Jumping into homeschooling is a new adventure that is a big decision for the entire family. Whether they are new to homeschooling or have years of experience, homeschoolers in the Educents community are constantly discussing strategies. Should I do it? Is there the “right” way to do it? What should I expect? How can I plan for it?
For example, one member of the Educents Community recently asked:
Here’s how our community responded:
Don’t doubt yourself! It is no where near as hard as some people would lead you to believe! -Dawn
To make a list on actual paper of why you’re doing this. Refer back on the toughest days. Address the fears, what are you exactly afraid of? Disprove any of that with facts. -Ashlee W.
If I had known how it would bond our kids to each other and to us, and that it would be the best family lifestyle you could ever want, we would NEVER have even considered anything else. We homeschooled 4 kids, Kindergarten through highschool. Do it. You can. -Erica K.
I wish someone had told me to listen to my child and go at their pace. Don’t ever compare them to others (it’s a hard habit to break, because the PS system is so steeped in it). But I learned along the way, and so will you. There is no possible way your child won’t learn anything while you both figure it out. I always tell parents now, the first year is the experiment year. You both will learn what works and what doesn’t, and you’ll both be better for it. Trust the process. 🙂 -Amanda M.
That it doesn’t have to be like the book. He doesn’t have to learn everything. Pushing will make him hate learning and learn less instead of more. -Rachel B.
Don’t think everything has to be planned or documented. Don’t always have them in front of paperwork. Learning is beyond pencil and paper and book. -Tamera F.
I am a planner. I worked out my plan ahead of what I felt we should do each day. In mid October, we had a couple of field trips and doctors appointment come up. I stressed for days looking at my plan ahead calendar, trying to figure how to flex four days into two. Then it hit me, I had planned in pencil. I erased a month, rewrote it, and we were then a week ahead. I needed that moment to remind myself that this is our schedule, and we can plan it how we want. For our second year, when I was pre-planning, every two months I left a week blank so I could flex days as needed. I also don’t plan on Fridays. Take the time to find what works for you and your family. -Dannielle R.
There is no one “right” way to homeschool, and how you homeschool will change as children grow and as we get to know the subtleties in our children’s personalities and approach. I sent my oldest to a year of Kindergarten before making the switch because I thought I needed more research, but the best way to learn how to homeschool is to just do it. -Sara R.
Jot down notes while you listen to these tips to help you get started with homeschooling.
Not to try to do “school at home.” To relax and find what they love. To teach the love of learning and not just rote memorization. -Becky T.
That they just have to do 4.5 hours of work a day (in our state at least). You don’t have to complete every subject every day. -Crystal K.
1. Spend time undoing all of the expectations of school that you have and they have.
2. Each child and their needs are different. Spend time really getting to know their learning style, needs, and learning pace by trying different things. Don’t feel pressure to commit to a curriculum or style.
3. Teach them how to learn. We think this is intrinsic, but it’s not.
4. Enjoy the time.
5. They’re learning. Relax some. Leave free time. Let them continue to explore the world. Don’t be nervous. Explore. Find your rhythm. Let them teach you how to see the world anew while you help them make connections in the world.
Home education is about learning in relationship. It’s a gift. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do — and may that joy carry you through the hard days, which will come! Find a way to dance in the rain while watching for the rainbows. <3
Honestly, there wasn’t anything about homeschooling that I went in to wishing I already knew. What I am thrilled to know now (my oldest two are heading into the high school years) is how close we’ve become as a family. I get to see those “lightbulb” moments when my kids understand a concept. I’ve also come to learn that my kids have taught me almost as much as I have taught them. We have some of the best discussions over all sorts of topics, not just what we cover in coursework. I couldn’t imagine teaching my kids in any other way. -Heather S.
What is the most helpful homeschooling advice you have received? Tell us!