new homeschoolers

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10 Tips for New Homeschoolers

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.

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!

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Resources for New and Veteran Homeschoolers

Included in this article are some informative tips that will help any parent in getting started with the initial steps of homeschooling: including legal help for homeschoolers, information about Homeschool Support Groups by state, affordable curriculum suppliers, and everything needed to organize a homeschool record-keeping notebook.

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Tips for New Homeschool Moms

 

Tips for New Homeschoolers - Featured

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

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

Tips for New Homeschoolers - PF

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How to Set Up Your Homeschool

 

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Deciding whether to homeschool or not is quite a challenge. Now that it has been decided, setting up a homeschool environment would be the next thing to think about. If you are having a hard time on deciding or thinking up of ways on how to do this, well, we have some tips here for you.

Make Sure Everything Is Well Planned

Ensure that all supplies and other things needed are within reach. You should also consider the fact that every year, your students are growing and they might need a little change in the environment. Making sure that everything is well-organized can be very essential in setting up a homeschool space. This will ensure that your children are getting the education they truly need.

Sort Supplies Depending on Usage

It is nice to know you will be able to get all your stuff immediately without browsing through boxes and rummaging through storage. Also avoid being a pack rat. All the things that your children need for homeschooling should be separated from those which are not. This will also help them stay focused and avoid unnecessary activities while learning.

Arrange Book by Who Uses Them

It is expected for a homeschool environment to be as organized as possible. Not only for the school supplies but also for the books. If you have one student, this will not be a problem. But for those siblings who are learning from home, proper labeling and proper storage is needed.

Establish Learning Zones

Since they are learning inside the house, it is better to establish a learning only zone for them. In that sense, they will stay focused and there will be no confusion as to when they should be playing or learning.

Formulate a Schedule

Being strict with schedule and instilling a habit in your kids will make homeschooling easy, fun and enjoyable. This will also help instill in them a sense of discipline.

How about you? How do you create an environment that emphasizes a love for learning?

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5 Tips for Getting Started With Homeschooling

How_To_Start_HomeschoolingHomeschooling is not just about children learning; it’s also a learning experience for parents. Just getting started is often the hardest part, but there are everyday challenges to meet as well. Here are 5 tips to make getting started with homeschooling easier:

  1. Check the law. While it is legal to home educate your child in all 50 states, the particulars of the laws that govern homeschooling, subjects, hours, documentation, and registration vary from state to state. For example, in some states, parents must register their home education programs as private schools. Parents have to file a notarized affidavit before they begin homeschooling in some states while others do not require notice from parents before they begin. Before you start homeschooling, check the law in your state and ensure that you meet every requirement listed.
  2. Relax. This is an important tip, especially for most parents who begin homeschooling after their children have already been to school. Many feel extreme pressure to do things exactly as a teacher would in a classroom, but that isn’t always practical or best for teaching at home. Instead, breathe and consider your child’s unique personality and learning style. Adapt your homeschool to your child’s needs and preferences as well as your own.
  3. Choose wisely. Most veteran homeschoolers have a horror story or two to tell about unsuitable curriculum. When you’re new to home education, you may be impressed by curriculum choices that seem to include all the bells and whistles wrapped up in shiny packages. You might purchase one, thinking you’ve hit the education lottery, only to find that it does not work well for your child. This is because education is not one size fits all, and what works well for one child may bomb for another. Before you jump in with both feet, do your research. Search online for what other parents are saying about a program, or better yet, speak with a few experienced homeschoolers before you choose. Request details about the program you’re considering and which type of learner they think the curriculum serves best. Try to obtain just a portion of the curriculum, such as a book or two, and use that in your homeschool before you purchase the whole thing. You can also attend curriculum fairs to get a feel for your choices before you buy.
  4. Experiment. Keep in mind that there are different ways to homeschool. Some parents choose school at home while others unschool or use eclectic teaching methods. Avoid locking yourself into one choice. Instead, experiment with different approaches until you find one that will work best for your child. This won’t harm your child, but it will help ensure that you provide the right type of learning environment for your child’s needs. Likewise, it will help you avoid the overwhelming pressure that comes with trying to force your child to learn via an approach that is just all wrong for him or her.
  5. Get local support.  As soon as you decide that you are even interested in homeschooling, look for local homeschooling groups in your community. These groups can be helpful in a number of ways. First, they can prove a great source of support, encouragement and help for new homeschoolers. Second, they often provide information and recommendations for curriculum programs and other materials you might need. Third, many offer field trips, group classes and social gatherings that not only provide additional learning experiences but also the opportunity for you and your children to cultivate new friendships.

Keep in mind, as you move forward with your plans to homeschool, that home education can be fun and rewarding, but it can also prove challenging and downright difficult at times. Be patient with yourself and your children as you navigate this wonderful education option.

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