You’re ready. You’ve thought about it day and night, you’ve prepared yourself mentally and physically, and you’re excited. You have decided to take charge and homeschool your child.
There are plenty of resources out there to prepare you for that first day of homeschooling, but as with any job – there are plenty of things you won’t know going in. Here is a list of some of the most common things you should know before homeschooling your child, as well as some tools that might help.
It’s going to be hard.
So you’ve made up your mind, and you think you’re prepared, but like most things in life you might not know how it’s going to go until you’ve started. It’s so easy to focus on how your children will feel and think about everything that you might lose focus on your thoughts and feelings. One homeschooler had this to say.
“If I knew how often I would longingly look at the yellow bus as it drove by my house, or how often I would want to lock myself in my room with a carton of ice cream, or how often I would have grown-up tantrums I might not have signed on for the deal.” via Ordinary Happily Ever After
But she stuck with it, and you will too. Because at the end of the day, you would do anything to make sure your child is set up for success.
Learn how to trust yourself.
By now you may be scared, but you can’t let that phase you. One common worry that a lot of first-time homeschoolers has been that they won’t be as good as their professional teachers were. It’s important to note, though, that your teachers made mistakes. We all had gaps in our education that we had to fill in either ourselves or with the help of our parents.
Another thing to remember is that you were your children’s first teachers. You didn’t have a professional there to teach them how to walk or start speaking in sentences. There are plenty of resources out there to help, even in subjects you might not know a lot about yourself such as finance or chemistry. Many people believe you should never stop learning, so know that you will be able to trust yourself to learn how to be a great teacher.
All children learn differently, even siblings.
When it comes to learning, there are four types of learners.
- Visual learners
- Auditory learners
- Read and write learners
- Kinesthetic learners
While it’s true that every child needs all four of these types of learning experiences in school, it is a great idea to figure out what type of learning suits your child beset. But fear not, there are activities and lessons for all types of learners, from auditory to kinesthetics.
Also worth noting is the fact that just because one of your children might excel on one area, it does not mean your other children will not falter in it. Not even identical twins always have the same passions, so the odds are that your children might need special attention in very different areas.
They won’t often be getting out of the house, but that’s ok.
Many potential homeschoolers feel like not having their children leave the house on a regular basis means they will be missing out. The fact of the matter is between scheduling playdates and field trips, no child truly has to miss out on the social experience. Also, there are plenty of amazing resources out there to help children explore the world from the comfort of your home.
There’s no “perfect curriculum.”
Nobody learns everything, and that’s ok. The elementary school years are incredibly formative, but what’s really important those years are making sure your child can succeed in later education. There are amazing resources like the Ultimate K-12 Homeschool Package, but even that can’t cover 100% of what your child could be learning. It’s best to really establish a core curriculum, and then supplement it along the way with special programs that you think would work for your child.
You have to know when to turn it off.
At the end of the day, you’re also a parent, a wife/husband, and about a million other things. Even professional teachers end up taking their work home with them, so if you find yourself stressing out about lesson plans or worrying about any perceived lack of growth from your children, you have to be able to step away from it. Every day is a new opportunity, and you will be able to crush it.
Magic School Bus Science Club – The Magic School Bus Science Club is your child’s ticket to a world of experiments, lessons.] and fun. Perfect for children 5-12, this monthly service delivers everything you need for an awesome and educational experience.
Complete Curriculum – The Complete Curriculum is one of the most trusted products available for homeschoolers. Included is a package featuring 98 digital textbooks for teaching language arts, math, science, and social studies.
“I’ve tried a LOT of homeschool curriculum products over the years, and quite frankly this is the best value available in a secular curriculum package and it’s easy on the parent.” – Judith A via Educents