Are you considering homeschooling? Are you thinking about homeschooling and wishing that you could learn from others and get the “inside scoop” before you get started?
Well, I know when we decided to homeschool our kids I was overwhelmed. Trying to figure out my teaching style, her learning style, how we wanted our day to go. There were so many resources and opinions.
So I thought I would share the 10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Homeschooling.
#1 – HOMESCHOOL DOESN’T HAVE TO BE SCHOOL AT HOME
One thing that so many new homeschoolers get confused and lost in is trying to make homeschool look like traditional school. Homeschool does not have to be school at home. You don’t need little desks and a to-the-minute schedule to get started. Homeschool is what works for your family and definitely doesn’t need to be like traditional school.
#2 – IT’S OK TO TAKE A BREAK
You want to understand that it’s ok to take a break from time to time. If your kids are having a bad day, take some time to read and cuddle or take a field trip. Are you having a bad day? Keep it low key, consider audiobooks or a learning movie. It’s ok to take a break. Sometimes that’s what you need to refresh your homeschool and get everyone back on track.
#3 – SPENDING THE DAY TOGETHER HAS VALUE
There is a lot of value to the fact that you and your children are spending time together. You are learning together, learning to keep the house together, learning to learn together, ask questions, and have conversations. There is a lot of value to this. Making your family strong, your siblings closer, and you in touch with your children and how they think, what is important to them, and what they love to learn about.
#4 – SCHOOL DOESN’T HAVE TO BE 8a-4p
Another problem may first time homeschoolers have it that they get up on day 1 and get started, trying to keep a schedule similar to the public schools. This is not necessary. Remember, the 7-8 hours school day is based on schooling 30-40 kids in a classroom. The amount of time that is needed for classroom management, subject changes, moving locations, and staying on track is exorbitant and is certainly something that most homeschool families do not have to deal with. Therefore, it does not take 7-8 hours 5 days a week to cover what needs to be covered. Relax and figure out the schedule that works best for you and your kiddos.
#5 – KIDS LIKE TO HAVE A SAY IN WHAT THEY STUDY
One of the many blessings of homeschooling has been that the kids have a say in some of what they study. Sure we know they have to learn to read and math and grammar and the basics but they love having a say in what we are reading, history assignments, choices in assignments, and even foreign language studies and field trips. Allowing them to help chose their course of study gives them a sense of ownership in their education helping them develop a love for learning.
#6 – YOU DON’T NEED A BOX CURRICULUM TO GET STARTED
You don’t need a fancy, box curriculum to get started homeschooling. Just get started. See what you like to do, what they kids like. Read, read, read. Don’t worry about all the choices, find something that seems interesting and get started and then you can add from there. And don’t buy too much up front, keep it light and add as you need.
#7 – NOT EVERY KID LEARNS THE SAME WAY
Not every kid learns the same way. Not even every kid in your family. So don’t be surprised if something that worked for your first kid doesn’t work AT ALL for your next child. Be open to change and switching up curriculum and schedules to accommodate your kids. Embrace the change, don’t get hung up on it.
#8 – LIFE SKILLS ARE IMPORTANT AND CAN BE A PART OF THE DAY
Having the opportunity to teach life skills is an important part of homeschooling and if you have to take a break from book work to ensure good habits are learned, then don’t look at this lightly. Life skills are important and be a part of the school day. They provide a great break from studying or a way to keep one child busy while you work individually with another child. Don’t see it as a break but a continuation of learning in your homeschool day.
#9 – EVERY DAY WILL NOT BE PERFECT
I see many people talk about how there are tears and arguments as they homeschool and then they give up because homeschooling just isn’t for them. Well, no day is perfect. Parenting has its difficulties. Homeschooling has its difficulties but it doesn’t mean it isn’t working. It doesn’t mean you can’t do it. It may still be the best for your kids and your family and you need to realize that every day will not be perfect. But there will be days when you see your kidbreakthroughgh in learning something and you are there to get excited with them and you will remember why you homeschool. Embrace the good and be prepared for the difficult but there will be way more great day and amazing moments together then the hard times so don’t let them derail you.
#10 – YOU CAN DO IT!
Lastly, as I just mentioned – YOU CAN DO IT! You don’t need a teaching degree, a certification in a teaching method, or a scholarly understanding of the Pythagorium theory to homeschool your kids. YOU ARE ENOUGH! YOU CAN DO IT!
There are a million reasons that you are considering homeschooling. We certainly have our own reasons for homeschooling. You can ready about Why We Homeschool and My Favorite Thing About Homeschooling but, in the end, you are homeschooling for your reasons. There is no right or wrong reason to homeschool. Just know that you can get started and have a successful homeschool by relaxing and enjoying being with and learning with your kids.
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