4 Things New Homeschoolers Should KnowMarlene Griffith
You Will Change Your Plans
Many new homeschoolers go into the game thinking that their initial plan will be the only plan. They assume that once they start rolling with that plan, all will be easy breezy.
The reality is that although you start with a plan and clear goals, within the first year things are going to change. You learn new things about your children, about yourself, and about the curriculum you’re using. That’s okay because one of the most beautiful benefits of homeschooling is the ability to change. You are not bound by a predefined course of action or a school system.
There is No Single Best Curriculum
As parents we adore our children and want to offer them the best in every area of life. So when it comes to their education, we naturally want to give them the best education possible. This quest for the best education leads us to the pursuit of the perfect curriculum.
Our Google search history is suddenly flooded with
- what is the best science curriculum
- what is the best history curriculum
- what is the best math curriculum
- what is the best language arts curriculum
- what is the best Latin curriculum
And the truth is, that you’ll find a lot of results of what the best is! What you’re doing is finding what has become the best for each individual family, child, and parent. So be prepared to experience trial and error with your curriculum. You’ll probably purchase a lot of different things and then find out you don’t like them.
I’d also like to mention that just because something works well with one family during a certain season of life, doesn’t mean same thing will work well for you. And I’ll give you an example.
I attempted to use a very popular science curriculum in elementary school, but it just did not work for us. However, because it was so well recommended, I stubbornly tried to push through. Thankfully after a conversation with my husband, I decided to set it aside and approach science in a much simpler way.
Now that my children are in middle school and need a more formal science plan, we have returned to using that curriculum which didn’t work for us at first. This shift doesn’t mean that my kids are slower than other kids, and it doesn’t mean that I am less capable than other homeschool moms. It simply means that this is what worked best for our family.
You Will Feel Lonely
Whenever families begin to homeschool, the bulk of their day becomes all things school, and most of the time that takes place in the home, hence the term — homeschool. So this means very little time for mom to interact with other grown-ups and parents. This is something I found particularly hard because I like spending time with other people my age, interacting with them and having a grown-up conversation. It’s something that you might have to work for in order to obtain and retain in your life.
You Have More Time Than You Realize
Don’t try and rush everything according to the timeline your school district or society sets. You’re homeschooling now which means your child’s education can be and should be different than if they were in public or private school. Go at your child’s pace and not at the pace of the grade level their public and private school counterparts are going.
My middle child is now in first grade. Last year in Kindergarten I planned on teaching her how to read. I was ready for it, excited, and saw that everyone else was teaching their kids to read in Kindergarten. So, we were going to do it. But she had other plans. She wasn’t ready for it, and it was stressing her out that she couldn’t get it. She was trying, trust me – I don’t let my kids back out of something just because it’s hard. But I realized she was not ready. I felt stressed that we were going to fall behind.
Then I realized something: “Why on earth am I trying to force this? She has the luxury of waiting, of doing this when she’s ready. She obviously wants to, but she’s just not quite there.” So, I set reading aside last year and we fully enjoyed the year filled with lots of play and fun activities that Kindergartner kids should be doing anyhow!
Now, in first grade, she’s flying through everything and reading well. Some would say she caught up to her level, but I say that she’s right where she needs to be because it’s where she’s ready to be.