As a veteran homeschooling mom, many women families who are just embarking on the homeschool journey often come to me for advice and wisdom.  I have always wished I had something very concrete I could offer them.  Now I have it.  It is called How to HOMESCHOOL with Stunning Confidence, Contagious Joy, and Amazing Focus (DVD & Coursebook) from Apologia Educational Ministries.  It is an excellent tool for anyone starting to homeschool.

Embarking on the homeschooling journey today can be quite daunting.  Where do you start? What do you do first?  How do you choose curriculum? What will homeschooling even look like?  What do I do about the naysayers?  This little program is designed to help a new family in every one of these areas and more.

The program was created by two fantastic long time homeschooling moms Rachel Carman and Leslie Nunnery.  Included in the program are two DVDS and a course workbook.  You’ll sit back and watch as Rachel and Leslie share their experiences as homeschooling moms.  They share with you have they’ve worked hard to disciple their children to love Jesus with all their might. Thier style is very open and honest.  You’ll turn off the DVD each time feeling a little less lost in this crazy maze of homeschooling.

Each video segment is short and sweet lasting no more than about 15 minutes.  They tie together perfectly with the workbook.  There are 15 chapters broken into six separate sections.  Within the book, you’ll find a place for notetaking and an assignment for you to finish.  I highly recommend following through as I feel that’s that best way to get the most out the course.

Here is session 1: How to Get the Most out of This Course, for you to preview:

Here is how the coursebook is broken down:
  • Introduction: Join Us on the Journey
  • Chapter 1: How to Get the Most Out of This Course
Designing Your Road Map
  • Chapter 2: Setting Goals for the Journey
  • Chapter 3: Finding Support
  • Chapter 4: Choosing Curriculum
Finding Your Way
  • Chapter 5: Practical How-To’s (Nuts & Bolts)
  • Chapter 6: Organizing Your Homeschool Stuff
  • Chapter 7: Organizing Your Homeschool Day
  • Chapter 8: Tip from Veterans
Navigating the Detours
  • Chapter 9: Family Matters-Marriage
  • Chapter 10: Family Matters-The Rest
  • Chapter 11: Dealing with Opposition
Arriving at Your Destination
  • Chapter 12: High School Graduation and College
  • Chapter 13: If College Is Not the End Game
  • Chapter 14: You Can Make It!
Beginning Your Journey
  • Chapter 15: Continuing Education and Encouragement Opportunities

If at all possible both mom and dad should work through the course together.  What a powerful team you’ll be after you’ve taken the time to understand and develop together what your mission is, how to set goals, and just exactly what it takes to homeschool every day.

It is hard for me to choose just a one or two sections that would be my favorite.  There were so many gold nuggets of information here that I have heard myself repeating to brand new homeschool families.  Can I have an honest moment here… often those families don’t take what I say seriously.  For example, I HIGHLY suggest families work their way into a support system of some sort, be it a homeschool friend, group, co-op, etc.  While some families do make it by flying solo, these are the families that I often see give up on homeschooling quickly.  Chapter Three is all about finding that support.

Chapter Five is fantastic.  Here they tell us that Homeschooling is a walk of faith and our child’s success or failure doesn’t ride wholly on our shoulders.  I think I should print that poster size and hang it my house.  It is true and a reminder I need daily.  Chapter five also dives into something else I struggle with helping new homeschool families understand.  Often they are so eager to get going they want to jump into the new homeschool curriculum and routine a day after their child’s last day in public school. I’ve had some families tell me they will “experiment” with homeschooling over summer vacation and if it doesn’t workout, they’ll put them back in school in the fall.  I even had one mom tell me she would try it for a week!  A WEEK!  Chapter five talks about “detoxing” from the traditional school and taking the time to break away from the idea of what learning should be that has been drilled into us by traditional schools.  Chapter 5 is a MUST watch section.

If you are new to homeschooling, I recommend this course to both mom and dad.  You know what else? Us veterans can glean a thing or two as well.  

In addition to How to HOMESCHOOL with Stunning Confidence, Contagious Joy, and Amazing Focus (DVD &  Coursebook), some members of the Homeschool Review Crew were also provided with the opportunity review Internship for High School Credit to review. If any of your children are nearing high school age, you’ll want to check out the Homeschool Review Crew to read those reviews.

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