The decision to homeschool can be scary, exciting and liberating all at the same time. It’s such a wonderful journey, free from the constraints of mandated schedules, testing and “dump and drill” methodology.
10 Tips for New Homeschoolers
There’s going to be a lot of trial and error along the way. Some days will be frustrating and other days will bring you so much joy! No matter whether you are experiencing the highs or lows, you’re not alone! With the right mindset and the right tribe, you can do this!
- Flexible Planning – It’s always good to have a plan. Now, keep in mind that things may not always go according to your plan, but that’s just life. Try to establish a vision of what you want to accomplish, how long it should take and how you’re going to do it.
- Curriculum Choices – Although there are lots of program materials developed for parents who would like to homeschool their children, this isn’t the only route to take. Remember, you don’t have to use a boxed curriculum. It’s okay to think outside of the box (no pun intended and yes, pun intended). Choosing what you like from different curriculum vendors, theme units and creating your own curriculum are viable options too!
- Organization and Record Keeping – Keeping a homeschool portfolio has more benefits than not. It’s a trip down memory lane, an encouragement tool, a record keeping tool and super helpful during the college admissions process. Plus, it helps you keep everything wrangled up in one place helping to decrease clutter.
- Scheduling – Ah, scheduling time to homeschool …. Many new homeschoolers start out by trying to emulate what’s been done in a traditional school setting, including a rigorous schedule only to find out that it’s not very practical and really difficult to maintain. First, it doesn’t take 6-8 hours a day to homeschool. Second, if you followed that schedule, you’ll find that you don’t have the time to keep up with all of the other stuff you have to do.
- Space and Stuff – You don’t need a whole lot of space to homeschool. One of the beauties of homeschooling is that you can make it work for your unique situation. You don’t need huge desks or bulky bookcases. Instead, the main things you need are creativity and a willingness to adapt. Here are some tips for setting up a homeschool when space is at a premium.
- Cost of Materials – The cost of homeschooling can vary greatly with each family. I’ve known some families that spend thousands of dollars each year and I’ve known some that spend less than $500. It all depends on what method you choose to use, what grade level your child is at, how much you feel comfortable doing on your own when it comes to the lesson plans and how resourceful you feel like being.
- Transitioning from Public School – You’d think the transition from public school to homeschool would be sunshine and rainbows, but that’s not always true. The first year out of public school can be the most difficult because both parent and child have to adjust not only to a new schedule and learning environment but also to different expectations. The good news is most families find their way to a rewarding home education experience. Here’s how to make that happen for your child.
- Dealing with Haters – Homeschooling is still a taboo for some even though it is widely well known and already practiced. Dealing with them might lead to a very big trouble yet knowing how to handle them correctly might lead to understanding and eventually respect to both perspectives.
- Other Homeschoolers – Building your homeschool tribe is so important for both you and yourkids. Do search out other area home schoolers so you can share ideas, pool resources, and even organize group activities or field trips, so your child has the opportunity to spend time with other children her age.
- Have Fun! – Homeschooling can be just as much fun for parents as it is for kids. There are plenty of resources for injecting a little fun and playfulness into your curriculum. Just take a look around the site here. There’s fun printable activities, ideas for crafts and stories and so much more but the most important resource is you. Keep up a positive attitude and relax!
If you’re looking for more tips for new homeschoolers, be sure to get your FREE eBook!