7 Homeschooling Mistakes to Avoid
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I absolutely hated school. Actually, I absolutely loathed school.
It wasn’t because I didn’t have friends or that because I wasn’t very good at it. As a matter of fact, I had many friends. At some points, I was probably considered “in” with the popular kids. For the most part, I made straight A’s, always made the principals list, and I even graduated in the top ten of my class.
But I remember begging my mom to homeschool me. Just because the school, in itself, was boring. I hated sitting, I hated schedule, and all of it made me hate learning.
Now, we homeschool for many reasons. I want my kids to learn in an environment that allows them to thrive. I want them to succeed outside of a mundane classroom setting. I want them to have experiences, opportunities, and learn from the world around them. But mostly, I want them to see all of that through the eyes of our Creator.
More and more parents are taking up the homeschool mantle, and the results speak for themselves. It is a delicate process, and there are teething problems associated with it. Whether you’re making this choice for religious reasons, or not, these are seven common homeschooling mistakes that newbies all over the globe are making.
1. Making it public school
Whatever you do, DO NOT make this one of your homeschooling mistakes (no matter how much you prepare, you’re gonna have some). The whole point of homeschooling is introducing a new approach to learning. While you may be excited about introducing your child to this new method, making your home a mini public school kills your child’s morale.
Setting up timetables that consume the entire day might not be as productive as you think. Instead, focus on using available resources to set-up a child-friendly system designed to help them make the most of the one-on-one advantage. The homeschool approach is an opportunity to equip your child with skills they wouldn’t get in a classroom setting.
As a beginner, you may be experiencing jitters about what might come of your decision. One on hand, there is the possibility that you handle all of this like a pro. On the grimmer end, you’re afraid you might murk it up, and your young one ends up miseducated.
As a result, you may expect too much from your child, or yourself. Pushing your kid, and yourself, to do too much only sets you up for burn out. You also risk underachievement by expecting too little from you or your child because of the high-stakes environment.
3. Stifling childlike tendencies
Your child is the best marker to the gauge the efficiency of the homeschooling experience. Since the child is more comfortable with you, you will know if your child is thriving. If you, or your child, aren’t enjoying your current method/routine it may be time to change things up.
Ignoring the child’s feedback could lead to resentment of your entire method. Consider your child’s feedback to come up with better schedules, curriculums and to offer a wholesome education. This is your opportunity to think outside of the box and allow learning to be fun!
If your child gets a little too antsy, maybe skip around the “schedule” a bit. Maybe it’s time for some hands-on learning, like experiments or real-life experiences. Maybe just send them out to burn some energy. Let the kids be kids, folks.
So much to learn, so little time it seems. You would like to make sure that you milk the day for all its worth to sail through the allotted quota of the curriculum. Well, that might not be the best approach to take. This is one of the most homeschooling mistakes that people make.
During the initial sessions, keep a time tracker handy to see how attentive your student(s) will be. Kids tend to have short attention spans. They will be at their most productive in the mornings, so you might want to slot the school-based curriculum for that time.
If you cover what you are supposed to, you can use the afternoons to extend learning to the outdoors. Remember, each experience is a chance to carve out a unique approach to the education you offer your child.
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Sure, you have taken a bold step and started your child on this home-based method. Chances are, you feel like you need to go at it alone since other parents around you have opted for different methods. Isolating your child only makes homeschooling a dull experience for them.
An engaging environment opens you and your child to knowledge you can’t find in books. You can use such opportunities to equip your child with interpersonal skills that come in handy for everyday experiences. Search for co-ops, homeschool sports teams, 4-H Clubs, homeschool field trippers, etc.
Homeschooling could be a chance to save up costs of sending your kid to public school. However, as a beginner, you may be tempted to purchase prohibitively expensive material. Do not be scared to take advantage of affordable facilities such as public libraries or freebies you find on the internet from homeschool blogs like this one. Check out our Shop here!
You can always use alternative books if you feel that a book will dent your pocket. Additionally, make outdoor activities fun learning opportunities; gardening, nature hunts/walks, exercise. You’d be surprised how well your kid takes up these opportunities.
Each child has different abilities. Each parent also has unique teaching methods. Comparing yourself or your child’s homeschooling experience will put both of you under unnecessary stress. Learn to review the day’s progress rather than focus on what you haven’t achieved. Play up your child’s abilities. Comparison is the thief of joy.
Don’t let any of these simple homeschooling mistakes cause you to regret your choice.
Starting out may have all sorts of hurdles. However, with the right direction, homeschooling may turn out to be an excellent gift for both you and your child. Most kids love learning, but they hate school. Homeschooling could be that missing link between a good education and a redefinition of what good schooling ought to be.