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New Homeschooler?

We know how overwhelming it is to begin home schooling.  A myriad of decisions must be made, and the choices in teaching materials seem overwhelming.

Here are some helpful suggestions:

  • The most important thing you can do is find out where your children are physically, emotionally, mentally, and academically.  Start with where they are and build on that.  Often children taken from a public school setting have problems with self-esteem, peer dependency, academic “burnout”, and the adjustment from classroom to home. The most harmful thing you can do with a damaged child is to jump into academics.  Take time to become reacquainted with your children, to “wash away” the institutional effects, to determine their learning strengths and weaknesses.  You may want to just cover the necessities of academics (language arts and math) for the first few months to a year, or start with one or two subjects and gradually add more.
  • Remember that teaching your children at home is going to be quite an adjustment for you as well as for your children.  Take care of yourself.  Do not over-commit. Stay at home. Find ways to make life easier for yourself. 
  • Beware of adult peer pressure.  Many of your relatives and friends will criticize your decision to home school.  Do not feel like you need to live up to their expectations.  Other home schooling parents may pressure you to try their favorite curriculum or intimidate you with their children’s achievements.  Remember, you know your children’s needs better than anyone else and you are best qualified to help them reach their full potential. 
  • Determine your philosophy of home education.  If you do not have a firm belief that what you are doing is the right thing for your children, your commitment will waver under stress (and you will experience stress!). 
  • Cultivate the attitude of a learner.  Remember, home schooling is fairly uncharted territory.  Look for failures as learning experiences. Try to laugh at the stupid mistakes you will make. 
  • Use what you have.  Your finances and resources may be limited; your circumstances may be less than ideal.  Instead of wishing things were different, look for ways to best use what you have.

 

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