10 Things I Want New Homeschoolers to Know

Starting at the beginning, the beginning of anything, can be scary. There are so many unanswered questions. So many things you want to do, and know, and learn. Speaking from my over 10 years of homeschooling experience, let me share with you some things I would want new homeschoolers to know about homeschooling.

10 Things I Want New Homeschoolers to Know shares things I have learned in my 12+ years of homeschooling from K - graduation.

10 Things I Want New Homeschoolers to Know

1. Beginnings Are Scary

We are all unsure at the start! There is so much we don’t know and so much we want to know NOW! Here’s the thing, if you start at the beginning, do your research and make decisions based on what you feel is right for you and your family, I promise you will find your way.

I have a favorite quote that goes like this:

Beginnings are usually scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s what’s in the middle that counts. So when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will.

So take a deep breath and start from the beginning. Check out this article below to get you started.

How Do I Get Started Homeschooling? from Starts At Eight

2. Life Skills Count

One of the biggest gaps I felt public school created was in life skills, things that are best done at home, in real life. For instance, our teen daughter wanted her room repainted, so we had her do it with us. My 11 year old son could do laundry from start to finish. Teaching our children everyday things like how to run the dishwasher (don’t put dish soap in it like my daughter did once), how to do basic sewing repairs, lawn mowing, money management, etc.

All of these things are not only essential in life, but you can most definitely count them towards your school time!

High School Life Skills: Career Exploration from Starts At EightTeaching Life Skills: Chores from Starts At Eight

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Throw it Out

Obviously you don’t have to actually throw it out! But sometimes you have to know when to fold. Not everything you choose will work the way you thought and sticking it out is not always the way to go. Knowing yourself and your children will help you to decide when enough is enough with something. Check out this post to help you decide when it is time to walk away.

What Happens When..... You Know a Curriculum Isn't Working from Starts At Eight

4. Every Child is Different

So if you think that $200 curriculum will get you through all of them…it might not. {insert sad face here} Unfortunately it doesn’t always work out that all of our kids have an affinity for the same learning style or curriculum.

I think there is just one curriculum that I have managed to use for all 3 of my children. While each have used some of the same curriculum throughout the years, I have often started a child on something and then found that while it was great for one of their siblings, it is not so great for them.

5. You Will Grow and Change With Your Homeschool

We have ebbed and flowed throughout the years. I don’t believe that two of our years have ever looked the same. One year a certain style of assignment sheets, schedule and planning might work, and then we will shift to something else because it doesn’t seem to be right for us anymore.

For example, I have used digital planners and paper planners. I have lesson planned for the entire year and done it a week at a time. From year to year and child we have shape shifted as needed. Just as with parenting, you will grow and change in your homeschool as your children grow and change.

6. Be a YES MOM

It is so easy for me to say no. To stick to the rigidness of my schedule and forego many fun activities and outings that come along. While we can’t say yes to everything, we can try to say yes more often. Don’t be afraid to put aside the work for that group zoo trip or playground day. Those are friends you will make, and memories you will have for a lifetime.

Are You a Yes or No Mom? from Starts At Eight

7. Not Everything Has to be About Learning

I seriously just stopped myself from making this mistake last week! As we planned a trip to a local zoo I started searching for printables, activities and ideas. Then I stopped myself. We have just finished our formal year and this was a fun trip with friends, I did not need to drag it down with all kinds of learning activities.

You know what? Not only did we learn new things anyways, but we also had a ton of fun!

8. Socialization is Not Defined By a Classroom of 25 Kids 

Socialization is a hot button topic and frequently asked question when it comes to homeschooling. It’s as if the world thinks you need to learn to stand in straight lines, sit at a desk, and be with the same aged humans 8 hours a day in order to be socialized.

The funny thing is that homeschooling puts our children right into the real world. It has them interacting with people of all ages and from all walks of life. From an early age my children have not been confined by age. They play comfortably with kids both older and younger than themselves. They see the value in people for who they are, instead of snubbing because they are younger. Homeschooling offers up the world as our classroom!

The How To' sof Homeschool Socialization

9. YOU CAN Homeschool High School

This is another big topic of conversation, and question when it comes to homeschooling. “So, are you really going to homeschool high school?” Why yes I am. And I did. (My oldest is graduation this year. She has been homeschooled from 2nd grade all the way through.)

Homeschooling Teenagers from Starts At Eight

I am here to tell you that YOU CAN Homeschool High School. In many ways it gets easier. We spent middle school working towards more independent work skills in preparation for high school. Then I tediously picked curriculum that my teen could do on her own. Things like Teaching Textbooks, Dive Science, and Lightning Literature and Composition helped me to be more hands off and took the pressure off me having to teach.

Homeschooling Through High School - Tips from a Veteran Homeschool Mom from Starts At EightWhat I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Homeschooling High School from Starts At Eight

10. Enjoy It (The Many Benefits of Homeschooling)

As much as possible savor these years with your children.

Homeschooling offers many great gifts that you might not otherwise have.

Things like family. Homeschooling becomes a way of life and offers you the chance to be your kids first voice on things, it allows you all to do life together. You get to be there for the “ah” moments, and help them when the going gets tough.

Homeschooling allows you to set the pace and the schedule, for you to be in charge of your time. I know that my children have been healthier because they could sleep more when they needed to, and because they were home I could regulate what they were eating. Our flexible homeschool schedule allowed us to take vacations at off times to avoid crowds and get better prices too!

Related Articles of Interest

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