Choosing to homeschool your kids is a big, challenging step. With half of the school workforce being made up of teachers and the other half of guidance counselors, nurses, and more essential staff, choosing to homeschool means you’re now all of those positions in one — along with still being a parent. But as a parent, you know what’s best for your children. So if you’ve decided to start homeschooling, here are a few tips to help you ease into the process.
One of the first things you’re going to want to do is decide on what kind of approach you’ll be taking with your homeschooling. While this can be one of the most challenging aspects of homeschooling, it’s also one of the best. You get to choose how, what, and when your child learns. You’ll have to do some research on different approaches and see what is involved in each — and of course, you can mix and match if you choose. In the end, the approach you choose should be what you think is best for your child.
You’ll also need to find the curriculum you think is best for your child. There are a surprising number of curriculum options, so it’s important to do your research. Reviews and recommendations are a great place to start but, again, it all comes down to choosing what you think will be a good fit for your child and your teaching style.
Additionally, it’s important to find a balance between learning and playing. Because your home is now both a home and school environment, you want to make sure you’re not overwhelming your child with a heavy focus on school activities. Don’t forget that they still deserve, and need, to have fun — in fact, regular play is essential for the development of 400 genes in the cerebral cortex. So while you do need to remain disciplined and ensure your child is keeping on top of their schoolwork, make sure they still feel relaxed and are able to have fun when they’re not doing school activities. And just because you’re teaching school lessons doesn’t mean you can’t have fun! Incorporating fun activities into lessons is a great way to ensure your child still feels like they can have fun at home, both during and after school lessons.
And last but not least, don’t be afraid to reach out to the homeschooling community. While it may feel like it at times, you’re not alone! There may have been an average of 142 students enrolled at a private school in 2015, but that doesn’t mean you’re the only parent choosing to homeschool. Reaching out to other parents who homeschool their kids can be a great way to learn different teaching approaches and activities, ask questions, and just gain some overall support. Even if there isn’t a strong homeschooling presence in your area, there are plenty of resources available to help you connect with other homeschoolers.
Homeschooling is not an easy task. It takes a lot of patience and discipline to be able to be both a teacher and a parent — which is what makes homeschoolers so amazing! You know what’s best for your child and hopefully these tips can help you provide the best homeschooling environment possible.