Do you want to start homeschooling, but feel that it might not be the right thing for you? Starting out on this journey can be challenging, and completely overwhelming at times. But despite anything that you think, homeschooling can be right for any family, but only if you are determined to do it.
If you’re worried about doing it well, I can’t help you there. We’re human, we’re fallible. Sometimes we don’t do it well. But, it’s the dedication to our families and the desire to see them succeed that helps us to pull up our bootstraps and keep on trucking on that helps us to do it to the best of our abilities.
Just look at the findings when homeschoolers are studied. According to research, homeschooled children perform better than children who learned in public school environments. Heck, with information like that, you ought to be jumping on the opportunity!
As much as homeschooling is a common practice for most parents, it still seems like a strange practice to some. People always tend to ask, “Is it worth it? How do you manage it and why would you choose it?” As a starter, it might be a bit confusing to know what to do, especially during your first year of homeschooling. Below are great ideas gathered from homeschooling experts.
1. Write down all the reasons why you are doing it
What is your primary goal for homeschooling? You might have chosen it because of its flexibility, freedom, values or religious preference. No matter what, you have reasons why you wanted to do it. Homeschooling is very much involving and you have to set down your aims of doing it.
Writing down your goals helps you to work hard towards them and accomplish them. During your first year of homeschooling, you can set your goals simple and aim to achieve the following things:
- Help your kids have a quality education, determined by their individual needs and learning abilities.
- Having more control of your day to learn in different environments.
- Spend time with your family and create strong bonds that come from learning together.
- Find out the areas of weakness of your kids and help them to work on them willingly.
- Find out the best learning styles for your kids and put those lacking areas to the test.
2. Find out your strengths and weaknesses
As a homeschooler, you need to test the waters during your first year of homeschooling. While homeschooling involves teaching, you might also need to guide your kids in other self-learning activities. You should let them access quality information from a variety of sources. You can only do this by learning about your own strength and weakness.
If you are lacking in time-management, you might need to seek more structure. You might also not be good in all the subjects and might need to hire someone to help you teach them. You should identify your areas of weakness throughout your first year and solve them as soon as possible.
3. Find out where to get support
You can accomplish successful homeschooling activities without assistance, but it’s important to show your children that you can learn from sources outside of your home. You can talk to family members, friends, internet, and social media groups or seek help from a homeschooling co-op. In your first year of homeschooling, you’ll learn that support is so significant to your success.
Homeschooling is not a one-man (or woman) job. You can employ the help of others without them even realizing it. Grandparents and great-grandparents can help with history and real-life experiences from a new point of view, the museum worker is now an informal teacher, the grocery store is a practical place ot learn about money, the car wash and machinery, the local farm and biology.
The world is truly your oyster. Seek out the help of your community and they will answer the call. If ever in doubt, a quick Google Search for homeschool opportunities (co-ops, sports, field trips, play dates) are just a click away!
4. Join other online homeschoolers
The best thing about joining online groups or forums is learning new skills and sharing your challenges. Such groups will help you to know how to get started and mistakes to avoid during your homeschooling practice. You can always join our Facebook Group Fervent Christian Homeschoolers. But if you’re looking for a few groups to join, I recommend these from the bloggers behind the website Homeschool Bloggers:
- A Helping Hand Homeschool – Homeschool Well on a Budget
- Year Round Homeschooling – Year Round Homeschooling Moms’ Community
- In All You Do – Thrifty Homeschoolers
- Homeschool Balance – Secret Society of Homeschool Moms
- Homeschool Printables for Free – Homeschool Printables for Free
- Life of a Homeschool Mom – Frugal Homeschooling Moms
- Special Needs Homeschooling – Special Needs Homeschooling
- Learning Table – Eclectic Homeschooling
- My Joy-Filled Life – My Joy-Filled Homeschool
5. Think about how to deal with non-homeschoolers
During your first year of homeschooling, you are likely to get many questions from people who don’t home-school. Some of them would be negative about it while others would just be curious. How will you handle them? Some will give you snarky comments just because they don’t like it.
You don’t have to explain to everyone the reason why you homeschool your kids. You can leave it as a personal choice, or you can choose to explain your reasoning. But know, it’s no one else’s business when you feel like you are doing right by your family. It’s good to know your “why”, but you don’t have to let everyone else too. You choose.
Homeschooling is an exciting, but challenging, thing; especially in your first year of homeschooling. The best thing that you can do is to focus on your goals and ensure that nothing hinders you from achieving them. You are your child’s advocate and no one can do better by them than you. Trust the Lord, and that motherly instinct and you can raise some seriously smart kiddos!