In the summer of 2015 when my family decided to begin homeschooling, (why I started homeschooling) I was terrified. I had no idea where to even begin! I quickly learned that I was clueless to what my boys were learning in school. I had volunteered often and went over their homework everyday, but I was still oblivious to my child’s education! Here are a few tips to help you get started in your journey through your first year of homeschool.
#1 – Find some other homeschooling families and learn from them!
If there was one thing I learned the mos,t is that you do not have to reinvent the wheel! There are so many families out there that are successful and so amazing! My first week of not knowing what to do, I called a mom that I didn’t even know. She helped me so much mentally and pointed me in the right direction to some good curriculum. She was a lifesaver! They are your support system!
#2 – DO NOT try and duplicate public school.
I learned this the hard way. When I began homeschooling, I had something planned for every minute! Between 8:00-2:00 my boys were busy doing something. I tried duplicating recess, lunch time, and discipline. If you start out this way, you will slowly start seeing it doesn’t work in the home setting. Changing your mindset from the public school mentality can be challenging. Set your own schedule! Provide 20 minute breaks in between subjects. Its amazing what happens when you do this. Your child is more alert and ready to learn! Also, all of your kids do not need to take a break at the same time. While you are helping one child, another could be taking their 20 minute break.
#3 Feed the desire to learn more. Don’t be afraid to go off the beaten path
I noticed that when we begin reading a book, or we are discussing different topics, my boys have lots of questions. Some, on topic questions and a lot of off topic questions. Use these questions to your advantage. If they ask what a word means, take the time to look it up with them. If they don’t know what a certain plant, animal, or item is, then take 5 minutes and research it. This is so great to watch your kids, as their minds are absorbing the answers to THEIR questions!
#4 Take time off from homeschooling
I didn’t learn this until close to the end of our first year. I was so worried that they weren’t going to get through their curriculum, or they weren’t “up to the grade level”. You will soon observe how quickly your kids learn and catch onto things. Take some time off. Your kids will be fine! Don’t do too much too long, you will get burned out! Figure out a schedule that works for you. Some do homeschool for 4 weeks and take 1 week off. Others take every Friday off. Find out what works for your family and take those breaks. They will save you! Lets face it, homeschooling is hard!
which leads to my…..
#5 – REMEMBER things that are worth it, rarely come easy!
This journey you are taking your family on is not easy, but OH SO WORTH IT! Don’t get discouraged easily! One piece of advice I received was, put on your yoga pants, put your hair in a bun, and enjoy it! There will be times you will laugh, and times where you will cry! That is ok! Do them both!
#6 – Be PREPARED to learn A LOT about yourself!
One of my friends who has guided me in our journey told me this……….
*The first year you learn a lot about yourself!
*The second year you learn a lot about your child!
*The third year you learn how to teach!
At first I was a little skeptical when she told me this. I mean really, yes I was terrified, but I already knew a lot about myself! I’ve been living with me, myself, and I for 31 years! What more could I possibly learn! THIS COULDN’T BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!! I have come to learn, that in the first year of homeschool, you learn SOOOOO much about who you are! I learned some things that I liked, and a lot of things I didn’t like! You are tested to your very core! You become your child’s educator, motivator, councilor, guide and everything else in between! It is a beautifully hard thing!
Homeschooling has been crazy hard, but has been so incredibly rewarding! I hope this helps you get started on the right foot! Good luck and remember you are amazing and you will ROCK IT!