A friend of mine started homeschooling her son for the first time this year. Last week, she hit the panic button because her schedule is overwhelming between work, homeschooling, and appointments. I gently reminded her that one of the beauties of homeschool is that you can flex your schedule. Is this your first year homeschooling? If so, don’t panic. While there is a lot to know and understand that first year of homeschooling, you can learn a lot from the tips I’m about to share with you. Homeschooling is a great way to teach your kids what you want them to know and to spend more time with them. You’ve weighed the advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling and have decided to dive in. Here are some do’s and don’ts of your first homeschool year to help you avoid hitting the panic button.
Do’s and Don’ts of Your First Homeschool Year
Do a little planning
You don’t have to plan down to the very second, but it is wise to do a little planning for each homeschooling day. Whether you use a homeschool planner or prefer to write down things in a notebook, write it down. Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” I couldn’t agree more.
Don’t worry about making mistakes
Something you will quickly find out about homeschooling is that you will make mistakes and that’s okay. Mistakes will make you a better homeschooling mom. You will learn from your mistakes, over the years. You will also learn from other people’s mistakes over the years. I personally love to learn from other people’s homeschooling mistakes, so I don’t lose time and money. 🙂
Do take your time
There is no rule book for homeschooling. Something I learned is that sometimes you have to ease your way into homeschooling. Taking your time is a really good way to NOT overwhelm yourself that first year. The first year of homeschooling can seem like a lot. With one bite at a time, you can accomplish anything.
Don’t overdo it
One thing I can tell you is that there are a lot of activities for homeschoolers. You really don’t have to sign your children up for everything. Pick and choose what you want, don’t overdo it. Trust me, it’s easy to overdo it in homeschooling. I know from experience that you can’t do it all. Learn how to say no now and you won’t regret it, especially during your first year of homeschooling.
Do your own thing
Like I said, homeschooling can be what you want it to be. You don’t have to sit at a desk for 8 hours a day with your kids. If you want to squeeze homeschooling in during the morning hours or even in the evening hours, you get to decide that. Do your own thing, when it comes to the first year of homeschooling, and you’ll find your groove in no time. Figure out what works for you and your child, and do that. It doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s homeschool!
Don’t give up too easily
I will tell you those first few days, weeks, and months of homeschooling can be super overwhelming, but don’t give up too easily. Follow all these do’s and don’ts and stay the course. Don’t be afraid to ask veteran homeschooling friends and family for advice. Surround yourself with a really good support system.
Do Read Books Written by Other Homeschool Moms!
I have a rather long list of Must Have Books for Homeschool Moms, and the Big Book of Homeschool Ideas Volume 1 and Big Book of Homeschool Ideas Volume 2 are two of my favorites.
The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas: 55 Moms Share Their Expertise on 103 TopicsThe Big Book of Homeschool Ideas: volume 2
Now, sit back and breathe. You’re the one steering your homeschool boat, so don’t let it stress you out!