I first started homeschooling because my husband and I had met homeschooling kids and we saw a difference in them. We liked what we saw, but we had no idea where to start.
After graduating three kids from homeschooling high school, John and I are starting again with three more kids, ages five, three, and two. I’ve spent so much time, money, and worries in the past, trying to figure out the “right” curriculum, I’m here to help you skip those burdensome steps!
Seven Ways to Start <click to tweet>
- Know there is not one perfect curriculum. Find something that matches your interest, can be incorporated into your lifestyle, and looks fun to you. This year I ordered the Sonlight curriculum for my preschooler. I love Sonlight because it’s based on reading lots of books, which I love to do. The teacher’s guide gives you a general idea of what activities to do with the books, and my kids love the hands-on approach to learning. Yet, that is what works for me. Google “preschool curriculum” and look through the options, but do not let yourself get stressed or worried over finding the perfect one. Your number-one goal as a homeschool teacher is to guide your children to love learning. If you succeed in that . . . you succeed!
- Don’t compare your children with other children. I had one child who learned to read at three years old and another child who learned to read at six years old. Each child will learn at a different pace. Girls will usually learn faster than boys. If you’re feeling stressed over your child’s abilities, you’ll no doubt put stress on him or her, too, which will do no one any good!
- Pay attention to your child’s interests. Study “themes.” Does your son love cars? Then study everything you can about them. Does your daughter love to bake? Figure out how you can spend time in the kitchen while also learning. (Read books about baking, teach measurements, experiment with recipes.) I love Unit Study for this very reason.
- Forget “socialization.” Focus on quality friendships. I spent years signing up my kids for community teams and activities so that they could get “socialized.” These were often activities my kids didn’t care about, and they produced no lasting relationships. Instead, pick a few like-minded families, with children of similar ages, and choose to connect with them purposefully. Do things together. Share life together. A few life-long friendships with like-minded families will go a long way <click to tweet>.
- Check out free online printables. This may make me sound old, but the Internet was just starting to put down its roots when I first started homeschooling. Today there are TONS of free online printables. It’s never been easier to come up with something fun and creative to do every day. Just Google “free preschooler homeschool printables” and have fun! I also like to search on Pinterest.
- Don’t make your children sit at desks (or at the table). Thoughout life we learn as we live and explore. For every five minutes you spend learning at the table, spend five away from the table bringing learning to life.
- Keep a memory box of your child’s activities. Keep track of what you do. Not only will you always be able to look back on these homeschooling years with fondness, it’s good practice for when you need to start keeping school records, too.
I hope these ideas helped! Feel free to ask additional questions in my comments field. I’d love to help as I’m able. I can say that I’ve NEVER regretted homeschooling. I suppose I’m proving that by starting again!