Congratulation! You have decided to start homeschooling…now what? What do you do? HELP!!
We know there can be a lot of fear and uncertainty when you start homeschooling especially in the middle of the year, but, it is often the perfect time to start homeschooling. You don’t want to ruin your child, but you know there has to be a better way.
Here are some important points to get started:
- Homeschooling takes some time to figure out. You do not need to have it all figured out before you start. Bring them home and then figure it out. If your child is struggling physically, emotionally, or educationally, act now and figure it out later.
- You both need to take some time off to de-school and recover. Whatever the situation is that caused you do decide to start homeschooling, it was stressful. Give your child time to decompress, destress, rest and recover before starting any formal academics. It is strongly recommended to take one month off for every year they have been in school. If you can’t take that much time, give yourselves several weeks off from formal, structured learning, at least one month, or one week for every year. This is very, very important.
- Take time to understand your child. How do they learn best? What is their learning style? What time of day do they work best? What are they interested in? Creating a learning environment that meets their needs will help you be the most successful.
- Stop worrying about your child being “behind”. They are where they are. Start from there and move them forward.
- Focus on what they are good at. Many times, our children’s strengths are ignored because everyone is so worried about fixing their weaknesses. If you focus on their strengths, many times, their weaknesses improve because they are not as stressed.
- Make learning relevant. Before insisting that your child learn something, ask yourself, “Is it important that my child learn this?” and if it is, then ask “Is this the best way for them to learn it?” Schools use textbooks to teach subjects, but many times, this is the least effective way to learn. Use real life situations as much as possible to help make learning real.
- Do not try to replicate school at home. If school at school wasn’t working for your child, why would you want to make your home be like school?
- Recognize that learning does not take 8 hours a day. Most people can learn very quickly when the information is something they are interested in and they are ready to learn it.
- Eventually, your child will be ready to learn but it might not be on your time table. If they are expected to learn information before they are ready, in a format that is not in line with their learning style, and has no relevance to their life, you will be in for a struggle. Sometimes there are things that they need to learn just because they need to learn it, but make this the exception instead of the habit.
- Find support. There are many homeschoolers who have been where you are and would love to help you figure things out. Find a support group in person or on Facebook, through your library or on HomeschoolingInDetroit.com There are many great programs, classes, activities, field trips and curriculum recommendations from other homeschoolers. Programs like www.HomeschoolConnections.com have been created to help you every step of the way.
You taught your child how to walk and talk, eat, dress and so much more. You can do this and we can help!