The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child

The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child: Your Complete Guide to Getting Off to the Right Start

Tomorrow we “officially” begin homeschooling. Since we made the decision, the Universe keeps sending little messages to assure us we are doing the right thing.

1) A notice in the mail stating the school day is going to be lengthened by a half hour. This, for a child who was barely holding it together as it was.

2) A notice from the school stating it is failing miserably in the mandated standardized tests. Now, don’t get me wrong. I know this means nothing. We live in a very economically diverse area, where some parents for various reasons don’t help kids with school work. Kids aren’t going to do well if parents aren’t involved. They aren’t going to do well if they aren’t getting sleep, or good food, etc. and the school can’t solve all the problems, but what this will mean is more “teaching to the test,” which has little to do with true learning in my humble opinion. 

3) A video sent to me by a friend, (up on my dog page) with the message: When you let go of how you think things are supposed to go, you make room for even better possibilities. When I watched this, I got teary. It is exactly what we have been thinking regarding Riley. Todd had the same verklempt reaction when he saw it. Our girl just might be too cool for school.  

4) A connection made with Linda Dobson, author of the book pictured above. She is a veteran homeschooler and has a wonderful blog full of valuable info. She personally e-mailed me after I left a comment on her blog, and then took the time to answer a question I had.  She’s just revamped her website, Parent at the Helm and I put it on my blog roll should you want to check it out. 

5) I went to check out the Unity church here today. It is within walking distance to our house, but we had not been. We loved the Unity church we attended in Virginia, but since we moved here, things just weren’t clicking in a way for us to attend. Riley was so exhausted all the time, and Sundays were the only day of the week where we didn’t ask anything of her. Sundays were for staying in pajamas and gathering her energy. She needed that like she needed oxygen.

Well, let me tell you, church today was awesome. One of my friends from chorus is the music director there and the church service is soooo musically infused, it left me feeling I’d been presented with a precious gift, just by being there. And, the church has a children’s choir, should mine choose to partake.     

Before, we used to think homeschooling would be too taxing on us. We didn’t think about the energy which was being depleted, by trying to force Riley into a box that didn’t fit.

We didn’t feel like we were qualified teachers, but what a farce that is. Riley has been the teacher all along, leading us down a path we never expected, but are so glad to have taken.

It will be an adjustment, but it’s going to be good.

There is always so much to learn.

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15 Responses to The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child

  1. *m* says:

    I am excited for you. My college roommate happily and successfully homeschools her kids, and one of my colleagues is about to begin homeschooling hers.

    We see a lot of homeschooling families in the library in which I work. Home Education is a magazine that a lot of these families read (website is Author, science guru, and homeschooling mom Rebecca Rupp has also written a number of great books that you might find helpful.

    Looking forward to reading about your exciting new adventure!

  2. amber says:

    “We didn’t think about the energy which was being depleted, by trying to force Riley into a box that didn’t fit.”–

    I believe it. I really think it is all going to be good. Very good!


  3. Carrie Link says:

    “We didn’t feel like we were qualified teachers, but what a farce that is. Riley has been the teacher all along, leading us down a path we never expected, but are so glad to have taken.”

    I’m feeling it.

    I’m feeling it big time.

  4. drama mama says:

    Sending good juju your way -!

  5. Dawn says:

    I’m imagining peaceful evening’s at Camp O’neill where Miss Riley is not undone by homework and keeping up with her classmates and I cannot wait for this part of your collective journey to begin.

    Love & new beginnings XO

  6. elizabeth says:

    Wow. I’m filled with admiration for mothers who take this plunge into homeschooling! I wish that I’d done it years ago with my daughter, especially. I can’t wait to stay posted to your progress!

  7. Jenny R says:

    Good luck tomorrow!

  8. I’m so happy for you! I remember how relieved I felt when I made the decision to homeschool Nigel and everything just came together. It definitely makes you feel that you’re doing the right thing! xoxo

  9. Amanda says:

    Kind of “If you want something doing, do it yourself” but so much more. I don’t think Seth will be going out to school for much longer – this just seems to be the right path for you and yours. Wishing you happiness in your new adventure! X

  10. Stacey Reynolds says:

    Michelle, It’s Stacey from Baltimore. How can I get in touch with you??? You can reach me at or (804)828-2288. I want you to write something for an SI-OT publication I edit for. Hope you are well…

  11. Betty says:

    It’s a good choice!

  12. Hello
    Its really interesting to read this post about your home schooling.I came to know certain new things about parents and kids.Thank you very much for this nice post.Keep up the good work.

  13. kario says:

    You will make a wonderful teacher for Riley and I’m so pleased that your decision has been so wonderfully validated thus far.

    As for the local school doing poorly on standardized tests, I say pfffft! Our local school is “the best” – better than any other in the state at taking standardized tests and they’re still failing Eve.


  14. Kathryn says:

    Oh God I love this post. I am so happy things have worked out so well.

  15. amy Smith says:

    wow-I have read your blog, lurking-ly for a while and every now and then leave a comment-your from the same neck of the woods as my husband and I grew up not too far from there either. I have a 10 year old with HFA and recently just pulled him out of school-and began on January 4th! I had not been to your blog for a while and was shocked and excited to see that you had done the same. I stressed over it for a year or more-and have felt sick and lost since the class had a goodbye party for him the day before break. Every day I wonder if I did the right thing. I wonder if I will ever know. I hope for the same “sureness” that you feel one day. We had a wonderful school that did all that they could to help and had much success, but the gaps started to widen. In my mind I wanted to prevent any future damage, and so he was not pulled from school out of anger or dissatisfaction. So the nagging feeling lingers….maybe he could have made it. I will be checking in much more to hear about your new tales of homeschooling-it is such a different world, is it not? The adventure begins……

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