You’ve made the decision to homeschool. You’ve chosen your curriculum, you have a study area all set up … now what?
Don’t fret – you’ve already done the hardest parts of it all. Now it’s time to take a deep breath and dive right in. There are a few things you can do to make homeschooling a little easier, though.
Tips for New Homeschoolers
- Take time to get acclimated. Like moving to a new neighborhood, it’s going to take time to adjust to your new routine. I recommend finding a rhythm that works best for you and your children. Are you morning people? Great! Get going in the morning. Do you like to sleep in? Who says you can’t start school work after lunch? Don’t expect to get your footing the first week of homeschooling.
- Join a local homeschool group. Both you and your children will need this, believe me! Like anything else in life, you’ll want to surround yourself with people that have common interests – including homeschooling. Here is where you’ll learn that you’re not crazy, get ideas on curriculum and learn about what else your community has to offer.
- Look into local homeschool co-cops and programs. You don’t have to be an expert in everything. Heck, you don’t even have to be interested in every subject. Look for local homeschool co-ops (where parents teach and volunteer) or programs (usually a drop-off program) where your children can take classes on a variety of subjects. We’ve taken classes on everything from robotics to American Girls to dissection and even poetry and music lessons.
- Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, or your kids for that matter. As a new homeschooler, it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to other homeschoolers. Don’t do it. Just don’t. The beautiful thing about homeschooling is that what you do in terms of education is tailored to your children and your family’s situation. You can’t expect that you or your children will walk and talk and do like “everyone else.” We’re breaking the mold here!
If you find yourself overwhelmed, don’t worry. It’s normal, it’s natural, it’s okay. Take a break, do something else. Who said you had to follow your plans for that day? Go to the library, go for a walk or just play with the kids. You can pick up school tomorrow.