The second question that I am asked a lot is, “do you have any suggestions for a new homeschooler?” I have LOTS of suggestions and opinions but that does not mean you need to know all of them. Here are a few that I do give most people who ask.
1. If you have been in school, plan to deschool. Don’t stress out that your child will fall behind. They won’t. You will have plenty of time to “catch up.” Homeschooling is a complete mind shift for you and your child. You both have to learn that school happens all of the time. As a parent, you teach your child daily whether you are homeschooling them or not. Take field trips together. Get outside and look at all of the things out there that you have been missing during the hustle and bustle of life. Find out what you both enjoy doing.
2. Find some resources. I highly recommend jumping on the internet to find some resources. Call your local library to see if they have a homeschool bookclub or group. If you belong to a church, ask if there are any homeschoolers that attend. Check out your local parks and recreation departments or your local Y. There are a ton of co-ops out there if you are looking for help with your curriculum or want to follow a specific plan. Also, most theatres and museums (art, science, history) will have some kind of homeschool program or discount. Take advantage of these!
3. Look ahead for activities to do outside of the house. Locate a few good hikes and a local nature center. Find out if there is a fair that comes to your area (I never knew about the fair until we started homeschooling. The fair is an amazing place to learn and spark new interests.) Find out if there is something that your child has always wanted to learn about and make some calls. We have a tough time narrowing things down! Our area has homeschool golf, tennis, PE, art, music, languages, horse back riding, hiking, biology, chemistry, geocaching, fishing-the list goes on! Many people have no idea that all of this is in their area!
4. Read. If your child does nothing but read the first year, go with it. Reading teaching children so much including the written language, grammar, spelling, and speech.
5. Relax! I think that relaxing is the hardest part of homeschooling. You do not have to hit every subject every day or every week. Your child will learn. You will go through multiple curriculums, find one that you like and then change it again. That is ok too. Breath. You will find out how complicated your life was and how relaxing life can be.