Guest blog post provided by Rebecca Devitt of HowDoIHomeschool.com
Hey there! Homeschooling can sometimes be overwhelming or stressful, but don't worry! With a few helpful homeschooling tips, you can make home education a breeze. As someone who has grown up as a homeschooler and now homeschools my own children, I've learned some great tricks to help you avoid homeschool burnout and excel on your homeschool journey.
Let's discuss how to soar like an eagle (and not toddle like a bush turkey) with these great homeschool tips below.
1. Keep it Flexible
Many homeschool parents start out with a bought homeschool curriculum. They think it will be easy to make their kids sit down and do the curriculum.
But, this approach may not work for many reasons:
Whatever the reason, remember to keep things flexible. This is maybe the best homeschooling tip you'll hear! You may need to change your curriculum or switch to a more interest-based learning approach if you are not seeing positive results with your current curriculum.
If you don't have the budget, consider a free homeschool curriculum or a low-cost program.
2. Don't Run Homeschool Like School
Another huge mistake new homeschooling parents make is when they run their homeschool like it's a school. Homeschool parents don't have 8 hours to plan, prep, and run lessons that run for hours each day. So give yourself a break, and don't burn yourself out. Also, a school-at-home approach can burn your children out. Nothing like killing their love for education by forcing them to learn things they're not interested in for hours on end. Which leads me to my next point.
3. Capitalize on Natural Learning
Many parents miss golden learning opportunities – instances where your child is learning naturally because they're fascinated with a topic. So many of us parents want to pull our kids back into the formal curriculum they're doing. But, in doing so, we miss opportunities where they will learn 10x as much as when we were teaching them their formal curriculum. Don't get me wrong, a formal curriculum is essential.
Kids have to learn basic math and reading skills no matter what. But they also learn a lot through what they're interested in (this is called interest-based learning). For example, if your child is interested in dinosaurs, find them some exciting lessons on dinosaurs. They'll learn a considerable amount because they'll be listening in closely!
Or perhaps they can read. Why not foster a love of reading by borrowing dinosaur books from the library.
Or look up books they'd love to listen to on YouTube as audiobooks from this homeschool book list.
That way, they'll get into reading and hearing great language while learning about a topic that interests them!
4. Don't Get a Scripted Curriculum
Remember my point about not having 8 hours a day to plan, prep, and carry out classes? Well, this carries onto this point about not getting a curriculum with… Teacher's Manuals.
For most new homeschool parents, this can be stressful. Working your way through Teachers Manuals is tedious, time-consuming, and boring for many. Instead, most of the companies that sell these offer teacher-led videos. This will save you lots of time, and kids will often be more interested. It also means you'll save lots of time…and be less stressed.
A few companies that do this are Veritas Press, BJU Press, and Abeka.
I use BJU Press with my two children, and we love it. But we get their video lessons. Not their Teacher's Manuals.
5. Think About Open-and-Go and Self-Directed
Another popular homeschool curriculum option is open-and-go curricula. Options like these are easy to use, as parents simply need to open the books and read them to carry out the program!
Notgrass, which offers a beautiful history and geography curriculum, is like this, and I use it with my children. I enjoy learning about history alongside them!
You can also get self-directed or self-paced homeschool curriculum options, which are even easier again! That's because once the child (once they can read) can do the course independently. This leads to the child learning more independence and feeling more ownership of their studies.
Compass Classroom provides a great program where kids can do the whole course independently. Parents can help, but they don't have to be at the child's elbow if they don't want to. Both open-and-go and self-paced learning are straightforward options to use.
6. Christian vs. Secular
Another thing to consider when starting homeschooling is whether you want a secular or Christian homeschool curriculum. Is teaching your child about the Good News of Jesus essential to you? As a Christian, I love having a Christian curriculum that reminds my children about Jesus, which is the most essential thing in life for me.
But, not all parents feel the same, and many prefer to look into secular curriculum options like these ones here.
The good thing about homeschooling is that you can decide what your children learn and what they don't.
7. Continue Getting Homeschool Tips
Like anything, the more you educate yourself, the better you'll be. So don't stop learning about how to make your homeschool better. There's a lot to learn! But where do you start?
A great free option for more homeschooling tips is my YouTube channel, How to Homeschool. This channel is for new homeschool parents, and we talk a lot about curriculum and making homeschooling easier - So make sure you SUBSCRIBE.
Or perhaps you'd prefer to do a course like the Homeschool Parenting Program. This is a foundational 101 course for parents new to home education. It will take you from an unsure to a confident homeschool parent in no time.
Finally, you can check out the How Do I Homeschool Christian homeschool blog here. There are lots of interesting topics I'm sure you'll love.
The Bottom Line on Homeschooling Tips
Every homeschool is different, so remember to keep things flexible. The homeschool tips on this page will remind you what things are essential and what you can dispense with. In the end, remember to keep things fun and happy. And if you're having a bad day, slip on some shoes and get out into nature. Happy homeschooling!
Mrs. Rebecca Devitt is a second-generation homeschool mom (meaning she was homeschooled herself and is now homeschooling her own children). She lives with her two children and lovely husband, Tristan, in Australia. After spending three years in a traditional Christian school, Rebecca's parents, Bill and Antoinette Hesford, started home educating her. She enjoyed homeschooling so much that she now spends her spare time blogging to parents about how great homeschooling can be. She runs How to Homeschool, a YouTube Channel for beginners and also a website called How Do I Homeschool, which is dedicated to homeschool curriculum. SUBSCRIBE to her channel to see more of her homeschool life.
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