When families enter the homeschool world and start looking for information online, there are endless websites and blog articles with quality information on how to get started, and tips for giving your homeschoolers the best experience. These are extremely valuable resources that will definitely be helpful to new homeschooling parents, but it’s also important for the experience of the parent-teachers to be addressed. After all, your success in this process will directly influence the success of your homeschooler. Read on for our homeschool tips that are all about you.
Try a Curriculum Online
Without experience in homeschooling, it would be easy to make the assumption that you’re supposed to do absolutely everything yourself when it comes to homeschool education. Some homeschool parents may choose to do this because of their own professional background. If this isn’t you, don’t stress yourself out by trying to force it. Try out CEA an online homeschool curriculum with a hands-on creative base, that will allow you to put your energy into other aspects of your childrens’ homeschool experience rather than burning out on the part that doesn’t come naturally to you.
Draw on the Knowledge from Others
People have been homeschooling before it was even called homeschooling. In fact, in Australia, that was the norm before formal education was established as the precedent. Today there are many mums and dads who have over a decade of homeschool experience across all of their children and many of them have created blogs specifically to share their best tips and offer support to other homeschool families. You’re not expected to be an expert at homeschooling, especially when you’ve just begun the journey, so allow yourself to seek help from those with more experience. You can connect with other experienced homeschoolers on the official CEA homeschool Parent and Student Facebook group.
Another way, and perhaps the best way, to seek support, is to get involved in a homeschool community, be it online or locally. Read our article on building a homeschool community for some ideas on how to get started. Your community will help you work out questions or issues you have, but more importantly, they will provide emotional support when things get challenging, or when you simply want to spend time with others on a similar path.
Being organised is important for achieving your yearly academic goals, but more so, it will keep you sane! If you’ve spent some time working out your personal schedule and homeschool routine, your days are going to flow more smoothly. Planning things out also allows you to book in your own personal time to get things done or to have a quiet moment. Check out some of our articles on which materials you may need, how to set up your “classroom”, and how to balance subjects, just to get you started. With a few systems put in place, you’ll find yourself with more time available and less unpredictable days. This will help you plan your personal life in such a way that gives you more energy and mental space for being a homeschool parent.
While the planning and organising is helpful and necessary, one of the best attitudes a new homeschool parent can adopt is one of flexibility. No matter how many systems are in place, no matter if you have the CEA online homeschool curriculum, things will inevitably stray from the plan. If you’ve got a flexible mindset, you’ll be able to flow through the hiccups and surprises without feeling like you’ve somehow failed for the day or week. Expect the unexpected and stay open minded to shifting things around as necessary. Remember the CEA program is a guide. You can adapt and skip over lessons when necessary.
Don’t Take on Skepticism from Others
One thing that can get parents down as new homeschoolers, is receiving judgement or skepticism from others. For families that have had little exposure to anything other than mainstream education, homeschooling may seem way off centre. If and when others share their judgements with you, try not to hear it as truth that throws your whole path into question, but rather as a lack of knowledge and understanding about what homeschooling is and how it can benefit many children. You don’t have to engage if you don’t want to, that is up to you. If you do want to share with others why you made that decision, that is also your choice! You may also want to refer to our articles on Why Homeschooling is on the Rise, and the Mental Health Benefits of Homeschooling for information and inspiration.
Look After Your Own Needs
Homeschooling can certainly offer many benefits to your children, but it is a lifestyle that involves the whole family. With that in mind, if it isn’t working well for you, that will impact the experience of your children. When you’re formulating your CEA scheduling and routine, bear in mind the natural rhythms of your kids, but also plan out official slots for you to get your errands taken care of, including any self-care activities you need to do. The better you look after yourself, the better you’ll be able to show up for your kids.
Enjoy the Process
It’s easy to get caught up in the yearly goals, the daily schedules, the trips, and the community building when you’re starting to homeschool your kids. Sometimes it’s important to take a moment and remember why we are homeschooling in the first place. For many families, having more time with their children and more involvement in their education is a major factor in their decision. Our kids are only kids once and homeschooling gives us a wonderful opportunity to witness more of the process, and simply enjoy more time together. When things get stressful, take a break, hug your children, and keep doing your best. Get in touch with us if you’d like to arrange a call or email for any support you may need.