Have you decided homeschooling is the right path for your kids, but you don’t know how to get started? Maybe they were struggling in a classic school setting with other children or unable to focus and learn. Maybe your family moves around a lot, and you don’t want to take your child in and out of different schools continually. Whatever the reason, if you are about to start your homeschool journey and need a few tips to make the process easier, here is a list that will put you on the right track.
Take It Slow
It can be tempting when starting to jump in headfirst and try to tackle everything homeschooling has to offer. Doing this can easily lead to burnout, and you may begin to feel overwhelmed and unqualified. Take the time to transition away from a traditional school setting, or if your child is starting school for the first time, give yourselves time to adjust to what learning looks and feels like from home. Try starting with one subject and slowly moving to the rest. Your child won’t fall behind, and they will find the process much more enjoyable without the stress of getting everything all done at once.
Keep Lesson Time Age-Appropriate
Don’t spend hours on lessons if your child is only in first or second grade. Homeschooling gives you the flexibility to have school fit your schedule and not the other way around. If your child can’t focus for long periods, keeping lessons short and sweet is ok. If they’re older and have no trouble concentrating longer, let them spend the time with a more difficult lesson plan. You know your child best and can judge the length of time per lesson they will benefit from the most.
Creating a structured environment is just as important for you as it is for your child. Learning how to juggle lesson plans and grading papers isn’t easy and comes with a learning curve. If you have a set schedule for the day, you and your child will know what to expect and make the process easier. You can make it as specific or general as you’d like; it’s about tailoring the school day so your child can get as much out of it as possible.
Consistency is key and is crucial for the success of your homeschool journey. If you allow yourself to begin skipping school days, you risk getting into the bad habit of not doing school at all. Homeschooling requires strong self-discipline to be successful, and having consistency will go a long way in making the process easier. It doesn’t matter how you decide to structure your days; whether you do school on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday or every day, what matters is that you stick to whichever schedule you devise.
Have A Dedicated School Area
Having a dedicated school area will help both you and your child get into learning mode more easily. If you have a separate room or office to use, that’s great you can decorate the walls and make it as fun as you’d like. You can have your child help you, which will get them engaged in the process and make them more apt to want to learn. If you don’t have room to use, that’s ok too; the dining room table works perfectly; just make sure you use the same area every day. Let your child know that when school starts, the homeschool area is where they need to go. If you want to mix it up and go outside or to the park to learn, just make sure they know where home base is and where the majority of their learning will happen.
Homeschooling is a fantastic opportunity to bond with your child and watch them learn and discover new things. It allows you to be hands-on with their education and ensure they are taught the values you hold dear. If you are just starting, tips like taking it slowly, keeping lesson time age-appropriate, creating structure, being consistent, and having a dedicated school area, can help set you and your child up for success. Enjoy the process and start homeschooling your child successfully today!