Jumping into homeschooling is exciting, but can also be intimidating.
Whether you are leaping into homeschooling or taking a new homeschooler under your wing, you’ll find some inspiration with these top 10 ways to help a new homeschooler get rolling.
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1. RESIST THE URGE TO BUY IT ALL AT ONCE
Curriculum is a must-have to start homeschooling, but you don’t need it all at once.
You will want to buy curriculum that fits each child’s learning style and that takes time.
Relax, grab a few inexpensive workbooks, visit the library for an armload of awesome action packed books and take your time in choosing curriculum.
2. DON’T REPEAT AT HOME WHAT YOU LEFT BEHIND IN PUBLIC SCHOOL
Another rookie mistake is to leave behind a system that is not working at public school to only come home and set up a similar system of teaching because it is the only thing you may know.
If the present way of learning is not working for your child, read about homeschool learning approaches so that you tap into the best way to teach your child.
3. AVOID OVER COMMITTING TO EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
Success or failure in beginning your homeschool journey is directly tied to time management.
And though it may seem that joining homeschool co-ops and field trip groups may be the way to spend homeschool time wisely, they can be huge time wasters if outside activities are not chosen carefully.
Don’t give away your new-found freedom so quickly by filling your day with too many extracurricular activities.
4. RESOLVE NOW TO NOT COMPARE
The fastest way to derail your homeschool happiness is to compare yourself, your children and your husband to others.
Homeschooling is hard enough without the weight of adding what you think others may be doing better than you.
Instead treasure the inner gifts you bring to your children and take time to hone your strengths; then your journey will not only be unique, but fulfilling.
5. HAVE A PLAN
It may seem that it goes without saying, but having a reasonable time like 9:00 to 9:30 a.m. to start your day sets your journey up for success.
Unless you strive for a definite start to the day, your morning routine can get cluttered.
Plan for a specific time to start your day so that interruptions are minimal.
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6. EDUCATION FOR THE EDUCATOR
Overlooking your needs as the new educator is another common mistake.
Focusing on the needs of your children is normal, but it is important as the educational coach for you to understand the learning process.
Look at some of these ways to grab some education for the educator.
- Follow blogs of seasoned homeschool moms;
- Read both online and print homeschool magazines;
- Attend yearly homeschool conventions;
- Read homeschooling how-to books daily;
- View homeschool workshops online; and
- Join a helpful, active and local homeschool support group.
7. PREPARE FOR THE NAYSAYERS
Whether it’s the age-old myth of homeschoolers who are not socialized or it’s questioning how you are going to test, critics of homeschooling may exist in your inner circle.
Don’t let their questions reduce your decision to self-doubt.
Prepare your answers in advance so that you can answer graciously and remember that most folks are just curious about your new decision.
8. SET GOALS THAT ARE ACHIEVABLE
It is easy to get caught up in lofty goal setting, but it too can be a trap of discouragement.
Instead of focusing on righting all the wrongs you may feel exist now, set goals that are achievable.
A tiny step forward is still momentum. What counts is how you finish your journey with many tiny baby steps throughout the years and not just the progress you made the first year.
9. HAVE A STRESS FREE RECORD KEEPING SYSTEM
There is no need to purchase anything in the beginning to help you keep records. Being new to homeschooling you will change your mind, maybe several times, before you find a system that you like.
If you live in an area that requires strict record keeping, then simply track what your children do each day in a notebook or on the device of your choice.
When you have homeschooled for a few months, then reassess your needs. Record keeping can be simple for now.
10. RELAX – SAVOR EACH MOMENT
Looking back now after two of my sons have graduated, I encourage you to savor every moment.
Your precious child who may now be three or four years old will grow up to remember the moments you held him in your arms as you read to him and not whether or not you chose the perfect math curriculum.
So relax, you will make many mistakes, but you will also do many things right and that is what will be remembered. Focus on the moment instead of stressing out about the next year.