Homeschooling Research Tips for Parents from Homeschool Specialist Amy M. O’Quinn

Homeschooling  Research Tips for Parents from Homeschool Specialist Amy M. O’Quinn

Welcome to day three of Amy O’Quinn’s 6-day NWFCC February Specialist Showcase tour as she discusses her personal homeschooling experience and tips.

As opposed to twenty or thirty years ago, homeschooling options are almost limitless these days. There are countless companies, catalogs, and websites available to help new homeschooling parents navigate their way through uncharted waters. Curriculum choices abound, and there is a homeschooling ‘method’ or style for everyone. Although I utilize much of both the Charlotte Mason and Classical methods, I guess our homeschool style could be labeled eclectic, as I pull ideas from many different places. In fact, I would venture to say that most homeschooling families are eclectic to some degree!

We use a variety of curriculum and resources, but with a specific end in mind. I definitely see the value in acknowledging the different stages of the trivium, and I remember these as I’m planning goals for our school year. But I am also drawn to the gentle art of learning associated with Charlotte Mason, and I like to incorporate art, music, and nature study. I especially like to use narration and copy work. And we read a lot! I also believe in fostering self-education (autodidactic) and independent learning. For when I’ve finished my years of teaching, I still want my children to continue learning and growing in many different  areas—not because they have to—but because they want to!

I truly believe that if parents feel called to homeschool their children, they have a responsibility to provide the best education possible. Homeschooling can be as expensive or as inexpensive as families want it to be or are limited to, but a good education is NOT dependent on lots of money or a costly curriculum. Time invested by the homeschooling parent and wisely and effectively using whatever resources are available makes all the difference in the world when teaching a child. Consistency and dedication are a must!

One of the best starting places to find information on how to begin homeschooling or review a list of frequently asked questions is at the Homeschool Legal Defense website at There are links to state laws, homeschool publications and periodicals, research information, organizations, etc.

Another good site is Here you will find discussion boards for all homeschooling methods and topics and even a place to buy/sell used curriculum.

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine website at also has many links, product reviews, and articles for anyone interested in homeschooling.

In fact, just doing an internet search on homeschooling will yield more hits than you can possibly use. But one of the best ways to find out about home education and how it ‘really’ works is to find another homeschooling family or mom who is willing to answer questions and share opinions about the good, the bad, and the ugly! Finding support is vital, because there will always be days when new homeschoolers (and veterans) feel overwhelmed, when they just need encouragement, or when they want to share their success stories. We’ve all had our great days and our ‘not so stellar’ days of homeschooling, but it really helps to talk to those who’ve walked the path before us!

Follow Day 4 of Ms. O’Quinn’s tour tomorrow at Leave a comment and your name will automatically be entered to win a Three Angels Gourmet Co mug and a package of Divine Dill Dip Mix – at the end of the month, provided by the National Writing for Children Center.



10 responses to this post.

  1. This is a very interesting post, and I learned some new things. Thanks so much!


  2. Raising my kids and helping with homework was/is hard enough. Don’t know if I really want to be in total control of their education.


  3. Posted by Michelle Vasquez on March 27, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Great information! I did not homeschool my kids but have many friends who did/are.

    Michelle V


  4. Very interesting post Amy. when my three were young few parents home schooled. Many more do so today, and it is an advantage if your school district is not a good one – either academically or with has social problems. I admire those that take it on. However I know my limits: and home schooling mine was WAY beyond those limits. I don’t (didn’t) have the patience or skills needed.

    With people like you as resources, it might have been different. The times, they sure have changed!! Now it is me as an author, looking to hook UP with home schooling parents regards my books.

    Margot’s Magic Carpet – all 11 books on one page.


  5. Thank you, Nicole, for hosting Day 3 of the NWFCC VBT! This is a wonderful experience for me, and I do appreciate everything you and the rest of the hosts have done to make it happen.

    Thank you, Nancy for your interest and kind comment.

    Rebecca, I certainly understand that, and I have many friends who feel the same way. I know homeschooling is not for everyone, but it really has been a good choice for us so far. I just keep taking it one year at a time. And I definitely respect all the effort and commitment that all parents put forth for their children–homeschooling or not. Good job! 🙂

    Thank you, Michelle. There are certainly a lot of homeschoolers around. 🙂

    Margot, thank you again for keeping up with the VBT everyday and your kind comment…it means a lot!


  6. Great information! I think it’s wonderful that that homeschooling is more accepted than it used to be and that there are more resources available for parents. But still the most important thing is to have a support network to share experience.


  7. Posted by diane on March 27, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    thanks for all the great info. I do a summer teaching program for my kids at home but only part time. Not sure I could teach them full time, we would all go insane!


    • Thanks, Diane. What a neat thing to do with your kids in the summer! And yes, ometimes I feel as though it gets kind of crazy around here, but so far homeschooling has been a great experience for us! LOL Thanks for coming by.


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