Are you thinking of homeschooling? This 5 steps will set you on a good start.
When you decide to homeschool, most likely there will be people in your circle who will not support, or understand your decision. It is important that you enter into this journey with the right mindset. Do not doubt yourself. Know that with every new thing that we introduce in our life, there is going to be fear. The thing is, fear is unfounded. It is a way for your brain to try to protect you. Set your mind to a life of positive stance and you will succeed. Have confidence. You can do this. You can do it and do it well.
Just like your fingers are all of a different height, homeschooling is not going to be the same from family to family. Better still, it will look different for each child you have to homeschool. You will be doing yourself an injustice if you start comparing yourself to others. We all have our own path to walk and they will never look the same. Embrace yours and match on.
This is by far the most important task you will undertake. Take care of any legal paperwork that needs filing. Spend some time to learn how you will adjust your life to suit the new lifestyle. As you are planning, remember to leave room for flexibility. Set aside a day or a week to go through the different books, curriculums, and activities you will be undertaking. For instance, if you want to include piano to your school, take some time to find a teacher, if you going to outsource.
No man is an Island. Don’t do it alone. There are so many great parents out there who have walked the journey you are about to undertake. Reach out to them. They will soon become your biggest cheerleaders and role models. Outsource what you feel that you need to. Join a co-op. This will give you and the children a chance to interact with others and will become your tribe. You will need a good support system and this will be one step to creating life long friends.
Homeschool is a very good foundation for building solid relationships with your child. Not only that, but you will also be amazed at the firm friendship that is built among the siblings and as a whole family. It is a lifestyle that presents very unique opportunities that are equal to no other. Most importantly, you have a chance to instill in your children your values and beliefs.
Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all (ye) that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.
If you are like me, that verse is very familiar and maybe you already have memorized it. It refers to us taking all our troubles to The Lord who will bear it for us. What an appropriate verse to fall back to at this time of isolation and quarantine! Everyone’s life has been turned upside down. Parents who dreamed of a job where they could work from home have gotten their wish. Yes, no more of Atlanta’s neck to neck traffic. Yes, no more long waits at the bus station for those that rely on public buses in other countries. What complicates the whole scenario is that the kids are home too. Yes, they get to stay home all day. Yes, there is no bullying during recess or during the ride home on the school bus. The school has moved home as well. The traffic stress has been replaced by the stress of managing work and keeping the kids up to date with their school work. Another dilemma is that most of the teachers have to keep up with the class and their own children. How about those essential workers? How is everyone coping with all this? I have a few tips.
- Pray. Read God’s word over and over. Saturate yourself with His word.
- Practice self-compassion when you don’t get everything completed
- Seek professional help. Sometimes it seems like you have reached the end of your rope. Don’t do it alone.
- No man is an island and there is not a better time than this to rely on your good friends. Do not keep it all in.
- Some parents have been homeschooling for a long time. Seek them out and ask for advice or help. You might be surprised at how much help they can be.
- Plan appropriately. Time management can be the key to all the stress piled on us.
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
That is not a request. We are commanded to:-
- Be strong
- be courageous
- don’t fear
Before you even start browsing the catalog, deciding what curriculum to use, write out your mission. What is your why? Religion? Cultural influence? Family dynamics? Whatever your reason is, write it down. Commit it to memory and put it somewhere that you can see it often. This will become your true north when things get rough, because they will. One day you will look outside and see that yellow bus and wonder why your kids are not in it. You will need your mission to keep you going.One of the most important things to remember as you start your homeschool journey is first and foremost, you are your children’s mom. The teacher thing comes later. God brought them to the world through you. He will equip and help you bring them up to what His purpose is in their lives. So, relax and enjoy the opportunity. Homeschooling is a journey and not a race. In the end, it will become a lifestyle. The second note to take into consideration is that all children learn differently. Some are kinesthetic learners and some are auditory learners. Knowing this and adjusting your curriculum to reflect the same will make your life so much easier. Doing so will promote mastery of the subjects, and hence the joy of learning. Homeschooling is not school at home. Remember you have full responsibility when it comes to your children’s learning. Trying to duplicate the nuances of a regular school will rob you of the joy and elevate the stress at home. Remember, you are not restricted to timelines and schedules. For instance, if you pick to do math facts before spelling, that is ok. It is ok to do school at the park when it is nice outside. As women, we tend to compare ourselves with others and that is no exception to homeschooling. Avoid falling into this trap. Homeschooling is different for every family. Remember, there are as many schools of thought when it comes to homeschooling as there are many homeschoolers. It would be overwhelming especially if this is your first year homeschooling. One advantage of homeschooling is a flexible lifestyle. Life happens. It is ok to skip school and go on a trip with daddy on his business trip. Switch a lesson plan to learn about an eclipse that is happening tomorrow. Because homeschool is a lifestyle, make every opportunity a learning experience. From taking care of a newborn to grocery store trips in the middle of the day. View every day as a mystery to solve. Learning opportunities are all around us. There will be times when you will not have an answer to their question. That is when you say, “let’s figure it out”. This will inspire them to have a love for learning. This is a skill that will help them tremendously in the future. When you show your vulnerability, you are also teaching them courage. All being told, the key to a successful journey is consistency. God is good. Cleave to What is Good!