I love home education. I love that it is something that is always changing and growing. I also acknowledge that there are times it can be very frustrating and overwhelming. We have four children; two boys ages 9 and 5 and two girls who are 3 and 2 weeks old! It can get pretty crazy around here for sure; I mean I am not the only one who has kids who are all totally different in how they learn and play right? 🙂 For this reason, I was so happy to have the chance to review the Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Course by Successful Homeschooling Made Easy created by Stephanie Walmsley. What a great opportunity as I try to plan and continue on in our homeschool with a new baby in the home.
Stephanie Walmsley started her very own journey as a homeschoolers, in 1985. She moved in what was at that time “…a lonely world of homeschooling”; fine tuning and developing her own methods as time went on. The Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Course was born out of her success with her own system and a desire to help share her wisdom with the many who were coming into homeschooling and struggling with the massive amounts of information out there and a lack of organization too (sound familiar? I remember and still have those times myself).
Successful Homeschooling Made Easy is a digital course. All of the lessons are sent as PDF files by email each week. This course is designed for the new homeschooler as well as the seasoned homeschooler who may be burned out and stressed out. There are 26 weeks of lessons in all covering every thing you could imagine that relates to homeschooling from what to expect when you being, to scheduling your day and even managing your home.
Each lesson is about 10-15 pages and contains:
- The Preface
- The Lesson to Read and Questions to Consider (and Answer)
- A Summary
- An assignment (No sweating!)
- A peek into what comes next
I was so excited to receive this and I used Successful Homeschooling Made Easy through all 9 weeks of the program. I printed everything out as soon as I received it and put it in a nice little three ring binder so that I could make notes, highlight and reference back to the program as I went along. Each week when I received a new lesson I would print it off and throughout the week I would read, a little here and a little there as time allowed. There were also exercises for us to complete at the end of each week’s lesson and so I would take some time to pray and ponder those things. Don’t worry, there are no right answers, there is no pressure, its simply a way of digging a bit deeper and meant to help you mold your homeschool into what you need it to be.
As you work through the lessons, you really will begin to develop a greater vision for your homeschool. This truly was a wonderful course and it really helped me to focus at a time when I was burning myself out and stressing myself out worrying about how I was going to get it all done with one more in the house. That said, can I say one more time, that this was such a blessing? The timing so right; it was a great refreshing desperately needed. And it encouraged me to make that time for myself, quiet time, to plan, and prepare for our children (every one in their own way), and to manage our vision for our family and for our homeschool. ❤
Of course, this course begins at the very beginning. Let’s be honest, its so important for new homeschoolers to begin by having a schedule of some kind. We are reminded to keep it reasonable; something that is not overwhelming but that can be done. We want to see success no matter how great or small. Make sure its fun too – my kids love bugs and animals (lots of nature study time outside when we can); we read aloud together lots; my oldest son loves art and music; my two littler ones enjoy building and doing crafts, using playdoh and singing and dancing. We all love to learn and do, at the same time (think science experiments, gardens, growing tadpoles to frogs and caterpillars to butterflies). In the beginning make it count; make it fun! And slowly add in that other stuff. The beauty of home education is that we can, and should, make it whatever it needs to be for our children. No pressure, no rush. Encourage them to learn in a way that helps them to love to learn.
I can say honestly we regularly fine tune our homeschool. Because my kids grow and they change. How they learn and what they want to learn, it changes as they get bigger. My daughter loves ponies so we have fun coloring and reading about them. My oldest is trying to learn Chinese, he is very visual and very kinesthetic so we have to keep things interesting; teach in a way that he can see how it matters to him – and so he can move as he does lessons each day. My younger son is learning to read and do basic math; he also likes to know how things work and how they are made. Lots of variety in our homeschool; they keep me on my toes. At the same time we are also learning how to have a balance. We do not ned to do every co-op activity and class that is offered. There are so many aazing activities out there we can get wrapped up in; then we get too busy and we lose our focus. We forget that vision we had. That said we have a few activities we are involved with; we are in the process of starting a homeschool co-op in our church (an informal one) where our kids can come together to learn and build volcanos that erupt, to play ball and make music, maybe study a language or culture together!
I absolutely recommend this course. Whether you are new to homeschooling or you have been in this for awhile and need some fresh eyes; this is an excellent course. I mean, let’s face it, sometimes we just need to scratch it all and go back to the drawing board. And sometimes we are just stuck; we lose that zest and we need to refocus. I love how no matter who you are or where you are in your journey, there is lots here for you! You can even download the first lesson for free.
Connect with Stephanie: