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What I Wish I’d known-my Tips for first Time Homeschoolers

So, there’s a lot of parents that are finding themselves as first time homeschool parents, at least for the next few weeks or so. I’ve had several people reach out and ask for advice, so I just wanted to jot down my tips for successful homeschooling. I am by no means, an expert, but this is the advice I would have wanted someone to give me when starting homeschool, whether it’s only for a season or forever.

1. Take a deep breath.

You can do this! God gave you these unique children and you know them and love them best! He will equip you to handle this situation. One of my favorite things about homeschool is the realationship you build with your child. It’s not always easy, you don’t always have the answers, but you are always growing and learning together.

2. Go Outside.

Seriously, it seems so simple, but it makes a huge difference in our days! Even if it’s cold. Even if it’s raining. Try and spend some time outside. There’s so much that can be learned through nature that supports your core subjects like math and science. Go outside, even if its just taking a walk or riding bikes, but its even better if you can take learning outside! We frequently use sidewalk chalk to diagram sentences, play hopscotch with our multiplication tables, or just sit and read on the porch swing.

3. Have a plan.

I’m not super rigorous with our schedule, but I do follow a rhythm. Have a plan, even if its just a loose one. Otherwise, you will end up all being frustrated at the end of the day. Kids do like structure and it can be helpful without being stifling. If the day gets derailed by catching frog eggs and watching them hatch, just start fresh the next day.

4. Don’t just “Do School” at home.

This one took me a while to grasp when I first started homeschooling, but it makes it so much more enjoyable if you get out of that mindset. You don’t have to be sitting at a desk doing bookwork to be learning. Embrace different kinds of learning. Chores (can I get an amen?) are a type of learning. So is baking, being creative, listening to an audiobook, grocery shopping, or learning a skill.

5.Read, Read, Read!

You can tell by my daily rhythm, that we read alot! I have struggling readers and late readers in my family so this is a practical way for me to help them in the additional subjects without spreading myself too thin. We read about ALL subjects. Science, art, music, Bible, history, geography, poetry, and just for fun. This is a great way to learn about not only the subjects, but the people and events behind the subjects. You can read about my tea time reading and how it changed my homeschool game, HERE! You can also see what our favorite books are this semester, HERE!

6. Do what’s best for you.

It’s your family and your homeschool so it doesn’t have to look a certain way. It can be whatever it needs to be for your family. Do what works best for your kids and your time at home. Life is a lesson, so I promise, if you are consistent, they are learning, no matter what that looks like for you! As I mentioned, I have some struggling readers, so I have to change things up to meet their need, and that’s ok!

See our daily rhythm HERE

7. Make it fun!

Sometimes, I get focused on getting done and forget to do this! Change it up, be creative, and make it fun to learn. I’m not the most creative person, but even just a little change here and there can make a big difference. Let them use playdough for their spelling words. Make up a silly song for that phonics rule. I’ve found that basically if I act like a lunatic, they think its funny and will remember it! 😂

8. You set the tone.

If you look at learning as a chore, so will they. If you act like you’d rather be somewhere else, they will too. This is a general rule for the household, but it definitely applies to homeschool too! When I have a whiny bad attitude, so do they. Remember, you are the lead learner! Learn along WITH them!

Don’t worry, you’ve got this!👊🏼

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