Updated: Apr 21
Homeschooling can be daunting.... especially for those of you who find yourselves as reluctant homeschoolers...
Looking back I can see what a journey I've come on since going from a mum with kids at school to a homeschool parent. And boy, has it been a journey!
So if you have found yourself homeschooling either by plan, by accident or are just considering the challenge, let me share with you what my homeschool beginning looked like plus share some tips and tricks that will help get you started.
(This is an excerpt from my blog back when I started homeschooling)
A few weeks ago I was envisaging my year and what I was planning on accomplishing, when all of a sudden my eldest daughter decided that some drama was needed. Out of the blue she decided that school was from the pit of hell and just refused to go back. Now I'm talking 0 to 100 in panic mode from a child happy to go to school just the week before!
Feeling completely caught off guard, I did what every sensible parent would do and I ignored her and sent her to school. (Parent of the year!) Anyways, turns out that didn't help and by the following day I had a meeting with the principle to discuss what our options were.
The meeting with the principle went well and after discussing why my daughter was so unhappy (I left out the part where she thought she should be allowed to dress as a mermaid for class), my husband and I decided on home-school until we could get things under control.
So my life changed from happy, peaceful, quiet school days to three kids now at home 24/7. We decided to home-school both the girls so that Brianna didn't feel left out and the extra flexibility of not having to stick to school hours meant we could add in some extra fun.
Within less than a week, I went from busy first time author to full time home school mum! (I told you I like adventure).
Knowing that my life was now going to look quite different, I sat down with a pen and a piece of paper and tried to work out how to be a super hero! I didn't go as planned so I decided to go with the second best option for the super planned - winging it! That seemed to do the trick but even so the first few weeks were a plethora of challenges, just taunting me to give up the home-school challenge.
The first was expecting my husband to be home-school dad while I went to a conference that I had been booked into for a year. The poor fragile man ended up catching man-flu the second I left and also had to get up in the night to the kids (twice!). I really have no idea how he dealt with such trauma.
The second thing was that apparently our internet bill had not been paid for three months (thanks hubby) so in perfect timing our internet was cut off, which made accessing all the home-school materials impossible.
We suffered through too many toilet breaks, a bull-ant in the lounge room, a child who suddenly forgot how to read and me learning how to navigate the new online learning system.
Like a true warrior, I fought hard through the obstacles and earned myself a place in the mum hall of fame!
Now four years in and looking back I laugh at what threw me into this season. Now though I wouldn't trade my homeschooling journey for anything and I count my blessings at being able to have this beautiful season with my children. So for those of you who are just getting started, here are 5 tips to help you on your way:
Find other homeschoolers who can give you advice, support or just an ear to whine to on the harder days. This will give you the strength to push through and have someone who understands your journey.
Don't be too hard on yourselves or your kids in those initial weeks. Its an adjustment for everyone and things rarely (if ever) go to plan.
Use the extra time with your kids to really get to know them. Knowing what your child likes and doesn't like, what type of learner they are, what activities they enjoy, what they struggle with, what they are good at etc. will make such a huge difference when providing an education for your child.
Allow yourself to change the way you do your homeschooling as often as you need until you find your place. You may start off completely structured, may move to unschooling and then find yourself settled into a relaxed style of schooling. Your needs and the needs of your children will change and after time you will find a situation that works best for you as a family.
Don't compare! Your situation with your children is as unique as your children are. allow your homeschool to be a reflection of who you are as a family. Trying to copy someone else's homeschool will take the joy out of it if it doesn't fit.
Lastly, just enjoy the journey! Your days may not go to plan but realise that you are making precious memories with your children that will last, and the end of the day, what could be better than that?!