Advice for a soon-to-be homeschooler?
I realize that there's an education forum on here, but it gets a lot less traffic than this site does, so I'm thinking I'll start here. Here's a synopsis of my situation:
I have 2 kids - one preschool aged (but currently at home), and one in 1st grade at a private school. Due to some budget "issues" that have impacted our family for 2007, the private school may not be an option for us next year, and, unfortunately, the public schools in my district are pretty bad (unexpected announcements of school closings/rearrangements come nearly every year, the school board is weak, schools are overcrowded, academics are mediocre, budgets keep getting slashed yada yada yada). Thus, my husband and I are seriously considering homeschooling our son next year.
Ever since our son was born the idea of educating him at home has meandered through my mind with some regularity. My husband and I aren't concerned at this point about whether we have the background (we've both been long term substitute teachers and private tutors in the past and have a good amount of education between the two of us), nor are we concerned about the issue of socialization (both kids are really well connected with good friends beyond school circles). We also realize that because of our particular career situation, homeschooling will give us some much-needed family time during the week that a regular school schedule is inhibiting. So it's looking like this is going to be a reality for us come September...
My questions, then, are along these lines:
1) If you do homeschool/have homeschooled in the past, what are/have been the pros & cons of your experience?
2) What, in your opinion, are the most important things for a family making the school-to-homeschool transition to consider?
3) How do you keep time for yourself - sans children?
My husband and I are both feeling quite positive about the prospects of homeschooling, but there are a couple of "start-up" questions that we'd love to hear input on. Thanks MUCH in advance!