The first year of home-schooling can be pretty stressful. After deciding what curriculum to use and getting your home school room set up, the fun parts begin. Here are some tips in making that first year not so overwhelming.
Don’t wait until the last minute to get materials together. This can cause a lot of stress especially if you are home-schooling more than one child. The best way to do it is to get everything together for the whole week on Sunday night. If you are schooling more than one child organize their materials into the cloth bins and put them on a shelf with their name on it and the days of the week. The older ones will everything that needs to be done for the day and the week will be in the bins with their name on it. The younger ones will need more one and one time with mom or dad, so having their daily materials in the bins will help you stay organized.
The one thing that many first time home-schooling parents do is stress out if they don’t stick with the schedule. The great thing about home-schooling is that you don’t have to stick with a schedule. If you have doctor appointments or other things come up, schedule that day as a free day. It is always good to schedule at least one day during the school week for you to catch up on things, being that school related or house related. Also, if a child has a doctor’s appointment, turn that into a health lesson. Have the doctor talk about the importance of staying healthy and how to avoid getting sick.
Once you choose you curriculum it can be overwhelming. Curriculums are designed to give you options on what and how you want to teach. Not all children are the same; each child has a different learning style. Most curriculums are set up to accommodate each child’s learning style. Remember you don’t have to do everything in the lesson. If you already know your child knows a certain lesson, skip right to the test or assessment, if your child masters it move on to something new. If for some reason your child doesn’t master the assessment, you can go over the section the he or she didn’t do so well in.
Don’t Give Up
There are going to be days when everything is in chaos, the kids are refusing to do school and it seems like everything you try to do is making it worse. Don’t stress the bad days. You might feel that you are not qualified to teach your child and someone else can do better. It is normal to feel this, but just remember you are providing the best education possible for your child. Take those bad days with a grain of salt and do something fun instead. Bake a cake, make a game out of house work, go to the park, etc. Everything you do in life is a learning opportunity for your child, go with it, have fun and learn at the same time.
First year home-schooling is not going to be easy, but it doesn’t have to be endless chaos and stressful days. Organizing, flexibility, pacing yourself, and not giving up are the first steps in having an awesome home-schooling experience. If you feel that the journey of home-schooling is hopeless reach out to other home-schoolers. Many home-schooling parents create online groups. You will be surprised the number of home-schoolers there are in your county. Reach out and get some support, while supporting other homeschoolers at the same time.