Helpful Homeschool Tips for Your First Year
Maybe you are still deciding whether or not to homeschool your child. Maybe you’ve decided to make the leap and start homeschooling. Either way, this list of my five biggest homeschooling tips is a great way to keep your mind form becoming overwhelmed.
Here we gooooo…
Your Kids Will Be OK
The most common thing I hear when I talk to moms who are thinking of homeschooling is that they don’t think they are a “good enough teacher” to teach their kids. Let me tell you, you are more than good enough!
There are so many resources available today for homeschooling that it makes it so easy to find what you need. Or find out what you need to know.
And, you don’t have to be an expert on a topic – you only have to be one step ahead of your child.
Let’s say your child is learning about the atomic structure of a molecule and you mix up protons and electrons. Well, that is a great way to show them that adults make mistakes, too. Look up the information, correct it, and move on.
I made plenty of mistakes when I was teaching math in the public schools. You’re going to make mistakes. Every teacher does. Don’t let this fear be the reason you don’t homeschool
Homeschooling tips #1: No teacher is perfect, so don’t think you will be, either.
Easy Does It
When we first decided to homeschool, our oldest was going to start kindergarten. As a former teacher and general lover of learning, I was so excited to go on this journey with our girls! I couldn’t stop thinking about all the fun things we could learn and do.
Well, turns out kindergartners attention spans aren’t that long.
And they can’t do much in-depth thinking and reasoning yet.
And there was a baby to take care of.
So, needless to say, I had to scale back my expectations that first year…
And every year since.
One of my biggest tips to new homeschoolers is to not over schedule yourselves.
Take it easy, especially if your children are young.
Make sure you have math and reading covered and then see how it goes. If you feel like your child and your schedule can handle another topic or two, then, by all means, add it in. Just don’t feel like you have to. There will be plenty of time to read a chapter of the bible every day, learn about all the Kings and Queens of England, and do amazing art projects.
Young children need time to play and one of the best things about homeschooling is that we are free to give them that time.
Homeschooling tip #2: Don’t over schedule yourselves!
Bend and Stretch
When my oldest daughter was in first grade, I bought her a spelling workbook because….well…everyone needs to learn spelling, right?!
Well, she hated it.
She would do the words if you knew them, but if we came to a word that she wasn’t sure how to spell…forget about it.
I ended up throwing the thing away and relaxing about spelling for a few months. We did some writing and copywork activities instead and her spelling slowly improved.
Then, a few months later she was ready to sound out and try to spell words on her own.
If you find yourself trying to teach a topic or skill that your child is not jazzed about, try putting it aside for a few weeks/months and coming back to it. Or, coming at it from a different angle.
Being able to be flexible and learn at our child’s pace is a great advantage to homeschooling.
You can also be flexible when it comes to your daily schedule. Maybe your husband is off during the week and works the weekends. Great, take those weekdays off and have family time. Then, do school on the weekends. Create a schedule that is most beneficial to your family.
Homeschooling Tips #3: Be flexible.
What Do They Really Think?
This kind of echoes what I said earlier about that spelling workbook. We all want our children to grow up to have a love of learning and to continue wanting to learn as they go through their adult life. One easy way to do that is to make sure they are actually enjoying their learning as a child.
Now, I know it can’t always be spaceships and rainbows, but most of the time it can.
Watch your children carefully and if they aren’t excited about school ask them what’s up. Maybe they don’t like the curriculum or they need shorter sit-down sessions with active breaks in between or they need more hands-on activities. Maybe the skill is a little too advanced and you need to try again in a few months.
Most kids love to learn if the topic and activities are appropriately geared to their age and ability. Watch your kids reactions to school – they’ll tell you if you’re on the right track. If you need to change something – then change it.
Homeschooling Tip #4: Keep your child’s love of learning alive.
The most important thing when it comes to homeschooling is to simply enjoy it! Your kids will be able to tell if you are enjoying your time with them or not. Are you snappy and short tempered or happy and patient? Do you say yes when they ask you to read a book or watch a documentary with them?
I can tell you that public school teachers don’t love every minute of every day, but they should (and I did) love most minutes of most days. It’s the same for homeschooling.
Homeschooling provides and opportunity to spend time with our children that precious few parents are able to do. Enjoy it and make really great memories along the way.
Homeschooling Tip #5: Have fun and make great memories!
Be sure to pin and save this post below to come back to when you feel overwhelmed with homeschooling!