Friday, 15 May 2015

Five Top Tips for New Homeschoolers

So many new homeschoolers want to know what it is that you recommend they do. 
Where do you start?  There is so much knowledge to share! 

However I think most times, we are so eager to help and give advice, that we miss the mark completely and have the poor family so overwhelmed with well meaning help, advice, links, options and plans that they are immediately trying to play catch up.  

My advice is to stop. 
Stop and breathe. 
Remember why you wanted to homeschool in the first place and then follow some very simple steps. 

Remember your child and your family is not like ANY other and what others are doing or have done, is their way, their mistakes made, their success, their plan. Not yours. It is best to write down what your goal is, and try not to take on others points of view too much. You can take notes, ask for advice and help, but don't lose sight of your own goals.

You don't need to rush out and buy curriculum! So many of us got told what to use at the start of our journeys and we all wasted so much money trying new curriculum before even knowing what would suit our child, becoming very broke in process and stressing both ourselves and our children.  There is so much to find online that is free. Until you settle into being at home and find out what your child's learning style is, don't spend too much money.

Take your time! There is NO hurry. Just because a child in a mainstream school is at school for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, does NOT mean you have to immediately replicate that at home. Homeschooling is not necessarily School at Home. You don't need to make your home look, run and feel like a school. Take some time to settle into life at home. More than just a week! It can take months to find a routine. Months to find your feet. Months for your child to de-school and find themselves.

Trust yourself. This is a big one. I know you will have anxiety and you will doubt yourself. But you took this step for a reason and you had the confidence to follow through so keep up that positive attitude and have faith in yourself. Trust that you ARE smart enough to teach your child. Trust that you ARE doing what you feel is best for them. Trust that you WILL have bad days but that the good days will far outnumber them. 

Pace yourself socially.  There are so many homeschooling groups our there, that if you were to try and go to everything available, well you'd never be home!  Children at school are around other children all day but that is not being social, that is forced interaction.  There will always be things on to go and do, but too much too soon gives both you and your child burn out.  It is completely ok to stay at home.  And stay home a lot if that's what you and your children like and need.  

That's it.  My Five tips for new homeschooling families.  
Stop, Breathe, Relax and follow your instincts. 

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