July 03, 2012
Top Ten: Advice for New Homeschoolers
#1 Don't forget to have FUN! Make it fun for you and the kids! It's always great when learning can be fun for the whole family.
#2 Every family is different! Don't worry about what other people are using for their methods or curriculum or even schedule. Just focus on your family and study out what your family needs. You are the mom and you know best so trust that intuition!
#3 Pray for direction, patience, strength, teaching skills and more. Never underestimate the power of prayer. You may even want to add it into your daily school routine. We pray before our lessons and after our lessons.
#4 Read lots of books! They will give you ideas as to methods, curriculum, learning and teaching styles and lead you towards a homeschool that best suits your family. I've listed my favorites below
"So you're thinking about homeschooling" by Lisa Whelchel
"Mary Pride's complete guide to getting started in homeschooling: a practical homeschooling book" by Mary Pride
"A Charlotte Mason Companion: personal reflections on the gentle art of learning" by Karen Andreola
"Charlotte Mason's Original Homeschooling Series" by Charlotte Mason
"How children learn" by John Holt
"Honey for a child's heart" by Gladys Hunt
"Dumbing us down: the hidden curriculum of compulsory education" by Taylor Gato
"Learning all the time" by John Holt
"The well adjusted child: the social benefits of homeschooling" by Rachel Gathercole
"Family matters: why homeschooling makes sense" by David Guterson
"A Thomas Jefferson Education" by Oliver Van DeMille
"Educating the wholehearted child" by Clay and Sally Clarkson
"Last child in the woods" by Richard Louv
"The well trained mind" by Susan Wise Bauer
"The Three R's" by Ruth Beechick
#5 Avoid Burn-out by taking care of yourself and taking breaks when you or the kids need them! Exercising and making time for yourself makes a huge difference! If you or your kids could use a break then use a day to just reading or just science or just going to the museum. It's okay to do that.
#6 If your child is under the age of 5 you do not need a curriculum. Preschoolers will learn plenty by doing art, playing, cooking in the kitchen, reading books and doing some workbooks that focus on letters, numbers and shapes and doing a very simple letter of the week curriculum. Young kids will let you know when they are ready to take it to the next learning level.
#7 Homeschooling does NOT need to be expensive! In fact, it can be cheap! There are dozens of online curriculum and resources. Use the Library! It will become your best friend!
#8 If anything, focus on the three R's every day along with what they want to learn about! You may not be able to fit every subject in every day but you can focus on the main subjects every day! Which are arithmetic (math), reading, and writing! If you can fit those in every day you are doing great! I also like to add a little bit of what they like to learn about to keep it fun and to encourage future career minded goals.
#9 Don't be scared to change things up a bit. You will find that when you start you may not have found the exact method or known the exact learning style of your children. The great thing about homeschooling is that you can change things up a bit. Don't feel guilty that it didn't work as planned. Trust me, we've all been there!
#10 Remember, you are now known as the "odd ball" or "black sheep" so get used to it! You will have several people try to question your abilities and decision to homeschool. You will have some people think that you think you are better than them because you homeschool. You will have numerous amounts of strangers question you and your kids about socialization. Be strong and stand your ground, you can do it! It will get annoying but you will eventually get used to it sooner or later.
Good Luck! Have Fun!