Ten Words of Wisdom to New Homeschoolers

August 14, 2007 at 10:47 am (Uncategorized)

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It’s that time of year again!  Everywhere I go I am hearing about Back-To-School…So I thought I would share a few things I think are important for NEW homeschoolers to hear.

1. Breathe –  You are going to be okay!  You can do this and you are NOT going to damage your child in any way! 

2;.  Have faith in yourself – Last week I talked to a man who told me "My wife and I couldn’t homeschool because neither of us finished College."  Uh, you’re not teaching College!  You’re teaching elementary school!  No one is asking you to write a curriculum, control a room of 30 kids or even understand teacher speak.  Homeschooling is a natural progression from what you have already been teaching them.  If you taught them to walk and talk you can teach them to read, write and do math.  You just have to want to do it!  I have even known parents whose children have had severe learning disabilities who have succeeded at homeschooling.  No one is going to work harder and be more devoted to your child than YOU! (If you would like to read what I consider my teaching qualifications to be CLICK HERE.)

3. If something doesn’t work, try something else. – It sounds simple, but when you are in the midst of trying to teach something and it is just not being comprehended…It’s good to have this in the back of your mind.  Kid’s have different learning styles.  Some if what you’re trying doesn’t work it could be the curriculum, not the kid.  One thing I have done is talked to other homeschool Mom’s who have kids that remind me of my own.  I see what they have tried & what has worked.  Sometimes you can even borrow something from them and give it a try-before-you-buy!

4. Find a Support Group or Mentor  No man is an island.  You are going to need support in this endeavor.  Find it!  Meet with other like-minded Mom’s, ask questions, pray for each other.  Get your kids involved so they have like-minded friends.  Go on field trips.  The women who have mentored me through the process of homeschooling are some of the most important people in my life.  These are the ladies i call when I don’t know what to do.  (You know who you are!)  They pray with me, make suggestions and most of all they really know me and my kids.  They can give me wise counsel because they have a clear vision of who we are.  I could not have made it this far in homeschooling without my mentors.  (aka: Friends!)

5. Think about why you have chosen this path.  Write it down!  Then when the going gets tough and you are ready to throw in the towel you can go back and read what you wrote and be reminded why you are doing this. ( Here is mine, but don’t cheat and copy mine.  Really think about why you made this choice!)

6.  Get use to being odd!  LOL – This sounds funny, but to be quite honest it’s true!  You will need to get use to explaining to non-believers why you have chosen this path.  You will get a lot of weird looks from Mom’s who can’t wait to get their kids to school every day.  Some of the people who think your odd my be your own family.  Homeschooling is much more accepted now that it was 11 years ago when I started, but there are still plenty of critics and skeptics out there.  Don’t let them get you down!  (This is another reason # 4 & #5 mentioned above are so important!)

7.  Pray – You can never go wrong with this one! Pray for your kids, for wisdom and stamina for yourself.  For like minded friends, for support, for homeschool laws in our country.  For God’s will to be done in your school.  Pray, pray, pray…prayer is one investment that always pays off!

8. Keep Dad informed – If you think homeschooling is nerve wracking for you imagine how a new homeschool Dad feels!  He goes off to work every day (In most cases.) and has to trust that the kids are getting educated.  Since he is more than likely not the one doing the majority of the schooling it is really important to let him know how things are going.  When we first started out I made up a weekly review sheet on the computer.  I would fill in what things we were working on, what field trips we had taken, what skills had been learned, etc.  I also had a place for things that needed improvement that we would be focusing on.  I would fill it in the last day of each week and then leave it out on the dining room table for Dad to look over as dinner.  This was a simple way to let Dad know what we were doing and ease his mind showing him that learning really was happening. (Plus I had great records to file away for the year!)

9. Take pictures!  One thing a seasoned homeschool Mom told me when I First started out was to take pictures of my kids doing school.  Not just field trips (Although those pics are great!)  But,  pictures of them doing handwriting, math, etc.  I can tell you it is a great pleasure for me to look back at those pics of little heads bowed over schoolwork.  What sweet memories those regular days hold for me!  The can also serve as a great source of encouragement when you look back.  You will see not only how they have grown not only physically but in their education.

10.  Have FUN! Enjoy your kids, enjoy the unlimited time you have together. Enjoy watching them grow in knowledge. Enjoy seeing all the things YOU have taught them form who they will become as adults. It passes all too quickly.


Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

Here are some other posts that new homeschoolers might find helpful:

How We Began

Why Homeschooling

What We Want (Our Purpose Statement)

What Qualifies Me?

Studying Art With Children

Making The Most of Museum Visits

Literature Based Math

Sonlight

My Notes On Sonlight

How I Teach My Preschoolers

Homeschool Organization (Pictures Of Our Schoolroom)

What About Socialization?

What About Friends?

Spelling

School & Little Ones – Part 2

Our Routine

A School is a Building

A Day in the Life

Used Curriculum Sale

Learning/Personality Styles

The Cost of Homeschooling

Teaching Multiple Ages – Abilities – Stages

Invented Spelling or Mom is Pritee

Back-To School Homeschool Version

Desks, Relaxing and George Washington

Mary Washington

More on Teaching ABC’s

Keeping Dad Informed

A Rich Learning Environment

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4 Comments

  1. JenIG said,

    "I never finished college" …"uh, you're not teaching college"
    that totally made me laugh

  2. kaenhu said,

    You've summed it up so well, Jamin! I will be sending folks over here to read this! Thanks for all the encouragement you've given me, and for all the nice things you've posted on my blog. πŸ™‚ You are definitely an inspiration to me!!

  3. Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlam said,

    Rats…I was going to copy your reason, and then you told me not to…I am such a rule follower so I guess I'll come up with my own. πŸ™‚
    http://www.inpassionatepursuit.blogspot.com

  4. Dawn said,

    Great Post!
    Thanks for all the information πŸ™‚

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