Families turn towards homeschooling for many different reasons. Transitioning your child to homeschool from traditional schooling methods is a big decision. However, if you determine homeschool would be a great fit for your family, here are six tips for families to get started with homeschooling.
Do Your Research
Before making the transition, you should feel confident that homeschooling is the right option for your family. Many different families have successful homeschooling experiences that benefit their unique needs. Changing your child’s education is a big commitment, though, so you should do plenty of research beforehand. There is a long list of homeschooling benefits, including flexibility, personalized learning experiences, and increased family time. Make sure that these benefits align with your family’s values and your child’s needs.
You should also research your state’s homeschooling requirements. In the United States, each state has their own homeschooling laws and regulations. It is important to check that you are abiding by the guidelines.
Another helpful thing to do before making the transition to homeschooling is to research the different types of methods, techniques, and curriculums. There are mounds of resources, like blogs and Facebook groups, available to homeschooling families. These resources discuss different methods of learning, curriculum programs, and other useful homeschool tips. Reading as many resources as you can on these platforms will provide you and your family with a lot of helpful information when first getting started with homeschooling families.
Implement Homeschooling Gradually
The processes of transitioning to homeschool from a traditional classroom should be implemented gradually. Abruptly taking your child out of their classroom and starting to homeschool would be shocking for both of you. Rather, slowly introducing this new learning method will allow your student to adjust to homeschool at a comfortable pace. This will also prevent your child from burning out, getting frustrated, and missing the classroom.
Many families choose to carry out a period of deschooling, also known as unschooling. This is a period when students do not complete any school work or assignments. Instead, your student can read books from the library, watch documentaries, or play educational games. You can also visit museums, zoos, or other educational places. Deschooling allows students to unlearn classroom procedures while nurturing their innate curiosity. Some parents will do this throughout a summer break while others do this for six months or more. The general room of thumb is to implement one month of deschooling for every year that your child attended traditional school.
Choose a Homeschooling Method
Another benefit of homeschooling is that you can choose a homeschooling method that is best for your child. For many families, this means steering away from the structure of the classroom and implementing a more lenient school method. There are many different homeschooling curriculums via various forms, such as textbooks, online courses, and workbooks. You have the opportunity to select a method that aligns with your child’s preferred method of learning.
Homeschool conferences offer discussions and presentations on various resources and tools. Attending one of these conferences allows you to see the array of options you have to choose from.
Like anything new, starting a new schooling method requires an adjustment period. As a parent, you must practice patience with both yourself and your student. It will take time for them to acclimate to being away from friends and peers, so be understanding if they become frustrated.
If a homeschooling method or routine doesn’t work for either of you, don’t stress out and assume you made a mistake taking your child out of public or private school. Instead, move on to a new technique. The first few months of homeschooling may be a trial and error phase. The important part is that you don’t give up.
Create a Routine
During the deschooling phase, you can be flexible with how your student spends their time. However, after a while, you should implement a routine and a certain level of structure. For example, some parents choose to homeschool their children Monday through Wednesday from 8:30 to 12:30 while spending the other time going on field trips, spending time with a homeschool co-op, and volunteering. Your student can also spend time playing outside, creating art, or learning an instrument. This is an example of the many options you have when implementing a schedule. Pick a routine that works best for you and your family.
Surround Yourself with a Support System
The first year of homeschooling can be difficult. Having a strong support system will help your family have a successful homeschool experience. Start with getting your family on board, including aunts, uncles, and grandparents.
Homeschool families can join support groups, such as homeschool co-ops, online forums, and Facebook groups. These groups are great resources for information about homeschooling curriculum, methods, and techniques. Homeschooling conferences are also great ways to meet other parents who can give you advice about everything homeschool related. Surrounding yourself with a support system will enhance your opportunity to achieving a successful homeschooling experience.