Does fear of the unknown make you nervous about homeschooling?
If you’re considering homeschooling, wondering whether or not it’s a good idea, or not knowing how to get started, I’ve got some advice to help you with the transition. First, know that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing from the get-go. I know from experience how very nervous about homeschooling we can be in the “just looking into it” phase.
Homeschooling also doesn’t have to be as complicated as we can sometimes make it. Here’s what I have learned that may help you become less nervous about homeschooling and make the transition in a way that will help you and your child.
If you’re like me, you may be considering trying out homeschooling because public school has been stressful for your child. If this is the case, perhaps they now associate learning with school, and school with stress. This was certainly the case for us. At the time, I had never heard of de-schooling, and our first few months were very tumultuous. Since then, I’ve learned more about de-schooling and definitely recommend it in these situations. But what is deschooling?
De-schooling allows your child to separate the idea of learning from the experience of public schooling (and all that he or she found stressful about it). Essentially, don’t try to duplicate public school. Start out with something fun like unit studies center around their passions. Create a lot of opportunities for one-on-one connection with your child, using learning time as bonding time. If learning can become more about gathering information and connecting with a parent or loved one, it’s going to be more enjoyable than if it’s something required, rigid, and sterile.
2) Cast your vision
You do have a reason why you’re choosing homeschooling right? Honestly, I think not a single one of us just decide to homeschool just based solely on a whim. If you’re nervous about homeschooling and are reading this post, clearly there is a greater ‘why’ pushing you through the fear. Homeschooling is a beautiful and difficult calling. There’s always some kind of reason – or even many reasons! On your hard days, you are going to need to remember your ‘why’ and be rooted in it.
So, your first step here is writing out your mission statement. Write out why it is you’re homeschooling your children. Talk with them to include them in the why and the decisions about your homeschooling. Have them help you write your mission statement so that they can be emotionally invested as well and take ownership of this homeschooling process.
In addition to the vision statement, make the expectations clear. Involve your child in this too! Tell them what you’re thinking as far as expectations, and ask them what their thoughts are. While you’re in charge and have the final say as the authority figure in the house, taking their thoughts into consideration will mean a lot to them. It’ll help them feel heard and like their feelings are considered and appreciated. Even if you don’t take a majority of their suggestions, they will at least feel like they’ve had a say and been heard. Including them in expectations will help them to accept the expectations because they’ll feel they’ve had a say in it.
3) Take a practice run
Give homeschooling a practice run if you’re nervous about homeschooling and making the leap. Try doing this for just a few days a week over the summer or any other seasonal break from public school. Having this sort of “practice homeschooling,” especially over the summer, will be helpful for many kids. Even if you don’t end up homeschooling, a routine is helpful for them.
If this is working out for you and you continue you to homeschool, you may consider year-round homeschooling. We homeschool year-round for the stability it brings to our schedule, and our kids love it! We homeschool all year, 4 days a week, with breaks for holidays. If you’ve already put all these hours into your summer practice homeschooling, why not continue on? Several days are already knocked out!
In addition to unit studies, any outings you have in nature or traveling can also be used towards learning days. Make it educational with some questions, discussion, drawing, or related reading. Just another find a way to make love learning enjoyable again for the whole family while also bonding.
Summer is the perfect time to give homeschooling ago
If you’re considering homeschooling and unsure, please don’t be too afraid to give it a shot! If you try your best during this homeschooling summer experiment and still feel that it won’t work for you, no sweat! You can easily still enroll in the public school for the next year. You’ll not have wasted any of this time. Your child learned about things they love and spent extra time connecting with you one-on-one! Win-win! You’ll also be no worse off, as far as public school is concerned; not a single day missed. I think you’ll find you’ll love it though!
Taking the summer to devote some time to light learning gives you a taste of homeschooling, keeps the kids a little less bored, and off electronics – at least a bit. Best of all, you’ll never have to wonder, “Should I have tried homeschooling?” If you’ve been on the fence and nervous about homeschooling, I encourage you to give it a shot this summer with free internet printables and library books!