Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Ten Things I Would Like to Tell a New Homeschooler

1.  Follow your instincts.  You decided to homeschool for a reason.  I am guessing because you love your kids.  Spend time with them, cuddle them, make the most of your time, enjoy it.  Don't sweat the small stuff in homeschool.

2.  Go with your gut.  When picking curriculum, go with what sounds best to you.  Read reviews of that product, but you may make yourself nuts if you read reviews of every math program.

3.  You know your kids.  Just because another homeschool parent is touting the merits of program x or doing things a certain way or unschooling or Charlotte Mason, doesn't mean it is best for YOU and YOUR FAMILY.

4.  Don't try to do everything.  When picking curriculum, everything looks exciting and fun!  Your local homeschool group may email you activities or classes or field trips and you may be tempted to do all of them because they all look great and you want to meet new people!  You will burn yourself out this way.  At minimum, try to start out with at least one or two days where you don't schedule any outside activities and can focus on your kids.  Slowly you may want to add a few activities in.

5.  Enjoy it!  Our kids are only kids for so long...enjoy every minute with them.

6.  Take breaks.  If you are feeling overwhelmed or burned out, take a break.  Whether it is an hour or a day or a week...taking a break will help you recharge and renew your commitment to homeschooling.

7.  Get your kids involved.  Ask your kids which science experiment they want to do or what they want to learn about.  They may surprise you!  They probably have some ideas you may not have thought of!

8.  It gets easier.  In the beginning everyone is overwhelmed, wondering if they can do this and if they are doing it right.  It gets easier.  Unfortunately, it's mostly trial and error until you realize what works and what doesn't for your family and what is important and what is not important to your family.

9.  You won't always feel overwhelmed!  I promise!  Once you find a balance between what works and what doesn't; what is important and what isn't...you will start to find your footing.

10.  Say "No" to things.  This year I have had the courage to say "NO" to co-op, to buying more curriculum and to some outside activities.  We are prioritizing our time and our money so that we can better invest in the things our girls really want to do.  Saying "NO"  allows you time to focus on what is really important.