If you’re like many new homeschooling parents, you’ve been sending your kiddos off to school on the big yellow bus for several years now. It’s what’s familiar and is what you’re used to doing. It’s also what everyone else is doing, which carries with it its own sense of comfort. So what’s the problem?
While you’ve been doing this for years now, you’re getting tired of it all! You’re tired of the routine, dealing with the schools, feeling as though the school isn’t meeting your child’s needs, and so forth. For these reasons and more, you’re giving homeschooling some consideration.
The problem here is that you don’t know where to begin. It’s all so overwhelming! You’ve done your research, but there are so many curriculum choices out there. And that’s another thing – you’ve read that some people aren’t even using the curriculum. You thought there was “homeschooling” and “public/private schooling”…but it turns out that there are homeschoolers, unschoolers, relaxed homeschoolers, Charlotte Mason homeschoolers, traditional homeschoolers, structured/unstructured homeschoolers…the list goes on.
And on and on!
With so much out there, how in the world can you prep for homeschooling? Let me break it down for you in three easy steps:
Step 1: After researching the various types of homeschoolers, decide which one appeals to you the most and let that be your guiding style. You can check out various forms of homeschooling styles here. If you lean toward structure, you’ll probably want to stick with traditional homeschooling. If you’re an avid nature lover, Charlotte Mason homeschooling will likely appeal to you.
Step 2: Stay focused! Once you figure out the type of homeschooler you are and the style that appeals to you the most, look at programs that cater to that particular style. Regardless of how enticing a program may look, you’ll find yourself frustrated if it’s not designed for your style of homeschooling. It’s okay to change your style along the way (i.e. you might start out as a traditional homeschooler and end the year as an unschooler), but as long as one particular style appeals to you, for peace of mind, stick with programs designed for those interested in that style.
Step 3: Ease into it. Rather than jumping in feet first and ending up in over your head, I suggest new homeschoolers take it slow and easy. Start with the absolute necessities (language arts and math) and get your groove going with those subjects before adding in science, history, and any electives you might like to add.
By discovering the type of homeschooler you are, keeping your sights set on programs geared toward those who homeschool like you, and easing into your school year, you’ll set yourself up for a successful year of homeschooling!
Here are some links for additional homeschooling information:
Choosing a Curriculum for the Upcoming Year