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So, you have decided to start homeschooling, have you? Or maybe you are still in the research phase but don’t think you are capable. It is a scary step, I understand completely! Today I want to share some tips on how to start homeschooling when you are terrified! All of us homeschool have been there, so, you are not alone! You can read about some of my fears in this post.
I remember my first year when I was making the decision to homeschool. My oldest was in preschool at the time and my husband and I made the decision that this was what we needed to do. I was scared out of my mind! I was a former teacher, so I had teaching experience, but I was still scared.
I started by reading every book I could get my hands on. (See some of my favorites here!) I wanted to know all there was to know about the process. There were a few important things that I realized I needed to figure out to have a smooth homeschool journey. I will get to those things in a minute.
The first thing I needed to overcome, though were my own thoughts of self-doubt.
I was so concerned about my own abilities to homeschool my kids. I was worried I would ruin my kids. I was worried I would make them weird, or not teach them all the things they would learn in school. I was worried about them missing out on so many everyday things that school kids experience like riding the bus, recess, school lunch, school dances, assemblies, friends, etc. I was concerned about what others would think of us and the choice I was making. There were so many fears! There was so much yet unknown!
I just kept reminding myself that I could teach a kindergartner. I have a college degree. I am capable.
I actually remember the first day of school and seeing the school bus come. My son’s friends in the neighborhood were there getting on the bus for the first time. My son was not. I felt a twinge of panic, but I also felt a sense of relief that I was actually making this happen!
Everyone has different reasons for choosing to homeschool. Mine have even grown and evolved over the years. I have not once regretted the choice I made that day almost 7 years ago. I am not saying there have not been hard days where I have wished my life was easier, calmer, cleaner, quieter. But, I LOVE homeschooling my kids. I love it so much and they do, too.
- Choose a Homeschool Style. The biggest thing I realized as I started reading and researching was that there were a lot of different WAYS to homeschool. I had no idea! As I read various books, they all talked about the differing methods and styles of homeschooling. I realized I needed to choose the style of homeschooling I wanted to do. I will tell you that no style or method of schooling is the right one for everyone. Each family can do what fits best for them.
- Choose curriculum. This is where it gets overwhelming! There are SO many choices. I spent a lot of time reading reviews and descriptions. We have tried a lot of different programs over the years. It’s ok to change you mind if something isn’t working out. It happens to all of us. The wonderful part about this is that you know your kids and the way they learn. If something isn’t a fit for your child, you find a different way. They will love you for it. This wouldn’t happen in a regular school setting, so be ok with the fact that you are meeting the needs of your kids! You can see some of the ones I have reviewed here!
- Plan a schedule. What do you want your day to look like? When do you want to take school breaks? What subjects are you teaching? Map it out. What time of day do you want to do school? You can choose that, too! If you need help with the planning part, I have written a few posts on that. You can read them here: Printable Homeschool Schedule & and Organizing Your Homeschool Schedule.
- Find homeschool friends. We are part of a fabulous homeschool co-op. We meet weekly for classes and have park days through the Summer. It has been a huge and important part of our homeschool journey. My kids and I have wonderful homeschooling friends who support us and teach us and make the journey so much better. If you don’t know anybody in your area who is homeschooling, Facebook tends to be a great way to connect. There are many local homeschooling groups that can help you out!
- Find inner peace with your decision. This often seems to be the hardest part for new homeschoolers! You need to come to terms with the decision yourself. Sometimes this takes a little while. I still doubt myself from time to time. Maybe it is a matter of determining what your biggest fear is and working on just that one. Remember that you are smart enough, you are patient enough, you are brave enough, you are organized enough and take that giant leap into the unknown. You’ll be glad you did!
Want even more Homeschool tips? Check out my podcast: Called to Homeschool
This is part of the iHomeschool Network’s Best Advice for New Homeschoolers link-up. See more posts by clicking on the image below!