In my last article I talked about how you should have a firm grasp on the laws regarding homeschooling in your state.
That is the first essential. The next item to check off your list is a little tricky.
You need to have a right attitude about homeschooling.
What reasons did you have for deciding to homeschool? I suggest you write those down, or some goals you have for your children’s education. These will help you to keep the right focus when the whirling storms of doubt come beating at your brain.
Because the goals you have for homeschooling are sometimes over-run by the pressures and influences that want to tie you down.
So I suggest a healthy dose of right attitude to ward off those things that will get you side-tracked.
You might be tempted to just dive in and go hog-wild when you begin homeschooling. But your children are going to require a lot of patience.
For the child who is just reaching school-age, formal learning is a strange and distant concept to them. You don’t want to burn out your child, or yourself, in the first few years of homeschooling. Remember that up to this point, your child has learned what they needed through play, exploration, and through interacting with you. Continue that into homeschooling- and then you can gradually ease into more rigorous activities.
And likewise for the child who has been removed from a school environment- you want to ease your way into homeschooling. You will never be able to replicate their school experience at home, so they will need time to adjust to the new position they find themselves in.
Pushing too hard at the beginning can lead to burn-out, like I’ve said already, as well as resentment, frustration, and feelings of failure or incompetence.
Some people recommend the packaged curriculum to new homeschoolers due to its ease and organization. I don’t. I highly recommend a more relaxed approach. You can always add academics but it is very hard to try to keep up if you have too much on your plate to begin with.
I recommend checking out the Charlotte Mason and Unschooling philosophies. If you prefer the more traditional curriculum route, I have no qualms. Just remember that you can change and arrange resources to fit your needs. There is no one perfect fit program for every family.
And a healthy dose of patience- with your children, with resources, and with yourself- will go a long way.
A Sense Of Adventure
Are you starting your homeschooling journey with much fear and trepidation? Or do you see it as a kind of freedom- being released to learn and explore together?
Your attitude about educating your children will set the tone for the experience.
If you have a huge list of anxieties about what you need to do, what your kids need to learn, and everything else- your kids (and spouse) will most likely pick up that vibe.
Homeschooling will become something like a task.
But homeschooling is an adventure! It is a cross-country marathon, not a 100 meter dash. You have time to explore the world and whatever topics your family finds interesting. Your kids can find passion in their hobbies and gain experience from their work.
Worry about algebra when your kids are old enough for algebra. For now, enjoy living, laughing, and learning together.
And always remember your goals and intentions for homeschooling. Review them often and look at your adventures in light of them. If something is getting you off track or keeping you stressed then rearrange your attitude!
Article by Aadel Bussinger
Aadel has been married to her career Army man for 11 years and they have 2 daughters and a freshly made son. She is a homeschooling mom, volunteer, and online college student. Her hobbies include cooking, organic gardening, sewing, and crocheting. She blogs sporadically at These Temporary Tents.
Aadel has written 82 awesome articles for Natural Family Today.
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