We're not sure how many of you are "support group leaders" or give home-school advice regularly. If you do, how often do you get asked the same things over and over?

 

It's not that home schoolers are dumb; we're rather bright people. We know what we want for our children and why. But there's the intimidation factor. We're just afraid of some state "child protection" agent showing up, or scared to death our children will fail, and that we will be held responsible. We aren't "professionally-trained" teachers. Furthermore, there are always new home schoolers entering the picture who need to know the same information the last ones needed.

 

So many of us will head to our regional home-school convention or curriculum fair. We load up on all the latest and greatest books, posters, games, ... and, yes, curricula. We blow the budget for our kids. Then home we go home, ready to take on the year. It's not too many weeks later, overwhelmed with emotions of stress and strain, we wonder if this is really worth it.

 

We have seen this scenario by well-intentioned home schoolers far too many times. No matter whether it's a pre-schooler way ahead of the curve and reading at the age of four, or a high school student still in the throes of lethargy and apathy, moms are looking for advice. They normally call some "veteran" begging for help. In our case, getting five-to-10 calls a week at times from desperate parents was not uncommon. 

 

What is most interesting was the number of almost identical questions: "How do I get Suzie to be diligent?" "Ricky won't sit still and do his work." "How do I keep track of grades?" "I don't know how to do this math (or history, or science ... fill in the blank)!" "How do I make a transcript?" There were maybe 20 or 30 questions we heard over and over. Frankly, it made our job easy, but it's monotonous after a while.

 

A Better Way

 

That's when it hit us that there is a better way. How that happened was interesting. David had lost his job. Laurie did some substitute teaching at the local high school. While walking by the guidance office bulletin board, she was impressed with the information. The thought hit her, "Why can't home schoolers get this stuff? It could really help." She came home excited and said, "Someone ought to write a book for home schoolers with all these ideas in it." 

 

David replied, "Yes, you should."  That's how our "Guidance Manual" was born.  We had a contract and book within nine months.


Now there's a "Guidance Manual" to help parents think through how to teach their children, and why they want to do it any particular way. Think of it as a "portable Guidance Counselor."