Saturday, April 18, 2009

New Help Homeschooling Thru the Early Years

From HSLDA - Announcing Help for moms of preschool and elementary age kids!

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

As a veteran homeschool mom, I remember that it can be overwhelming when you aren’t sure how to begin or which curriculum to choose … or maybe you just don’t feel that you can handle homeschooling AND the house …or perhaps you just need a little encouragement to keep going! You know that homeschooling is a journey, but what started out as a sprint has become a cross-country trip (and some days feels like a marathon!). It’s easy to feel “geographically challenged”— unsure of where you are, where you’re going, or how you’re going to get there.

When Jim and I started homeschooling in the 80’s, we didn’t know anyone else in our state who homeschooled. Boy, it sure would have been great to be able to pick up the phone and talk to another parent who had been-there-done-that, or to get a newsletter in my box—filled with tips and suggested resources for the topics of interest to my family—sort of like roadside assistance along the journey.

Home School Legal Defense Association is here for you as you embark upon this incredible adventure! Many of you are familiar with our high school program and the struggling learner program. But maybe you have a preschooler or primary student—or perhaps a middle schooler? So HSLDA added a coordinator dedicated specifically to serving parents in this season of homeschooling, from toddlers all the way through ’tweens.

I’m here to answer members’ specific questions, provide general information, and offer encouragement, covering topics from curriculum choices to scheduling and lesson planning to testing, to resources and teaching tips for preschool all the way through middle school.

As our new Web section goes “live” this week, you’ll find helpful articles and resources to equip and encourage you, to help you as you determine your destination, plan your adventure, and choose the best route to get there. I’ll be adding more on a regular basis, so please check back often at

And be sure to subscribe now to our FREE Early Years e-newsletter at so you won’t miss even one! Upcoming topics include how to get the most out of your state convention, curriculum options, and getting the house organized for homeschooling. I hope that the first e-newsletter—on testing—will take the anxiety out of end-of-year evaluations. Don’t miss it—sign up today!

Please drop me a note or give me a call to let me know how I can best serve you. And remember—You CAN homeschool!


Vicki Bentley
Early Years coordinator
(540) 338-5600


  1. One of the most important lessons a child learns in school is how to interact with people of different backgrounds and ideas. Sheltering them off to only receive one view point can never be a good idea.

  2. Hi Lenny,

    I completely agree!

    Most homeschoolers are still so sensitive to this issue that they go overboard in providing exposure to people of other backgrounds.

    But why is it unreasonable to impart your own family's values in whatever way you can, particularly if they are not the views of the mainstream?

    A typical child gets on the school bus at 7:30 AM, has sports, or music, or cheerleading, or whatever after school, then comes home around 5, grabs dinner, does several hours worth of homework and then watches a little TV or gets on the computer, then goes to bed, gets up and start all over again. Maybe the parents work, and they are in an after school program, or at a babysitter. The point is - when in the world will the parents be able to get a word in edgewise about what they think are important character qualities, or what their worldview is? At the dinner table? If indeed they have dinner together?

    Many of the kids who are exposed to "people of different backgrounds and ideas" that you describe may have never been exposed to Christians or homeschoolers, and get their ideas about what it means to be one from the media, which generally treats us with gross disrespect and trivializes our beliefs.

    My children were inundated with a non-Biblical worldview daily, on the radio, from song lyrics, from their friends, from the TV, from the internet and every other form of media. And that was in the last 20 years - nowadays things are lining up even less with our family's worldview than ever before! Going to church an hour or two a week cannot compete with the sixty plus hours that a child is exposed to the "other view".

    I know other homeschoolers who do shelter their children in the way you are describing, and frankly, if I had it to do again, I would have been a little more discriminating about what I exposed them to when they were younger - ironically, for precisely the reason you cited. But there are some topics that are not appropriate before a certain age, and exposure to those before the right time can create problems later. They are going to decide what they want to do when they get older anyway.

    I am glad that my children have actually had the opportunity to see both sides of the "moral issues" coin as they are now faced with adult decisions.

    Thanks for your comment, and the opportunity to address this issue.