Your First Year Homeschooling: How to Make it Work
24 July, 2019
So you've decided to home-educate your child. Congratulations! This is one of the biggest and most difficult decisions you'll ever make. Many parents choose to home school their children for a number of reasons, but chances are that you're still a little nervous about making things work. Whether you are going to home educate a kindergartner or your child has already completed a few years of public school, your first year of homeschooling can be a challenge (just like your first year working on your online degree).
To help you with this important challenge, we have put together a list of things for you to keep in mind that will help you make home-schooling a better and more efficient experience for you and your family.
1 – Be Patient and Understand it is a Learning Experience
When you first start homeschooling, make sure you talk with your spouse and your children openly about the experience. Make sure everyone understands that this is a learning experience for the whole family. It will take everyone some time to adjust to the change that homeschooling brings. It may take some time for you to figure out what curriculum works well for your family, as well as to work out a schedule that makes sense for each family member. Remember to be patient with your family as you figure things out together.
2 – Be Upfront with Friends, Relatives, and Neighbors
It's also important that you be upfront with your friends, relatives, and neighbors about your plans to home school. Many people may assume that since you home school, you'll have endless amounts of free time. This couldn't be farther from the truth! As a home educator, you'll be responsible for planning each lesson for your children, as well as for grading papers. You'll also spend quite a bit of time actually teaching your children. As a home school parent, you'll need to set firm boundaries with your friends and let them know that you can't plan activities during your school hours. While this can be a challenge at first, learning to plan things after your lessons are done will become easier.
3 – Join a Home School Group or Co-Op
Many parents find that joining a home school group or co-op can be beneficial, especially during the first year of home education. A home school group typically meets once a month and is a reasonable way to meet other home school parents, make new friends for your children, and even connect with home school sports teams and dance groups. A co-op is more education-centered than social and offers homeschooled children the opportunity to take a variety of different classes.
4 – Keep Things Fun, Interesting, and Different
It's also important to remember to keep things fun, interesting, and different. Homeschooling doesn't have to be boring. In fact, home education opens up many doors for fun learning activities. Don't be afraid to plan interesting field trips to local museums, take day trips to the zoo, or even join new classes you might not have otherwise enrolled your child in. Homeschooling doesn't mean you stay at home all day. In fact, most home school families find that the opposite is true!
5 – Keep Your Head Up and Take One Day at a Time
No matter how much experience you have when you start homeschooling, your first year can be overwhelming. Remember to keep your head up. Things may not be easy at first, but as you learn how to teach your child and how to explain things in ways that make sense to him, you'll gradually get the hang of things. Whether you plan to home school temporarily or on a long-term basis, remember to be patient with both yourself and your children. Instead of getting angry or frustrated if you face an obstacle in your home education journey, remind yourself why you chose to home educate and remember to simply take one day at a time.