4 Things Every Homeschooling Family Should Know
It’s a new school year! How are you feeling? Nervous? Excited?
Here are a few things to keep in mind to increase the excitement and decrease the nerves:
Forget about what everyone else is doing
There are so many beautifully laminated homeschooling schedules and well-organized home classrooms on Pinterest and Instagram. That doesn’t mean that those schedules or learning areas are better than yours. And it certainly doesn’t mean that those homeschooling parents are doing a better job than you.
Maybe you don’t have Fall paper leaves taped on your wall. That’s okay.
Homeschooling is highly personalized and what works in one home may not work in another. If your child stays up late and wants to sleep in, don’t start school at 9am. Maybe your family loves to learn outside or at the library. That’s great!
Take confidence in what works for your family and don’t stress over what others are doing. It’s no one’s place to judge or criticize. Please don’t judge yourself either.
Learning takes place in so many different ways
A skill as important as reading or writing can be learned in many different ways. There are a myriad of companies selling their programs for teaching reading, writing, and math. Maybe it will work for your child, maybe it won’t.
There are so many different methods and approaches to learning. What matters is that your child is learning in a way that works for them and is developmentally appropriate. Again, that is different for every child regardless of age or grade level.
Always go with what works for your child. When there is connection, engagement and interest in learning, and you and your child are both having fun with the topic, homeschooling is going well.
Homeschooling isn’t the same as traditional school
Homeschooling is an opportunity to expose your child to learning, topics, and experiences that go far beyond what schools decide children should learn at that age/grade level. Many state standards aren’t developmentally appropriate for all children, and the curriculum is linked to the standardized test at the end of the year. This is the education we’ve rejected by choosing homeschooling.
Even if your state requires that you teach the state standards, you get to decide how and what experience your child will have with that learning. This is an amazing time for your child to learn without limits. It can also be a little messy. Perhaps your child is above grade level in reading, but struggling with math. That’s totally fine and, with your help, their skills will develop in all areas over time.
You aren’t supposed to suffer while homeschooling
Lastly, and most importantly, you are not supposed to suffer while homeschooling. You are not a martyr and it is not okay for you to suffer any physical or emotional abuse in the course of your child’s learning. Yes, your child is young, frustrated, having a hard time, etc.
However, if homeschooling includes physical outbursts, anger, screaming, crying, or power struggles, STOP what you are doing. It’s not working. Something is wrong. How learning is taking place and the dynamic being created between you and child(ren) needs to change. Your child should be thriving and learning far more than would be possible in a classroom. If this isn’t happening, you need help to make some changes.
When questions, problems, uncertainties, anxieties and insecurities pop up, call me for support. Together, we can make sure that you approach teaching your child with confidence, clarity, and empathy.
You and your child should have a homeschooling experience rooted in connection and love, where your child is thriving and excelling academically. It’s my job to support your family in getting there.
I’m available for a free 30-minute consultation. Ask your questions, share your concerns, and get a plan for moving forward!
Afsaneh has been an educator for over 20 years. She has taught students from preschool to graduate school and now homeschools her own child and coaches homeschooling families in how to teach their children based on individual learning styles, interests, needs, and connection so that the whole family can thrive. She is also the author of the picture books series Jamie is Jamie.