10 Tips For New Homeschoolers

So, You Want to Homeschool?

Homeschooling is a big, and sometimes, frightening step to take. You know your entire life is going to change in ways you can't imagine.

Will you be successful?

Can you do it?

Will your child be damaged for life?

And what about socialization?

I took the homeschooling leap in 1989 and have not turned back since. In that time I have successfully graduated two children from homeschooling high school. The rest of my children are in various stages of their education. Currently I am teaching the following ages; 15, 14, 12, 9,7,4.

I have learned a lot over the past 19 years, and I continue to learn something new everyday. Here are, in my opinion, the ten most important tips for new homeschoolers.

Homeschooling can foster a life long love of learning.Image(c)2007 Marye Audet
Homeschooling can foster a life long love of learning.Image(c)2007 Marye Audet

10 Tips for New Homeschoolers

  1. Believe in yourself. You can do this. If you are feeling led to do it for whatever reason, go for it. You did not have to have a degree to teach your child to walk, talk, or potty train. Learning is a natural process for a child. We have been led to believe that it is something only "professionals" are able to do well, but the truth is that a child getting one on one attention in a home learning environment will usually learn quickly, easily, and responsively.
  2. Go Slow. There is an overwhelming amount of curricula available to homeschoolers. It is easy to get overwhelmed with the choices. Don't buy anything right away. Approach this part slowly and thoughtfully. Take the time to think about how your child learns best, what his interested are, and even how you prefer to teach. Read and familiarize yourself with the variety of learning styles and the variety of homeschooling methods. Realize that if you have more than one child, odds are that you will have more than one learning style.
  3. Consider Taking A Few Months Off. If you are pulling an older child out of a public school system you may want to consider allowing him some down time. Many times kids that come out of the standard educational systems are suffering form burn out. By taking a few months, or even a year off, and allowing your child to read good books, and pursue his interests you may be farther ahead than if you try to force his learning. This does not mean allowing him to watch t.v and play video games, or surf the Internet, or sleep 24/7. It is a controlled, and supervised healing process.
  4. Join a Support Group. Being involved with other, more experienced homeschoolers will give you the emotional support that you need. By meeting other homeschoolers you will have someone to ask questions of, to vent to, and to fellowship with. Homeschooling can be lonely for the primary educator in the home.
  5. Be in Agreement. Homeschooling is not easy. Both parents must be in agreement because the primary educator is going to need back up and support.

  6. Don't Worry About Socialization. Most kids today have more than enough socialization. Church, scouting, leagues, kids in the neighborhood , and even siblings provide more than enough socialization. All that socialization is learning to live and interact with others according to an accepted social norm. Most kids are over socialized and that's what causes them to fold to peer pressure.
  7. Plan Ahead. Don't do school by the seat of your pants. Plan ahead. Spend Sunday afternoon going over what you would like to accomplish that week. Gather materials that you will need, surf the Internet, read ahead in the lessons. That way you are prepared and confident.
  8. Don't Argue with Non-Homeschoolers. There is no point. Many people are against homeschooling. That is their right. You do not have to explain yourself to anyone. The more you try the more frustrated and insecure you are going to get, accomplishing nothing. Use your energy to pour into your children.
  9. Know the Law. I highly recommend joining Homeschool Legal Defense Association. Regardless of whether you do, or do not, take the time to research the laws and requirements of your state. Be sure you understand what rights you have, and have a plan for what to say and do if you are contacted by the school district. Many times the school districts know little about homeschooling laws. You need to be polite, respectful but firm in your dealings with them.
  10. Have Fun. One of the biggest benefits of homeschooling is learning to enjoy the company of your children, getting to know them in a way that most parents do not have time for. Keep your sense of humor you will need it.

Homeschooling is a process.Image:(c)2007 Marye Audet.
Homeschooling is a process.Image:(c)2007 Marye Audet.

Homeschooling Links

Deciding to homeschool is an exhilarating step off a cliff. Your life will certainly change, but you may find that the change is the best thing that ever happened to you. Here are some excellent resources on the Internet for new homeschoolers.

