At eight years into our official homeschooling, I suppose I might be considered a “veteran.” I have managed to learn a thing or two that might benefit others who are just starting the journey. They aren’t totally unique ideas, but they are 10 things that have made a difference for us.
My Advice for New Homeschoolers
1. Build a relationship with your kids and really get to know them.
When I told Big Sis (13) what I was blogging about, she said to list this as #1. She said it’s the very best thing about homeschooling. That made me feel good! It’s my favorite part of homeschooling, too. Amidst all the educating, don’t forget to just enjoy your time together!
2. Know the laws in your state.
The more familiar you are with the regulations, the less intimidating they seem. Doing things properly is important to the future of all homeschoolers and can make a difference for your children, too.
3. Take advantage of the library.
Don’t get overwhelmed with spending a lot on books or buying every book a certain curriculum says is necessary for your study. Remember that the library has a lot of great free resources. You can also enjoy things like story time for your younger kids and maybe a homeschool group or chess club, too, which are often held at the library.
4. Don’t get hung up on something that isn’t working.
Don’t be afraid to change things mid-year if it’s not working for your kids. That’s one of the advantages of homeschooling! You’re not tied to something you don’t like.
5. Accept yourself.
What I mean by this is, if you’re a planner, then plan. If you’re not, don’t beat yourself up over something you read on someone else’s blog. Don’t get stuck on an idea of what you should be, just figure out what God has gifted you with and use those skills. Don’t waste your time trying to be someone you’re not as a home educating mom.
6. Learn how your children learn.
By knowing your children well, you’ll also come to know how they learn best. Work with these strengths and weaknesses, not against them.
7. Read together.
Even after your kids are old enough to read on their own, you create family memories by sharing books together.
8. Don’t kill the joy of learning.
If things take you on a rabbit trail and your lesson plans are cast aside, let it be. Flexibility is often the key to encouraging the lesson!
9. Find some fellow travelers.
Whether it be online or in person, talk to other homeschoolers. Get your kids together so they can see that other families learn at home, too. I have made some great friends online through Yahoo groups and Facebook. These friendships have endured in spite of distance because we understand each other and can encourage one another.
This is the most important and guides all the others. Ask God what He wants for your kids. Ask Him for the strength, wisdom, and guidance you need to teach them well. Keep Him at the center of your homeschooling.
What is your advice for new homeschoolers? Or are you a new homeschooler yourself? Let me know in the comments!
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