Homeschooling can be tough yet rewarding. This is true whether you’re thinking about homeschooling for the first time or are a tried and true homeschooler. Would you rather homeschooling be a little less tough and a little more rewarding? I know I would. There are times when I want to throw in the towel, and in those moments I have to remind myself of the why.
In the midst of the, “I just can’t take another day” moments, I think back on when we first started, and think I have to share what has kept me sane… thus far.
Four Tips Every Homeschool Family Needs to Know
To keep you from losing your ever-loving mind.
Find a Group
As a homeschooling parent, you are not alone. Chances are, the area you live in has at least a few other families that homeschool their children. If you can, become a part of a homeschooling group for your area. Some homeschooling groups operate on a local level, including just homeschooling families from your specific city, while others operate on a countywide or statewide level. You can find homeschool groups by checking the homeschool support group listing on home-school.com. No matter which homeschooling group you become a part of, the fact remains that these groups are great resources for you. You’ll be able to ask other, more seasoned homeschoolers about different curriculum ideas or ways to teach a subject. As you progress through the school year, you’ll find this companionship very valuable as different issues and questions pop up.
One way homeschooling differs from public schooling are the opportunities for social development. You may often hear people ask, “but what about socialization?” It is true, that social skills play an important part in your children’s development, and you need to give them many opportunities to develop these skills. Homeschooling offers the opportunity for advanced social development beyond just the same age peer socialization typical of other school settings. Explore these social development opportunities with your children by involving them in the community, the church, homeschool groups and co-ops, community sports, and volunteering… just to name a few ways. You’ll be surprised by how easily your children converse in multi-age group settings and how easily they socialize with others of all ages, not just their same age peers.
Take a Class
Let’s face it. As parents, we can’t be experts at everything, despite what our kids might think. This is where the beauty of a homeschool co-op comes into play. Sign your children up for a class, even if it’s just an art class! Don’t have a local homeschool co-op? Check local businesses and the area college for class options. You can use these classes to help supplement your children’s learning without compromising your homeschooling integrity. Be sure to know and follow your state guidelines, if any, for hours that must be completed in the home location.
A final tip every homeschool family should know is to be consistent. This rule applies to every part of your schooling and home life, from the subjects you teach to the schedule you follow. Adults and children alike thrive on consistency, so make sure you have general rules and guidelines you follow during school time, as well as during free time. Don’t skip a day of learning just because you feel like it. The more consistent you are, the more your children will learn and grow. That said, your routine for Tuesday does not have to look like your routine for Monday. Each day of the week may look different from the others. Your children will appreciate knowing what to expect, i.e. Monday is at home and we cover language arts, social studies, and math; Tuesday is at co-op and we cover history, science, and choir, etc. etc. Inasmuch as it is possible, stick to the routine. Things happen, though, and the beauty of homeschooling is that you can make it up if you have to miss a day due to illness or unexpected change in plans.
Homeschooling is definitely worth all of the sweat and tears you pour in to it. It is hard work, but in the end, your children will have an education that will allow them to succeed in life.
Although these tips can’t guarantee a problem-free homeschooling life, they can help you have an easier time doing what you need to do.
Remember to give yourself grace.