Some Famous Homeschooled People

Many famous people were homeschooled. There are lists all over the Internet but one of my favorites it at Knowledge House.

Some of the more well known homeschoolers, and what part they played in history:

  • Abraham Lincoln- President of the U.S.
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt- President of the U.S.
  • Douglas MacArthur-WWII General
  • Patton- WWII General
  • Sandra Day O'Conner- U.S. Supreme Court Judge
  • Albert Einstein- Scientist, Mathematician, Genius
  • Orville and Wilbur Wright- Inventors
  • C.S.Lewis- Author
  • Walt Whitman- Poet
  • Dave Thomas- founder of Wendy's
  • Alan Alda- Actor, star of MASH
  • Hillary Duff- Actress
  • Bode Miller- Olympic Skier

And so many more. Homeschooling can launch your child into a lifetime love of learning in a way that the school system cannot. Relax and enjoy the process.

More by this Author


Comments 39 comments

MysticMoonlight 2 years ago

Wonderful information here. So glad I found these tips. Thank you.


Wacky Mummy profile image

Wacky Mummy 3 years ago from UK

We love home educating - great list of pointers! :)


Caries Mission profile image

Caries Mission 3 years ago from Greenville, South Carolina

Very good article. I am in my first year of homeschooling after 5 years of battling with a terrible public school system and trying to get help for our son. Now we are trying to undo the damage the school has done and get him interested in school again. He has been more excited about school now because we have given him Reading and Math diagnostic tests to find out exactly where to start because we knew he was behind. We were at the school every year from Kindergarten until 5th grade telling them he needed to be retained because he was struggling. They always said the same thing. "He's just a boy, he will catch up." Finally, we had enough and we pulled him out. I quit my job and I started to homeschool. Because we are still fairly new, we are working out the kinks and still feeling our way around the best methods that work for him. But taking the diagnostics tests was the best thing we could have ever done. He is now building more confidence because he is not failing everything. Thanks again for such a great Hub and the encouragement of knowing I am not out there alone.


Amberjewell profile image

Amberjewell 4 years ago

With the way the world is going now days, I pray I can homeschool my twins in about 4 years.


Username Amanda profile image

Username Amanda 4 years ago from Florida

Great article, I needed those reminders.


LittleHomestead profile image

LittleHomestead 4 years ago from Illinois

Great list :) I wish I had read this before I started homeschooling! Fortunately everything turned out well and my 16 year old son has started taking college classes instead of continuing high school. So far he is doing great!

Keep up the great work!


Seafarer Mama profile image

Seafarer Mama 4 years ago from New England

Hi Marye,

Thanks for a great article. I have been home-schooling a year (first grade) and keep a daily record of what we do, so that I can look back on what we've accomplished. I'm on my 3rd home-schooling journal/log. It keeps me faithful and confident. :0)

Keeping firm with those who are not in favor of home-schooling is important...and not get into the whys and wherefores. My mother is concerned that my daughter is losing out on all of the benefits of the money spent on each child in public school districts (like Virginia can be compared to Massachusetts in that way). I wonder if some of that is fluff and nonsense. Lots of it could be computer equipment and tv's for learning via technology, which to me is offered as a replacement of 1-to-1 attention...and busywork. I feel like I am giving her better than that because I let her play outside more than she would if she went to school...and we don't do much on the internet,since I believe it is detrimental to healthy development...we make lots of discoveries outside....and with our home-schooling friends (yes, a supportive network is very important to home-schooling success!).

My daughter keeps journals of her learning in each subject...then reads them to grandparents. That's not the intended reason for doing it...but it's an added benefit, for it keeps the super-skeptical grandparents somewhat satisfied. :0) She also enjoys reading past entries herself...part of the pride she has developed in her own work.


wwolfs 4 years ago

Great article! I must say you have taken on a big job raising and homeschooling eight kids. That will be something you can definitely be proud of. My husband and myself have graduated three sons from homeschool and at a time when not many were doing it and many made comments against it. We continued on and never felt we made a wrong decision. I love how your schooling is done wherever as we did the same. Your tips are great advice for anyone that wants to homeschool especially the first one.


rochelj profile image

rochelj 4 years ago from USA

I have considered homeschooling, but I will probably end up sending my kids to regular school. Who knows, maybe I will home-school. my first child is still a toddler, so we'll see what happens. I think I will bookmark this for future reference, in case I choose to home-school. thanks for this info.


