First off I think I need to define what an Accidental Homeschooler is. An Accidental Homeschooler is a person that, from lack of other viable options finds themselves homeschooling their children. There are several factors that can contribute to a person becoming an accidental homeschooler but for us there were 3 main factors. We moved during the school year, the kids missed a couple of weeks of classroom time during the move, and the schools they were going to have to attend were just plain horrible while the waiting list for the better schools in our area are hundreds of students long.
After we settled in from the move and finally accepted that other schooling options just weren't viable it was time to figure out just what homeschooling was all about and if I'd be able to handle it. I had a bit of good luck as I ran into a neighbor that is currently homeschooling her kids. She was able to help me set my school up and point my in the right directions to find the information I needed. First thing I found out is that there is a wealth of information and websites that deal with homeschooling and that it is very easy to overspend on books, and supplies if you don't approach it with a plan and vision of what you want to teach, what you are required to teach in your area, and how you want to teach it.
At this point we have been homeschooling for a month and if I said it was easy and that the kids always stayed on task and had skipped a couple of grades because of their genus then I'd have a longer nose than Pinocchio on his worst day. Is it always hard?...nope in fact some days it's a real blast. The kids have an engaging lesson and are really into it. Other days they are bouncing off the walls and each other and you start wondering if you could legally duct tape the kids to a chair.
One of the first things I discovered is that you have to organize and have a firm vision of how you want to conduct your school. Then it's best to set aside a schedule of what days are classroom days along with the class hours. This will help, especially with older kids or with kids that you have taken out of school, establish a routine and show the kids what is expected of them. Then you'll need to stick to your schedule as much as possible. Once you've settled into a routine you find that the schooling gets a little easier.
At this point in our homeschooling adventure I can say it's been crazy at times but then again at other times it looks like it's the best thing that we could have ever done. Oh and I can't wait to start the bi-weekly field trips, with all the things to see and do in the DC area I don't think I could find a boring field trip if I tried.