When most people begin thinking about homeschooling, they have a lot of questions.
There are a lot of decisions to make but there is no need to feel overwhelmed if you take a systematic approach to the problem/opportunity. Breaking down the preparation for an entire school year into smaller, say monthly, pieces can make the task much more manageable. The following tips should get you going in the right direction and make the process easier too.
- Each state has their own laws regarding homeschooling so you should do some research on your state’s requirements. If there is an online forum specifically for your state, a lot of your questions may be answered there.
- You need to start with the end in mind. What that means is that you need to have your long term (say 1 year) objective in mind and then write down the steps required to accomplish your education homeschool goals. With your long-term and short-term goals in writing, it will make choosing the proper curriculum easier. Not all curriculums will necessarily ‘fit’ into your goals. Like always, for learning questions visit our guide to the top homeschool curriculum for 2018 for help.
- Decide what is important in educating your children. You most likely have some beliefs about life, or philosophies, that you will most likely want to consider too. Is the academic portion of the educational process the most important to you? Or maybe you want to emphasize social aspects of academics. How about character development, team building, and leadership? Are you going to emphasize teaching your children how to “think for themselves”?
- You need to assess your families ‘personality’. Are you detail oriented? Are you a stickler when it comes to staying off the set schedule? Are you an everything must be in the day planner or are you a more spontaneous type of person? Once you have completed some introspection on yourself, you need to do some analysis on the children too. Are they outgoing or shy? Are they leaders or followers? What is their primary learning mechanism…. auditory, visual, tactile, etc. Acknowledging the primary learning mode of the children will make deciding which items you need to accomplish you educational goals much easier.
Many time people fret about selecting a curriculum but if your children are very young, you may not need to purchase the latest curriculum. Instead, for young children, you may want to focus on them learning to write the alphabet and learning basic simple math.
Remember that you have to leave time for some fun too. Some games are designed to be fun and teach at the same time. Just know that even though the homeschool game manufacturer said it’s a fun game, your children may not agree. And it doesn’t have to be games, other activities like trips to the museum, or even the airport can be a fun field trip for children.
Don’t forget about yourself either. There are lots of homeschool support groups out there. You probably have quite a few within a short distance from your home and there are lots of them online too.
To broaden your perspective and possibly learn the latest tips and techniques for homeschooling you should subscribe to homeschool magazines, periodicals, and newsletters. There are some good homeschooling forums on the internet too.
Learning is a never-ending process for your children and for you too. Consider continuing your own education. Never stop reading and learning. Things continually change and you need to be prepared to learn new things. The more you learn, the better teacher you will for your children.
The decision to homeschool is not always an easy one to make. Just know that you can do it and that you are not alone. Homeschooling is a wonderful way for you and your children to learn and grow together. It’s actually a great way for the entire family to learn and grow together.