Starting Homeschool in 2022? Here's What You NEED to Know
As we start a new semester, I have been reflecting on our homeschool journey up to this point.
In my mid-year review, I got real with myself about how things are going and ways to improve my son's experience as well as my own!
You can find the full video here.
Not only was it important for me to recognize our successes and how we will improve upon bits of what has been working for us, but I also needed to be honest with myself in the critiquing process.
This sparked the idea to share some things that I wish I would have known when we first began learning at home and these 5 things stood out most.
What I Wish I Would Have Been Told Sooner About Homeschooling
1. Stand firm in your decision to homeschool your child.
Regardless of the opinions your family or neighbors may have about your child's education, there is probably a much deeper reason that you chose to homeschool.
Other people's input has very little weight in the grand scheme of how you and your family conduct your everyday lives. This realization comes with much deeper truths about the importance of standing by your parenting decisions.
In all honesty, it isn't anyone's business which model of education you involve your child in aside from those who it will directly effect. Your family more than likely came to the conclusion for good reason, with lots of love and thought behind the decision, and swaying those feelings should not be left up to people outside of your home.
Trust your choice and stick to it! The decision to homeschool holds much more magic than you may know right now.
2. Allow your child to lead the journey and enjoy the backseat.
Trusting your child may not be one of the first jumps you expected to make, but it is one that can determine the impact that learning at home can have.
If we always put our ideas of what our children like and are "good" at, we will miss out on opportunities to let them create their own experiences and opinions in those matters.
Homeschooling gives parents the chance to let education be unique to the learner.
This is one of the first steps in your child's abilities to recognize their interests and strengths, while allowing for trial and error in a comfortable setting.
Let them be heard! Try that activity! Get into a new topic that you have no background knowledge on! Don't be afraid to let your child lead learning experiences, even if it makes you raise an eyebrow.
3. Create systems that work for your child and you.
While choosing topics and approaches can easily be facilitated and tested, finding routines can be a more difficult task.
Seeing morning baskets and perfectly curated photos of organized hands-on activities often feels intimidating and can be discouraging.
Other family's processes don't have to exactly align with your family, and they probably won't. Letting the unique and specific needs of your learner and your family shine through is what makes your homeschool experience worth it all.
Whether that means learning in the evening or taking your reading lesson to Nana's house, you have the freedom to create systems that fit your needs and preferences.
Embrace the millions of options and don't be afraid to try something new if it feels like there could be a better fit!
4. Find support that aligns with your values and vision.
Social media offers tons of ways to connect with those near and far, making it possible to create a support system virtually anywhere!
There are people out there whose homeschooling and family dynamics look similar to yours, making it comfortable to find inspiration in their journey.
I have found that I am not a Pinterest mom, despite my best efforts. Do I think those type of moms are rockstars? ABSOLUTELY.
Will I ever be one of those put together, breakfast and a book by 6 a.m. kind of gals? NEVER.
I used to be bummed about that until I realized that there are mamas out there like me.
I stay up late to get an ounce of me time. I stay in my comfy clothes way longer than I would like to admit. Our homeschool flow is what works for us, not a formula I read about.
Embracing those characteristics in myself have made finding "my" kind of folks much easier.
Don't accidentally make yourself a misfit by trying to fit into the wrong crew for you.
5. Let failure be part of the process and the plan.
The last and most important lesson that I have learned during my first years of homeschooling have been to love the bumps in the road.
You can't let life shake you!
Funky days are going to happen. Lessons are going to flop. Outings may end in disaster.
All of these things are exactly what makes the best days shine brightest, all while providing life lessons for your children.
When things don't go to plan, it's easy to want to throw the whole day away and send them back to public school. How silly would it be if that's how we treated everything?
Being transparent with your children about failures and having to readjust strengthens the bond between you. This teamwork will make each day that much more special to the experience you will share.
All in all, homeschooling is not a one-size fits all kind of gig.
YOUR experience can be whatever you and your family build it to become.