Starting to homeschool can be overwhelming. Such a big learning curve ahead of you. And yet, it is very exciting because you see your family in a new light. These are my top 5 tips to families who are starting a Homeschool journey:
Top 5 tips for Families Starting to Homeschool
1. Know why you are doing something.
Don’t just do something because you read about it or because others you know are doing it and it is working for them. What are your goals and does this help you achieve them? This can be a homeschool approach, a curriculum, a routine, a Living Book! Your family is different than any other family – work with it!
2. Don’t copy School.
Making our homeschool like school is one of the biggest challenges that we face. For most homeschooling parents they themselves went to school. They may have liked it, they may have hated it but that is their experience. When we get overwhelmed our instinctive reaction is to move into what we know, what we feel comfortable with.
We know how school works. We tend to bring that system into the home environment. I encourage you to take a step back, give yourself time to define what learning in your home looks like rather than immediately jumping in and doing school.
3. Work on Relationship issues first.
Do you have a good relationship with your kids? If not, plan ways to give your family an opportunity to build, maybe even restore your relationships. If you already have good relationships, be proactive in keeping it that way. (This includes sibling relationships)
Second to working on relationships is to work on character issues. If your children won’t obey you – you will have a hard time getting them to sit at a desk to do their work. There are many character issues that affect our learning – self control, respect and obedience are my top three.
4. Prioritise training every day skills.
Training in these life skills takes time, and we need to make time in our day for this to happy and not be pressured into doing the ‘school stuff’. In our household this started with daily chores. Not only does this free up you, the mum, but it gives you yet another opportunity to work on character issues. Doing the dishes has always been an opportunity to teach obedience, initiative, self control, consideration for others etc.
5. Start on the academics slowly.
What is the number one academic need that you see in each of your children? Do they hate the idea of school? A love of learning will be your number one concern. Do they need to know how to read? How to research? Take notes? Or write a paper? Have they been struggling with math? Pick a priority and work with it till you feel comfortable and ready to instigate another discipline into your family life.
Oops…. I really have 6 tips!
6. Keep your outside commitments to a minimum.
We are often propelled to outside the home activity possibly by the discussion on “Socialisation” but the reality is that your children are learning all the skills they need to be social beings through the regular web and flow of your family life.
There is a bumper sticker that says “If I am a stay at home mum, why am I always in the car!” How true that is.
If we are homechoolers, the benefits will come by being at home!
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