Preparing for your first ever homeschool year? Wondering how to homeschool successfully? If you’re gearing up for your first season of home education, you’re in good company. Thousands of families are tackling homeschooling for the very first time this fall.
Luckily, there are a wealth of tried and true secrets that can help you overcome the challenges of home education, so you can make homeschooling rewarding for your family. Let’s take a look…
1. Expect a Scheduling Surprise
It’s natural for children to tackle their daily schoolwork in less than 2 or 3 hours. If you find yourself surprised by the brevity of your child’s study time, don’t worry. As a homeschool parent, you don’t need to feel pressured to create a 6-hour school day at home. Your child will likely gain more from a short, energized homeschool session in the morning than from a long, drawn out day of study.
So, what should you do with the rest of your day? Go enjoy it with your child. Take a bike ride or read books, enroll in a cooking class or watch a foreign film. Tackle academics with energy, and then create a lifestyle of learning and live each day to its fullest.
2. Try On Your Homeschool Teacher Hat
Teaching and parenting are two, entirely different tasks. As a homeschool parent, you’ll need to adjust to stepping in and out of these unique roles. You’ve likely been a parent for a long time. Now, you get to try out the excitement of being an educational guide for your child as they navigate their learning journey.
With your teacher hat on, you’ll face challenges that might feel new. How do I make these math problems more accessible? What physics books will support this semester’s science projects? How do I explain gravity in a way that makes sense? Give yourself time to adjust as you put on your teacher hat, and find your footing in this new experience.
3. Use Online and Offline Resources
The Internet provides a wealth of opportunities for homeschool families; from free museum art programs to group classes, academic tutors to world-class science videos. In addition to these online learning resources, powering down the computer is also important. Take time for offline activities like nature walks, art projects, music practice, and science experiments.
Remember that your child can benefit from both online and offline study. Be open to mixing and matching these two resources throughout the day while discovering what most ignites your child’s love for learning.
4. Respect Your Child’s Learning Journey
Remember that all students develop at a different pace, and learning rarely happens in a straight, upward trajectory. Your child may pick up reading a little late, only for their skills to skyrocket next year. They may find one academic subject easy and exciting, while struggling in another area.
Stay tuned in to your child’s academic performance, encourage them in the subjects they love, and provide support in areas where they may need a little extra help. Instead of stressing, simply maintain an awareness of where they are, and create an environment that provides them the guidance they need and stimulates their curiosity as they grow and develop.
5. Find an Academic Strategy for Homeschooling That Feels Good
As a homeschool parent, you have a wealth of academic options, from predesigned curriculums to unschooling, academic tutoring to project-based learning. For first-time homeschool parents, online curriculums offer a structured approach that keeps your child on track while lifting some of the weight from your shoulders, and classical curriculums provide guidance while involving you more in the teaching role.
Don’t be afraid to start with one approach, and then adjust your strategy as you learn more about your child’s learning preferences and strengths. Chances are, homeschooling will surprise you, and you’ll want to redesign and reshape what you’re doing as you find your footing.
6. Do What Works Best for Your Family
You might find that your child loves the organized structure of an online curriculum, or you may discover that they’re drawn to project-based learning. Your child might wow you with their self-motivated studying, or you might find they feel isolated, and it’s best to co-homeschool with another family.
Remember that every child is different and every family is unique. Your homeschool schedule, structure, and priorities will reflect this, so embrace the freedom to approach homeschooling in a way that works for you. As long as your child is actively developing their skills and discovering their passion for learning, you’re on the right track.
Remember, The Best Way to Learn How to Homeschool is to Try it Yourself!
There’s no single best way to homeschool. In fact, every homeschool family has a different approach, and the only way to truly learn how to homeschool is to try it firsthand.
Start your homeschool year out one day at a time, be willing to learn from your mistakes, stay open to making changes, and constantly tune in to how your child learns best. Remember that homeschooling is a learning experience for both parents and kids, and a chance for your whole family to grow.
Need academic inspiration for your homeschooler? Browse TakeLessons tutors today to find the best fit for your child!