Starting your homeschooling journey can be an exciting time in your life. But, it’s also kind of scary. The good thing to know is that it will be the start of something amazing for your family. When we decide to homeschool we often wonder how to do it right and the truth is there is no right or wrong when it comes to homeschooling. The great thing about homeschooling is you get to decide what it will be. And, you get to fit it to your child’s own learning style.
One of the best things about homeschooling is that you can do it however you wish. You can choose how you will make the most of it for your family.
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These tips will help you dive in and make the most of your homeschooling experience. But, they are not a must-do to make homeschooling work. Use them as a simple spring form to get started and then take the time you need to really research and figure out how you want your homeschool to work.
10 Tips to get started homeschooling
1) Don’t Rush In
If you are coming out of the public school system it can feel as if you need to rush right in to match expectations at the local school.
But that is not at all the reality of home education.
Take your time to research, and discover what is different about the homeschooling environment.
With phones ringing, babies crying, laundry and having to prep lunch, breakfast and dinner, your school routine simply will not look like a traditional school.
Home education doesn’t and shouldn’t look like a traditional classroom setting. That’s because trying to mimic school at home simply doesn’t work. Your kids are more comfortable in their own home. They can be themselves, more freely. And, you’ll discover that trying to plan your day like the schools do, quickly becomes frustrating.
Discover 10 Words You Need to Understand before you start homeschooling.
2) Get a planner
A planner will help to keep track of your homeschooling. This can be used for planning lessons or recording what you have accomplished and tracking hours for your homeschool record.
A quality planner with plenty of space for each day can make homeschooling easier.
You can get my free printable planner. I like to have it bound at the local office supply store. Or, you can simply hole punch it and add it to a binder.
If you prefer a digital planner I recommend the Homeschool Planet. It’s really a wonderful system that let’s you plan everything from lesson plans, to your family meals. You can also track hours, record grades, and prepare a transcript.
3) Don’t Spend a Lot of Money too Quickly
This will help you choose the right curriculum for your child before you invest, saving you money on homeschooling.
4) Plan Time Out of the House
One of the biggest misconceptions about homeschoolers is that we spend all our time at home.
Plan ways to get out of the house. Look for local field trip ideas, plan time at the local library, and just get out to the park as much as you can. Homeschooling doesn’t mean you have to be at home all of the time.
And, a change of scenery can be a blessing.
Even during these stay at home days, we can do nature walks, and road trips.
5) Don’t Homeschool for too Much Time Each Day
Don’t try to spend 8 hours a day homeschooling. While your kids may be away from home for 8 hours each day when in public school they are not learning during all of that time. They are going to lunch and recess, standing in like, waiting for other kids to quiet down and taking part in activities.
Take a few weeks to see how long schooling actually takes before setting a schedule. You might be surprised to discover that lessons can be completed in just 4 or 5 hours each day, perhaps even less if your children are still very young.
6) Take Breaks Throughout Each Day
You need to take breaks. Even when you can get school done quickly you will still want to take regular brain breaks between lessons. This will help to make it easier for your child to focus and learn the things you are teaching them.
My friend Amy at Rock Your Homeschool has a great list of 54 Brain Breaks for your Homeschool Day.
Kids thrive on regular breaks that get them up and moving between lessons. Plus, it’s a good way to fit in regular exercise.
7) Incorporate Hands-on Activities
Many children learn best in a hands-on environment. Spend time doing science projects, creating, and acting out lessons. This can get your child’s mind and body engaged making it easier to remember what they learn and make learning fun so they want to keep learning.
A book of science experiments is a great place to start.
8) Spend Quality Time Reading
Take advantage of spare time for reading. Instilling a love of reading is one of the best things you can do for your child. Spend time reading with your child and independently so your child can see you reading. Make a comfy spot with pillows or a bean bag chair to relax and read.
9) Teach by Example
Set an example for your child. Not only can your child benefit from seeing you read but they can benefit from seeing you spending time learning as well.
Grab a notebook and some books to spend time studying something that interests you. Or, you can sign up for a class either online, or perhaps a family class you and the kids can enjoy together.
10) Encourage Interest-led Learning
While teaching reading, writing, and math are important the reality is you can’t force learning. You can however inspire learning.
A great way to do just that is to set aside time in the day to help your child explore their own interests. When a child is passionate about something they will want to learn. It happens naturally. Spending time with things that spark their imaginations will create a sense of curiosity within them. And what follows is a willingness to learn.
Homeschooling can be a wonderful experience. There is no greater joy than seeing your child’s spark of enthusiasm for discovering something new.
What about you? Are you ready to take those first steps to homeschooling with your family?
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