If you have ever considered homeschooling your kiddos, but were a little nervous to begin taking over the role of handling your child’s education, you are not alone. There is a lot to learn about homeschooling, from the ABCs for young children to the ACTs and SATs for your teens. Well, fear no more! Here are some great tips for the first time homeschooler.
It is important for your child’s education that you set homeschooling goals. What kinds of things are you hoping for your child to accomplish, and in what time frame? It is important to have both long and short-term goals as these goals can help make sure that you are moving in the right direction.
Find Other Homeschoolers
There are numerous reasons why it is a good idea to connect with other homeschoolers. First of all, it is helpful to have other adults to connect with and to share homeschooling tips and ideas, but it is also essential for your kiddos too. These local connections allow your children to get together once with other homeschoolers and make new friends, interact with their peers, and in general, learn valuable social skills that they will use throughout their lives.
Organization plays a huge role in being a successful homeschooler. Being organized will help ensure that you always have the supplies necessary for each of your lessons, as well as keep things a little less stressful. There is nothing worse than not being able to do your lesson when you cannot find a workbook or having to stop in the middle of an activity because you can’t find some of your supplies. Getting and staying organized helps ensure that not only does your homeschool day run a little more smoothly, it also helps to keep everyone focused and on task and you’re not stopping ten times to find different items.
ACTs and SATs
Yes, these tests are important for homeschoolers too! If your child is college bound, they’ll want to make sure they sign up at the appropriate times and study for, either the SAT or the ACT.
When signing up for the ACT, which is offered 4-6 times throughout the year, use 969-999 as your child’s high school code. This is the universal ACT Homeschool Code and is applicable anywhere in the USA.
Don’t Put Yourself in the Hole
Financially speaking, it can be easy as a first time homeschooling parent to find yourself dropping tons of money on curriculums, supplies, manipulatives, and other learning tools that are not actually necessary. Stick to the basics, at least until you find what works best for your family, look for used curriculums and sell your old books when you are done with them.
Make It Fun
While you do need some discipline to keep your homeschool running smoothly, it is okay (and dare I say necessary) to make homeschooling fun. You want your children to love learning and that just won’t happen if they’re reading from the same old boring textbooks everyday.
Have pajama days and holiday parties. Add fun field trips to your schedule or toss in an extra break time on those extra trying days. Find what it is that your child loves and appeal to their interests. You’ll find that you’ll both enjoy homeschooling a lot more if you simply relax and enjoy.
Overall, homeschooling for the first time may look different in real life than what you had originally pictured in your mind. Guess what? That is more than okay!
There will be days that homeschooling goes perfectly and everybody is ready to learn. There will also be days that you’re ready to quit. More than anything, as a first-time homeschooler, remember to breathe and try again tomorrow. In the end, it is completely worth it.