The idea of teaching your kids at home might be intimidating, but it's not as complicated as it might seem.
Ever since the CDC published its new health recommendations for schools reopening, many parents who have never before considered homeschooling find themselves exploring the possibility. If that’s your situation, here are a few pointers to keep in mind as you consider educating your children from home.
1Remember: you have what it takes.
Homeschooling seems intimidating on the face of it. How is the average parent supposed to know what to teach their child, let alone how?
Fortunately, there’s an enormous world of help out there. Countless homeschool parents and educational experts can hold your hand and walk you through every step of the process, if you want.
Whether you’re looking to learn about styles of homeschooling (and take a quiz to find yours), read curriculum reviews, know your legal rights as a homeschool parent, order a box curriculum, or follow step-by-step instructions on how to get started, there’s an online resource for everything you need.
You don’t need a degree in education (or even a degree at all) to teach your child. Kids love to learn, and they absorb knowledge as naturally as breathing.
Deep breaths. You’ve got this!
2Put connection and consistency before curriculum.
As great as it is to have endless resources at your disposal, diving down the rabbit hole of homeschooling research can quickly get overwhelming. How are you supposed to know which curriculum is best?
Here’s a little secret: It doesn’t really matter which curriculum you choose. Most of them offer a good education, as long as you’re consistent in working through them, a little bit at a time. Pick a program that looks interesting and enjoyable to you, and your kids will catch your enthusiasm.
Along the same lines, your relationship with your kids and the peace in your home is more important than hammering through another page of math equations or spelling words. If the lesson is turning into a battle, take a break to play and cool off, and come back to the work later when you’re refreshed.
One of the greatest things about homeschooling is being able to tailor your kids’ education to your schedule and lifestyle, so take full advantage of that perk!
If you do want a few suggestions of curriculum to consider, you might take a look at these popular programs:
- Other Goose, a hands-on and open-ended program for kids 7 and under
- Mater Amabilis, a free, Catholic, Charlotte Mason-style curriculum
- Ambleside Online, a free, nondenominational Charlotte Mason curriculum
- The Good and the Beautiful, an “open and go” faith-based program
- Mother of Divine Grace, a Catholic, classical curriculum
- Time4Learning, an online curriculum
3Keep your expectations reasonable and realistic.
When I started homeschooling, I was worried when it became clear that my kindergartener couldn’t keep his attention on math lessons for longer than 10 minutes. Was something wrong with him? Was he not ready for the work?
Then I found out that the recommended length of sustained attention for a kindergartener is 3-5 minutes. Whoops. The problem wasn’t my kid; it was my unrealistic expectations.