So you’ve decided to homeschool. Let’s take a look at your next steps and address some common issues that come up such as choosing a curriculum and homeschooling multiple children.
We often think of education as academics only but it is so much more than that. The goal of education is to learn how to learn so our children can move towards becoming thriving independent adult.
With this in mind let’s look at the heart of homeschooling to create a journey that fits your unique family.
In a previous blog post about homeschooling for beginners I go through the steps of how to start homeschooling (and in this podcast episode).
I always encourage families to start with why you are homeschooling. This will determine your priorities, approach and curriculum. Are you in it for a short time or long time? COVID? Faith? Freedom? Struggles? Go ahead and journal, write down all your reasons (I’ll wait). Even families who have been homeschooling for a long time, often loose sight of why they are homeschooling, so this is a great exercise for anyone.
Now dig deeper:
- What are your family values?
- What is most important to your family?
- What is special or unique about your family and situation?
- What characteristics and life skills do you want your children to have when they leave this homeschooling experiences ?
- While your at it extend that to their whole time living in your home.
Now you have your goals, so work towards that. You can see it is a much bigger picture. When you are education your children at home, you have opportunity to engage in so much more than just academics.
Remember though that your family will be different than others. You have your own journey. Celebrate what makes it unique rather than fighting to fit in a box. You may be single, or a working parent, or a family with special needs. For our family we are entrepreneurs. I run two businesses from home and take this opportunity to get our children involved in our work. You see our children and school are no longer an inconvenience to our work life, we have found a way to see the whole picture and mix it all.
But wait. What does all this have to do with homeschooling?
You are at home. You are a family. This is why I’m a parenting and homeschooling coach. You can’t separate the two so easily. This journey is about your unique family.
Are you feeling pumped and excited?
I want to leave you with some practical tips though to help you with this journey.
Connecting with your child improves learning. They are more relaxed and willing to accept mistakes and new things. You can also determine their interests to focus on strengths to play into.
Drop the labels. You may want to focus on a particular method, but don’t get too hung up. There is no Waldorf or Charlotte Mason police checking up on you. You will only stress yourself out and forget about your priorities. Use labels as a guide even for diagnosis about your children. Focus more on the child than their labels.
Connection over correction. You can use every challenge that comes up and see them as an opportunity to practice and work on the characteristics and life goals I mentioned earlier. Whether they are academic or not, work together towards solutions and problem solving. Now you are thinking long term and modelling real life!
Emotion coaching will come up often. We all have big feelings that can overwhelm us. Rather than trying to discipline and move forward as a teacher would in school, remember you are home. You are your child’s guide and teacher. Help them with coping skills, and self-regulation so they can move on with the rest of the day. Remember parenting is about connection and empathy.
The heart of homeschooling is home. It is about family. It is about relationships
Blog posts mentioned in the podcast:
Ultimate round up for beginner homeschoolers
The heart of homeschooling
Connect with Meaghan Jackson of Joyful Mud Puddles
Facebook and Instagram @joyfulmudpuddles