Back to Homeschool: A Guide for Parents… Who are Teachers.
It’s here. The time of year when homeschooling parents anticipate what lies ahead with a tiny sense of trepidation, but a whole lot of optimism. Whether you’ve been in the homeschooling business for many years, or about to start your very first year, there’s always one surefire thing that will get the year up and rolling for you and your children… preparedness.
Now, you know better than anyone what works for you and your family, but here are some tips we here at Christianbook.com/Homeschool think will help to get the homeschool year off to a good start.
- Organize and clean – starting with a clean slate helps put you and your child in the right frame of mind. Say farewell to resources from last year you no longer need; file away the schoolwork you need to hold on to; and then take a deep breath and step forward into a new year. Safe in the knowledge that everything is precisely where it should be. Well, at least for the moment.
- Do your homework. Look, we won’t send you back to school here, but it’s crucial that before the year begins, you check your state requirements. Ensure you are in compliance and keep track of anything you might need to record or submit.
- Reflect. Prepare. Set Goals. Take a retrospective look back on the year gone by… what would you have done differently? What really worked for your child? What didn’t work so well? Then bearing those facts in mind, go ahead and set a vision for your child – have an idea of where you want them to be by year’s end.
- Plan, plan, and then plan some more. We can’t say it enough. Draw up schedules and lay out the daily work for both your family and your child – choose books to cover, plan assignments, and integrate activities to help support your child’s learning. This can often be a lot of work (and we all know changes will happen!) but you’ll thank yourself later when you’re juggling children at different stages of learning, multiple assignments, and day to day life.
- Remember, your homeschool won’t be like others. Nor will it be like the public school down the road. Or that private school you’ve heard so much about. Do away with that idea and come to the realization that you know your children better than anyone else. You are in the advantageous position of having the freedom to customize learning to each child. That, on its own, is completely worth it. Even if that wonderfully neat path to education you’d always envisioned never quite comes to fruition.
- Find your people. You’re not alone on your mission to navigate the often wild and always thrilling world that is homeschool education. There are so many options available to homeschooling parents and their children – co-op, field trips with friends, a play-date or two, a local homeschooling support group. Be sure to get some dates in the calendar early on in the year and have fun events that everyone can look forward to.
- Ring the bell. So to speak. Mark the start of the new schooling year with something special. Whether you say ‘Back to School’, ‘Not Back to School’, or ‘Back to Homeschool’, make sure you make it a fun and memorable event for your kids. Who knows, maybe it will even become an annual tradition?
- Be flexible. It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? But often it’s this concept that’s so hard to come to terms with! Life events happen, there’s no preventing that; and some curriculum just won’t work for your child, no matter how hard you try. Each child is completely unique – some kids won’t get math. Some won’t get science. Some won’t get history. That’s just how it is… Roll with it!
- It’s not all academics. It’s about relationships too. Bear in mind, you are not only a teacher, but also a parent. Try not to get so wrapped up on building skills and knowledge to the point where the fun of learning begins to escape both you and your child.
- HAVE FUN. No matter where you are on the homeschool trajectory, Year 1 or Year 10, you’re getting a fresh start. A chance to try new things. Take that chance and turn it into something great with your child.
Christianbook.com/Homeschool is dedicated to helping homeschoolers easily discover the curriculum and resources that best fit with each child. Partnering together with homeschooling families as they work to meet their educational goals, CBD offers over 50,000 homeschool resources for grades PreK-12, including curricula, workbooks, living books, and resources for all styles and methods of homeschooling. To learn more, visit Christianbook.com/Homeschool, call a homeschool specialist at 1-800-788-1221, or email [email protected].