With so much uncertainty in the world right now, there is no telling what school will look like in the fall. As a parent, this obviously presents some challenges and comes with a whole host of difficult decisions that need to be made.
Now, obviously, no one can tell you what is best for your child and your family and you might even be wondering if homeschooling is right for you and your family, but in the event that you do decide to give homeschool a try, we’ve got five tips for you today that will help make the transition a little bit easier.
Remember That the First Year is the Hardest
The first time you do something is always going to be the hardest, and homeschooling is no exception.
Adjusting to a new way of learning, a new routine, is hard. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
You’ll need to learn how your child learns just as they’ll be adjusting to having you as a teacher and there will be times that both of you will struggle.
Give yourself a little extra time to plan and prepare for your upcoming year and start off slow.
Above all, remember to give both yourself and your child some grace as the two of you adjust to this new journey together.
Give Yourself Time to Adjust
Adjusting to homeschool from traditional public or private school can be difficult for both you and your child.
I know I’ve already said it once, but it’s worth repeating a second time: give everyone in your household the grace and time needed to adjust to your new situation, because believe me, it’s not going to be instant.
Consider easing into your homeschool curriculum instead of jumping in headfirst. This is especially important if your children are younger.
Take breaks throughout your homeschool day or start the year by doing just one subject a day while you and your child get used to learning together.
Don’t Try to Recreate School at Home
A lot of times, when people think of homeschool, they simply imagine school at home.
Well, I’m going to throw this out there for anyone that needs to hear it…
If school at home is what works best for you and your child, great. If you find that it just doesn’t work for you at all, you can try something different.
Let me repeat that for those in the back.
The beauty of homeschooling lies in the fact that you and your child can learn together however you’d like!
If that means first thing in the morning with textbooks and defined subjects, so be it.
If that means that you spend an afternoon working on math and science by baking a batch of cookies, that’s okay too!
If you find that unit studies, lapbooks, or virtual field trips are more your speed, more power to you!
You can create whatever kind of classroom environment you want and you may even find that it better suits your child’s needs.
It’s Okay to Ask for Help
In more ways than one!
First, there are tons of fantastic homeschooling groups and websites out there and almost every single one of them would be happy to offer advice.
Whether it’s curriculum advice or how to teach a gifted learner, I promise you, there is another homeschool mom (or dad!) out there that has been in your shoes and can help you navigate this experience.
Second, you don’t have to teach every single subject under the sun all by yourself.
If music isn’t your strong suit but your child absolutely loves playing the guitar, consider hiring some help.
Now, the current situation makes this a little bit tricky, but there are options out there.
Your local homeschool group may have someone that has swapped from offering in-person to virtual music lessons or you can give a platform like Outschool a try.
You’ll find everything on there from coding courses to music classes.
Decrease the Amount of Time You Spend in School
Homeschooling your child will not take you a full eight hours a day.
In a traditional classroom, your child’s teacher was trying to teach 20-30 children at once and every single one of them had their own unique struggles.
With one on one instruction, your child will be able to make it through their school day in a fraction of the time.
Don’t fall into the trap of feeling like you’re not doing enough simply because you finish “early.”
This is sometimes a hard concept to grasp when you start homeschooling, but I promise you that your child will still learn.
Use that extra time that you have to read a new book together or try a more hands-on science experiment. You could even let your child take a marine biology class just for fun if that’s something that they’re interested in.
Use this time to find out what interests them.
The beauty of homeschooling really lies in its flexibility. You can mold it, shape it, and tailor it to fit your child specifically, giving you the opportunity to provide them with an education that is the best possible one for them, but one that they’ll love as well.