Are you sitting there thinking about home educating your children? Thinking about what you really need to know before you begin. Take a look at my list of 10 things I wish I had known before starting home education.
It is way harder than I thought to Homeschool
I am not sure I was totally prepared for that. I wish I had been more prepared for the fact that some days were bad. Some days my child did not want to do what I had planned and resisted all attempts I would make at implementing my schedule for the day. Another day and something would happen and I would doubt myself. The main thing to remember is that the good days really do outway the bad. Home education is vastly different from school education and it will take a while for you and your children to adjust.
Other People’s Opinions
When I started I knew that there were going to be some family members and friends who were not going to like the fact that we had decided to homeschool. For a while this made me not want to even talk about home education with them because they didn’t approve of our choice. Some people probably still don’t agree with our decision but it is not for them to approve. You have to learn not to care about other people’s opinions of what you are doing, you have to grow a thick skin sometimes and learn how to brush off some people’s opinions.
Depending on the ages of your children, start with just core subjects, Maths, English and Science and add in some fun things. This will help yourself to become familiar with how long those subjects typically take before having to worry about all the other subjects.
Do what you are good at – being you! Don’t try to replicate a teacher at school. Home Education is vastly different from a school education and will take a while for your children to adjust if you are taking them out of school. Homeschool is not just about book work. Learning occurs throughout the day. Get out of the mindset that home education is just about book work because it isn’t. Think outside the box. For example, teach them to write a meal plan for the week, then write a list of groceries needed and go to the shops to find the items. At the shops you can make that into a maths lesson adding up the items that you buy. Everyday experiences can be used within your home education
Nobody knows your child as well as you do.
You can see patterns in your child’s life that no one else will see. You have the inside track when it comes to your child. This is something that only you can bring as mum or dad so when things get tough you as the parent care so much for your child that you will think “I want to find a solution for this child in this situation.” Your investment in them as a person will get you through this. You are the perfect person to be this childs educator because you are the person who cares the most about this person.
You will have hard days Home Educating
You will have days and times of self-doubting when you think why did I even start doing this. You will wonder whether this was the right decision for your family and the right decision for your children. There may be days when you or your children don’t want to do a particular subject. I have had lots of these type of days. Your child will not cooperate, they will not listen, they will distract and your house will be a total mess. Remember home education can be hard, it can be tough, it can be draining but let me assure you that it can be just as rewarding. Even on those tough days, weeks or months remember all the good days.
There is no perfect curriculum!
There I said it. Remember that the curriculum is not your master. All a curriculum is is a guide to help you move through the year, to give you a general direction of how to educate your child. But there is no perfect curriculum when getting started. As you grow and build your own confidence it is possible to change and adapt or leave out parts of the curriculum.
Don’t Buy Loads of Curriculum
When you start your home education journey, take your time before buying a curriculum for your children. You may hear or read about people talking about a particular curriculum and how much it works for their child but the reality is that it may not work for you or your child. Take time to find out about different curriculums and about how your child learns.
Every Year Will be Different
Every year is going to look different. As your children get older you’re going to hopefully get more confident in your abilities and your kids are going to become more familiar with the lifestyle of home educating. Each child will learn their own way. If you have several children remember that what worked for one child may not work for another child as each child is different. You may have to change how you teach each child, either curriculum or expectations.
Create a Schedule
Create a schedule but remember that you have to be flexible, especially if you have more than one child. Things will happen to mess up your schedule and there will be some days where you have to miss the whole day or miss some subjects on a particular day. Be flexible and don’t stress. Don’t put pressure on yourself because you didn’t get to every subject on your schedule that day or you had to miss a day. Remember that with homeschooling it has to flow around what is happening in your family life.
I hope that you find this list helpful when thinking about home education. Whatever happens you can bet someone has been there or felt that way before.