Dr Rockpile profile image

Dr Rockpile 5 years ago from USA

I do love the idea of Home Schooling for it's flexibility. I don't think I have the temperament for it though.


rutheddavid profile image

rutheddavid 5 years ago from Philippines

I love, love, love your hub.. thanks for the advice... I am in dire need of it :) have a great day :)


thebookmom profile image

thebookmom 5 years ago from Nebraska

I especially love "believe in yourself" and "go slow" excellent advice.


AlienWednesday 5 years ago

Great Hub! I am a homeschooler myself, that is definitely some good advice!


Dianna Grindelwald 5 years ago

this is a very great article. thanks for the tips. i am thinking of homeschooling my kids. i think that would be greater than a traditional school. i firmly believe that my kids' lives would not be harmed. homeschooling provides learning also and that is what i am more concerned.


Danid8103 profile image

Danid8103 5 years ago

I have some of the same concerns as Jennifer. I feel this is what I should do for my son, but I have some fears. Any suggestions on the best way to find local homeschooling info and/or meetings? I really want to start building a support system this Summer for the following school year. Any help is greatly appreciated.


Jennifer 5 years ago

I am so worried about Home Schooling! I am not completely sure I can do this. I do not want my children to be behind because of me! Will I be able to teach them what they need to know? I don't even know where to get started. =( Can anyone help please?


iverhunt04 profile image

iverhunt04 5 years ago from USA

Great ideas! Very refreshing and helpful, thank you!


Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet 5 years ago from Lancaster, Texas Author

LeeANne

DO you really think you could do worse than what the school system has? Look at the situation honestly. :)


LeeAnneDearth 5 years ago

i am considering homeschooling my 10 yrs old. he is not doing well in 4th grade and i was just told that he will be marked for possible retention for 5th grade. that will just devistate him. he is already struggling and if he fails 4th grade .. it will be almost if not impossible to get him back on track... he has a reading level of 2.8 and being forced to read 3.6 or 4.0 books. and than failing his reading tests.. which is setting him up to fail from the get go... he is struggling so much. but i am scared that i won't do this right.. i guess as you say i have to have faith.


rachellrobinson profile image

rachellrobinson 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

I love your hub, I want to home school my son who is and more than likely will remain an only child. I am nervous about this, but given my current custody situation with his Dad I think we will be able to work something out. It is kind of scary to think can I do this, I just have to have faith I guess. :) Thanks for the HUB I might read it a couple more times, commit it to memory so when the doubts start plauging me I can remember I am not alone.


faith2raise 6 years ago

Good tips. I have a home child care of 6 kids ranging from 3 months to almost 5 years old. Now that my 4 year old is reading a little and doing some addition she has gone beyond all the other kids so I am kept on my toes with teaching. Three of the children are 2 1/2 to almost 3 years old and they are almost on the same wave leangth and the 3 year old is not that much ahead, but they all have their streangths and weeknesses and because of reasearching homeschooling i have begun to teach each child on their own level and not with a "preschool in a box" like I did for one year. It is challenging. Have any tips? One of my 2 year olds is a puzzle wiz and knows his ABC's and sound any idea on how to play on that. My head is spining with all the research and having to come up with new ways to teach, but it is exlierating an so awesome at the same time. My girls have been really great for their young ages and have been patient with all my research. I want the best for them and for now I think homeschooling and staying at home with them is it.


sagebrush_mama profile image

sagebrush_mama 6 years ago from The Shadow of Death Valley...Snow Covered Mountain Views Abound!

