As a parent educator, you have the freedom to weave your family’s values, your educational goals, and your children’s passions into the living journey of homeschooling. You get to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. You do not need to become entangled or even burdened with what the school down the street is up to, because you have the ability to design a program that is perfectly suited for not only each of your children, but your entire family as well.
To be a successful homeschooler you need a foundation, a plan, and sheer determination.
This is the most essential piece to the homeschooling puzzle.
You need to lay a solid foundation for your children and your family.
- What does your ideal homeschool environment look like?
- What do imagine your daily routine to look like? How will the house run in the midst of your homeschool day?
- Will your children help around the house?
- What part will both you and your spouse play in their education?
- Will you incorporate your faith into the school day?
If you are a new homeschooler, you should take a few days to consider what your foundation should look like. If you are a brand new homeschooler, understand you may laugh at your ideas a few months from now, but that should not stop you from laying an idea of your foundation.
It is true, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
The good news is, in homeschooling the plan is fluid and changeable. You do not need to stick with plans that are failing, but you do need a plan.
- What grade levels are your children?
- What subjects are required in your state?
- What topics would you like to teach your children?
- Will you design your own teaching materials or acquire them from a big curriculum company?
- How long will your school day/year be?
- Where will you find coaching, mentoring, and encouragement?
Homeschooling is wonderful, but it is also wonderfully hard. It is a huge undertaking to not only educate your child, but keep your home from falling apart simultaneously. There will absolutely be days when you question everything. There will be more than one day, week, or year that you fear that you are ruining your child’s education. This is normal.
Before you go any deeper into this thing called homeschooling, you should:
Determine that you will stay the course.
Determine to never quit out of frustration. When those days come that cause you to believe you should quit, declare it a free play day, go to the library, visit a veteran homeschooler, or go to the zoo.
Just determine to never quit out of frustration.
Understand that homeschooling is hard, but that just because it is hard does not mean that you are unqualified. Honestly there is no one more qualified to teach your children than you are. You know their strengths, weaknesses, and passions better than anyone else.
Homeschooling can be extremely fun, rewarding and exhausting. It is worth every bit of effort to be able to see your child blossom into a curious learner.
If what you are currently doing is not working, go back and look at your foundation and plan.
As a veteran homeschooler, I can assure you that it is very common for homeschoolers to go on tangents. It is also common to throw out topics or whole curriculums that are not a good fit for your family.
Change is good.
Homeschooling is good. It is not for everyone, but it is good!