Homeschooling Tips for Beginners: 4 Things to Do During The First Year

k-12

Are you starting homeschool for the first time this year? This blog post offers new homeschool families four important tips for things to focus on during this time.

Starting off on the Right Foot

Making the decision to transition from regular school to homeschool, or to begin your children's education at home, is a big one. But once it's made, the real work starts. Getting started as a new homeschool family requires a lot of research, preparation, and the establishment of new norms. Then it's a long process of trial and error. Despite all of the work, when done well, it's worth the effort. These four tips will help you get your first year of homeschool off to the right start.

It is important to get off on the right foot during the first year of homeschooling

Beginner Tip #1: Connect With Others

One of the challenges of homeschooling is that you won't have the resources and support of an entire school community. But that doesn't mean that homeschooling has to be an isolated experience.

Reach out to others for help. That can mean homeschooling communities online or other homeschooling families in your local area.

This approach can help you:

  • Develop some ideas for your curriculum.
  • Offer social opportunities for your child.
  • Provide support for you through challenging times.

Find a few key people you can rely on and use them as a resource.

Beginner Tip #2: Be Flexible

The biggest advantage of homeschooling is that you aren't tied to any particular structure, so don't feel pressured to duplicate the school environment in your home. After all, there's a reason you chose not to send your children to a traditional school.

Be aware that there's no particular benefit to adhering to regular school routines. Follow what works for your children. If your kids find studying on the floor more effective than studying on a desk, go for it. If focusing on one subject for an entire day or week works better than fitting multiple subjects into every day, try it. Find what works for you and your unique situation.

Flexibility is important during the first year of homeschooling

Beginner Tip #3: Define Your Goals

The lack of structure associated with homeschooling can lead to a feeling of meandering if you're a beginner. To avoid this situation, set concrete goals for each of your children.

For example, define big goals for the year along with smaller milestones that you'll try to reach along the way. Then, design your curriculum around the larger goals, putting other subjects and lessons on hold in an auxiliary role. For example, if your major goals for your youngest child this year are to teach her how to read and do basic math operations, invest most of your time and resources in these areas. That way, at the end of the year, you'll feel a sense of accomplishment for achieving your most important goals.

Make goals during your first year of homeschool

Beginner Tip #4: Learn From Your Experience

As the homeschool teacher and administrator, so to speak, you might feel a lot of pressure to do things perfectly. But keep in mind that, if you're a beginner, there's no way to avoid making a few blunders along the way.

Instead of expecting perfection from yourself, assume a growth mindset. Do your best and forgive yourself for any ''mistakes.'' Try to see each ''error'' as an opportunity for growth and for improving your homeschool moving forward. Your first year won't be perfect, but it will be good enough.

For more tips and resources for new homeschool families, check out this page on Study.com.

By Daisy Rogozinsky
August 2019
k-12 homeschooling

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