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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.
10 Tips for New Homeschoolers
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.