Fantastic tips...I wish I had a creek close by for my 14 yo to enjoy while studying!


eclecticeducation profile image

eclecticeducation 6 years ago

Great Hub! I am going into my 8th year of homeschooling and totally agree with these tips. I think it is scary for new homeschoolers, but if you relax and enjoy it, then you and your child will both get so much out of it.


Read-Phonics profile image

Read-Phonics 6 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

I enjoyed your article Marye...very helpful


Sarah P. profile image

Sarah P. 6 years ago

Great hub, you're right on the money! As a homeschool graduate K - 12th grade, I love seeing parents who are energetic and dedicated to homeschooling!

I love #8. :) Its so true.


MomCrafting4Fun profile image

MomCrafting4Fun 6 years ago from Sunny Califronia

Great hub! We homeschool our two daughters, who are 7 and 8. I love reading about others journeys with homeschooling.

I especially enjoyed tips 1, 5, 6, 7, and 10. Okay, i liked them all but each of those tips are dear to my heart!

We just bought our first home and finally hav ethe room to have a school room. But I have found that we use that room more as a holding spot as we tend to be everywhere depending on what we are doing that day!

Congratulations in your successful life and balancing act! ;)


Aran profile image

Aran 7 years ago from Cambridge, UK

I was home-schooled myself as I wasn't doing well at school. I have actually written an article about homeschooling as well.


grenadierok profile image

grenadierok 7 years ago from Los Angeles

Great tips. These are really usefull for any homeschooling parent.


Ashley Joy profile image

Ashley Joy 7 years ago

Thanks for these great tips! I have been considering doing homeschool with my kids but it is a big decision.


mother of three profile image

mother of three 8 years ago from Small town Kentucky

Wow I truly applaud you for first having 8 kids and not losing your mind and second for home schooling them. I would love to read a hub on how you handle the normal daily task of mother hood and home schooling. I'm really interested in home schooling but sometimes the thought overwhelms me.  As long as I know I'm not alone it makes me more at ease.


BKWRM1967 profile image

BKWRM1967 8 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Excellent tips!


singingmommy profile image

singingmommy 8 years ago from OKLAHOMA

Wow! Nice size house.......Victorian is my favorite style! I wasn't expecting you to tell us they were all spread out doing their school. That sounds like a truly fun school. Most of the perfectly organized mothers tell me they have a school room, don't leave it and some don't bring the phone. I can tell though you have all those kids you have learned to respect yourself and allow yourself time, that takes pressure off you and your kids feel more loved.


mothersguide profile image

mothersguide 8 years ago from Malaysia

Thanks for sharing. You must be a wonderful organizer to be able to handle the homeschooling and the blogs :0


SirDent 8 years ago

Very well written hub. Much better than mine.


Diane Scott 8 years ago


Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet 8 years ago from Lancaster, Texas Author

We have a victorian house that is 4300 sq feet. WE have built in floor to ceiling bookshelves lining the upstairs hall. Where do the kids do school?

15 yr old- at the creek, usually while fishing

14 yr old- in the sunroom

12 yr old- in her room

9 yr old- kitchen table

7 yr old- whereever I am

The main answer is that they are susually sprawled everywhere. sigh. I know several peopel who have started with school rooms but there should be a difference between home schooling and DOING SCHOOL at home. :)


MM Del Rosario profile image

MM Del Rosario 8 years ago from NSW, Australia

Hi Mary,

do you have a like a school room in your place where all the kids go there in the morning ? or do just do their own work in their own room.

thanks

MM


singingmommy profile image

singingmommy 8 years ago from OKLAHOMA

Absolutely wonderful hub!!!!!!! I homeschool my eight year old will start my 5 year old in kindergarden this fall...... It's quite the fun process, but I haven chosen to do it. My daughter cries everytime I suggest sending her to school, she likes mommy to be her teacher she says. I would like you to publish a hub about how keep your home-school child to not be easily distracted- especially with smaller siblings- my daughter seems to wonder off in her own little world.


Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet 8 years ago from Lancaster, Texas Author

Aww, thanks! I have never been contacted, and for a long time people haven't been...but it is starting to happen more often again, and it is important to know how to handle it.

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