When a parent makes the decision to homeschool, she often feels overwhelmed. After all, there is SO much information out there and SO many choices for curriculum.
I asked some of my homeschooling friends for their best piece of advice for a homeschooling parent who was just starting out. Here are some of the answers:
Advice for Homeschooling Parents (from those who have been there):
1. Find a support network.
2. Let other moms or teachers teach your child certain subjects. There is nothing wrong with asking for help (especially in subjects you struggle with!) Make sure if you’re not able to teach a certain subject that your child is still given the opportunity to learn it.
3. Create a consistent schedule, but be flexible. School days don’t always go the way you expect them to.
4. Study your children to discover their different learning styles. Adapt your teaching as necessary to meet your child’s needs and interests.
5. Don’t be afraid to repeat a chapter or entire course if necessary.
6. Have fun with it!
7. Take it year by year. Life happens, and there may a year you can’t homeschool, and that’s okay.
8. Stay flexible and learn your child’s cues. If there’s a morning they need a break, then do school later that day or on the weekend. Be willing to take a break if your child needs a break. (I love what one mom suggested. She and her kids “dance it out” sometimes to get back on track.)
9. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice from other homeschooling families.
10. Don’t stress about getting the “perfect” curricula the first year. Try a mix of different types of curricula and find out which types of lessons help your children thrive.
11. Keep your expectations low. (Or…let go of expectations altogether). Know you will fail many times, but don’t ever let that failure knock you down.
12. Do not try and recreate the public education system in your own home.
13. Allow your child to lead you.
14. Pray for LOTS of patience and endurance.
15. Let your first year be a “Grace year.” It’s a learning experience for all of you, and it may not go as smoothly as you hope, but it will all work out!
(A HUGE thank you to Audrey, Kaile, Merrie, Heather, Amanda, Brandi, Gina, and Shelley. You ladies rock!)
I’d love to hear from you. What’s YOUR best piece of advice for first-time homeschooling parents?