My Top 5 Tips for New Homeschoolers!March 23, 2020
Emergency Homeschooling But Scared to Death?
It seems like overnight everything has turned upside down! For those of you that are here because you’ve suddenly become a homeschooling parent, I’m sending you a virtual hug and reassurance that “You can do this!” I know it may seem daunting and nearly impossible, but instead of worrying focus on the positive! I’ve had a lot of questions from new homeschoolers about how to start homeschooling and I’d love to sit down and help each one through all of their worries and doubts. But the truth is, even experienced homeschoolers have doubts these days! The key is to look for ways to be a positive influence whether at home in your homeschooling efforts or to the people that are near you. Look for ways to “Be the good!” Without getting into the “nitty-gritty” of homeschooling, I’d like to share the Top 5 Things I’m telling new homeschoolers right now! In fact, I’ve just finished a podcast on this and would love for you to give it a listen. Here’s the link to Top 5 Tips for New Homeschoolers Podcast.
In the myriad of information that is being churned out on homeschooling, I thought I’d keep this super simple and send over that virtual hug and with loads of encouragement!
My Top 5 Homeschool Tips for Getting Started
- Relax! Don’t worry and stress. Since more is caught than taught children will pick up on those negative emotions and will either adopt them or react to them. Focus on the good and the positive!
- Enjoy learning with your kids! This is a great opportunity to really get to know your child, to appreciate their amazing abilities, and to engage with how they learn and what they are learning. Even if you have guidance from their teacher, it’s a great opportunity to enrich their learning with things like a historically based movie that supports what they are learning in history, googling and conducting science experiments or nature walks that enhance their science lessons, or even choosing a word of the day from their spelling list that everyone at home competes to use the most in a complete sentence. Make it fun and enjoy learning with your children!
- Schedule… or not! This question comes up frequently. Many parents want me to give them a schedule, but the most successful version of this is finding what works for your family. If you thrive on schedules, then make one that works for you. If schedules stress your family out, then make a “routine” list. Follow the routine without stressful time constraints. Your homeschool can and should fit your lifestyle.
- Tailor your homeschooling to fit your needs. This is why most people homeschool long term. Homeschooling can be a flexible customized form of education. In the short term, this looks like parents realizing that their children learn better in different ways. If your child needs to sit at a desk or table to do their work then that’s what should be done. But if your student enjoys learning in a “sheet-fort” under the table then embrace it! Go with what works and enables your child to learn at their best!
- ! Many families have been given a learning plan from their child’s teacher to help them easily pick up where the teacher left off. However, if your child hasn’t been given direction from their teacher, then my advice is to use an online subscription-based homeschool curriculum like the one I use for my 9th grader. You can start where your child left off with their classroom learning and stop at any time. This supports a positive learning experience without worry and stress!
Jamie Gaddy, B.S., M.Ed., Ed.D. has been a college education professor for over 17 years. Education has been an integral part of her life in both the classroom and as a principal. Six children later found her dissatisfied with traditional schooling and homeschooling became the better fit. She is also a pastor’s wife, remote project manager, and entrepreneur who now homeschools four of her six children (ages 11-17) in southern Georgia. Jamie loves to share about her homeschool experience and help other homeschoolers find success. Connect with her at [email protected]