information, specifically for Central Oregon families.
- Here is the local Education Services District homeschool page
- And the Oregon State Department of Education page about homeschooling
- This is a comprehensive list of all the resources, programs and support that are available for homeschooling families here in Central Oregon.
- Also do check out OCEANetwork.org There is tons of info for any family just beginning their homeschool journey and lots of resources for veterans, too, all based out of Central Oregon.
- Seek out a local homeschool group or network. Here is a list of groups in Central Oregon:
- The Bridge School of the Arts and the Bridge Co-op Classes (Redmond)
- Central Oregon Christian Home Educators (COCHE)
- Central Oregon Homeschoolers of Redmond (COHR)
- Central Oregon Open Learners (COOL)
- Classical Conversations (Redmond and Bend)
- Crook County Home Educators
- LaPine Christian Home Educators
- Friday School Co-op in Bend
Here is a list of a few of the books that inspired me to start homeschooling:
- Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense by David Guterson. Number 1 on my list. Guterson was a high school teacher when he wrote this book and continued to teach while he and his wife homeschooled their kids. He and his dad have been great legal help to the homeschool community.
- The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. A Christian (but still applicable otherwise) approach to a Classical Education. A sort of "Bible" for Well Trained Mind fans...
- And the Skylark Sings with Me - Adventures in Homeschooling and Community-Based Education by David H. Albert. This was a fun book about interest-led learning done right. Brilliant. Albert does conferences and has written lots more, as well.
- Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto. You must read this book! When you're discouraged about your choice to home-educate, go back and browse all the underlining you've put in this book.
- So You're Thinking About Homeschooling: Fifteen Families Show How You Can Do It by Lisa Whelchel Yes- it's that Lisa Whelchel. I loved this book because she really shows the day to day life of families who homeschool as well as some creative approaches to handling challenges (single parent, small house, big family...etc.).
- A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning by Karen Andreola. Charlotte Mason's works are available, but are long and hard to get through for some modern and busy parents (i.e. all of us). Andreola has done a great job of condensing it all and adding her own wisdom from years of using the Charlotte Mason method.
I have so many favorite homeschool blogs, it's really hard to narrow it down. But I wanted to list a few that I return to again and again so YOU can go seek encouragement when you need it, fellow blog-loving-homeschool-mama or daddy!
- Simple Homeschool A great blog from a mom with two adopted kids and one of her own. Jamie is simply amazing.
- A Holy Experience If you haven't been to Ann's blog yet, go now.
- Academia Celestia
- Successful Homeschooling
- The Tie That Binds Us
- The Homeschool Classroom
- Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers
- A Thousand Words
- Rockin' Granola
- Small World At Home
- Yarns of the Heart
4. Homeschool Philosophies:There are many, but these seem to be most prevalent where I live.
- Unit studies -All learning ties into a common theme. For example, a unit on oceans would incorporate all topics under the common theme of "oceans." Lapbooks are an example of a mini-unit study.
- Classical education-This style is based on a model categorizing learning into three (or four) childhood stages: grammar, logic and rhetoric. Often incorporates things like latin, music, art and whole-books learning (not textbooks).
- Charlotte Mason- Education is three pronged: an atmosphere (physical space as well as mental), a discipline (narration, memorization, etc.), and a life (free play, room for open learning).
- Montessori method- Focuses on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural physiological development. Learning through experience.
- Unschooling- This theory is driven by the idea that children love to learn and will lead themselves to learn when given the proper stimulus and encouragement.
- Waldorf education- Focusing on an integrated approach, Waldorf learning (especially in the early years) comes through experience and awareness. Academics are often aside for a few years while children learn storytelling, art, social responsibility and appreciation for the natural world.
- School-at-home (or "all in one" curricula)- These are boxed curriculum including everything needed to teach a child for a year. Some school-at-home is actually just public school carried out at home.
- Eclectic- Simply a mix of all these other philosophies. Most home educators have an eclectic approach as they find an approach that works for themselves and the children they teach.
- Of course there are other philosophies, as well!
5. Other Random Stuff:
- Starfall is a great website- the "games" are very educational. You can practically teach your child to read using their free website.