We are here to help! A note from Larry & Paola....
Our family has been so blessed to be able to educate our children at home. It is our hope that Emmanuel Books will be a blessing to your family. Home educators are in the unique position of being both parent and teacher, simultaneously. This affords us the privileged position of knowing our children as students in a grace-filled and intimate way. This is unlike any teacher they have had or would ever encounter in the future. Along with that grace comes the added advantage that as a “Parent/Teacher”, we have the opportunity to sanctify our daily moments, in a most extraordinary way. We truly believe that the graces obtained through the sacrament of marriage, the graces poured out to us at our openness to life, is the ultimate “professional training” needed to become our children’s primary educator. However, there is a practical side to this training as well, and, even though we are blessed with God’s grace, it needs to be nurtured and built upon, giving us a disposition towards it.
We need to form our habits accordingly, to be ready to receive and continue to grow in this life work. For it is our life’s work. When we said YES to home education, we said YES to becoming teachers. What does that mean? It does not mean we need to go back to college and be trained and certified in an accredited education department. While some courses would most certainly be beneficial, they are most often developed for the classroom environment. In fact, a majority of the home education curriculum products have been designed for classroom use or have simply been adapted for home use. Most often, such products are designed with the assumption that a teacher, formally trained in the subject, is to teach from the curriculum. What is the parent/teacher to do?
We have found several excellent materials available for the parent to help them “train”. We also have recommendations of curricula that work in conjunction with home education, that gives mom the “tools for teaching” and facilitate real learning. A parent who teaches at home differs from the classroom teacher in most cases. The “parent/teacher” usually has only one student per grade, so they have to develop curriculum strategies and plans for each child and for every subject. This is tough and proves overwhelming for many of us. After all, there are just so many hours in the day. How do you chose what to do, with whom, and when? Hopefully, our 17 years of teaching experience at home, covering all subjects in grades K-12, will be a help! Please call or email us and take advantage of the following articles .
While lesson plans are a terrific place to start, they are much like a road map which gives you the overview of the trip, but does not point out the worthwhile little side trips. The most memorable moments generally come from the times you stop to take notice of the scenery or, in particular, your blossoming child. If the education choice you have made for your child is all about checking off tasks, then it is just way too easy to get burned out fast! In our experience, real, lasting learning happens when we have developed a long range goal, respect the age and ability of each individual child, move at their pace, and adapt our teaching style to meet that child’s learning style. Just as we want to provide an education that teaches the child “how to fish” and not just hand him the fish, we need to recognize our need to learn “how to teach” so that we, too, become the “parent/teacher” we are called to be.
In the following links you will see suggestions and guidance by subject:
Brand NEW to home education?
STEP 1: Meet other families homeschooling in your area
If you are brand new to home education, please begin by seeking home education families in your area. Ask them about their journey and their approach to home education. We can help here too and connect you to families in your area. It is a so vital to have a connection to other families to share in prayer and support for this new adventure you about to embark upon. Many areas have support groups that meet regularly for Mass and fellowship. Meet some of these families to see what meshes with your family’s goal for education. Most of the families we met in that first year have been dear soul mates for mom and dad as well as our children’s best friends!
STEP 2: Read some classics on educational philosophies
In conjunction with meeting other home educating families, begin some varied reading and research on methodology of education. However, do not get overwhelmed by the choices, undoubtedly one of them will speak to you as the match for your family. We recommend reading Mrs. Berquist’s book, Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum, where she outlines a road map for a Catholic Classical curriculum, rich in literature. Also read Maureen Wittmann’s, For the Love of Literature, a treasure trove of annotated recommendations for a literature-rich curriculum (with many of the books we love). Borrow books from the home school families you have met to see what clicks for you!
STEP 3: Find out about regulations for homeschooling in your area
A great place to locate this kind of information is Home School Legal Defense...here is the link: http://www.hslda.org/laws or call your local Department of Education and ask about the regulations for homeschooling. Local support groups can also point you in the right direction. If you have trouble getting help...please feel free to call us and wqe can find you contacts in your area.
STEP 4: Keep it simple...
Lessons plans, Mother of Divine Grace syllabi, or enrolling in a school may also help you get started and keep you focused for that first year. Remember, that as each year passes, you too will be learning, learning how to teach your children. In addition you can take advantage of wonderful, helpful options, such as local classes, on-line classes and co-ops. Look into these as options to help, not as distractions from the time you need to be at home teaching your children. Take time to review each week’s lessons and gather materials. Just a few hours once a week is well worth it! It cuts the edge off any undue stress of not being prepared for the week. Learn from your mistakes and don’t try to be too organized. Give your family and yourself time to adjust to this new rhythm of life. Each year, we always find a new schedule is needed as the children’s needs change. We usually take at least a month to iron out this new schedule too!
Enjoy your children, the time together will be well spent. It brings the family close together, and passes on the parent’s values and beliefs, in a way no other type of education can afford.
Call or email us...we are here to help!
You will be in our daily prayers! Please pray for us too!