I keep on thinking how needs of a homeschooling family change over time. No data-based generalisations here, just observations.
In the beginning it’s all about role-models and information. Finding people, who made the choice, and figuring out how to fit it in in the own circumstances. Vision (why and what) and boundary conditions.
Once the choice is made the need for acceptance and like-minded people becomes very strong: at the beginning the stress from explaining and defending “deviation from the norm” is very high and it helps a lot to be with people who share your views.
Than come practicalities: finding or creating a social space where kids can see others (because all their peers go to school), do things together and learn how to learn. At the same there is a strong need to learn and to talk to other parents, because this is when educational choices are being made, practices are tried out and replaced with something that works better for particular family and specific kids. These are also the challenges of building an environment to support the basics – rhythm, space, materials, learning to facilitate, getting into reading, writing, math, working with resources, managing questions and time.
And then there is plateau. Friends are found, choices made, routines are working. Foundation is there and the big question is what exactly are you building there. The moment than the vision that started it all becomes the reality. And a big question, can you actually build something what would make all this effort of “doing things differently” worth the trouble.
We are now at that stage. Defences are not needed, basics are covered and the playing field is open. Curious to see what it brings.