Top Ten Tips for the New Homeschooler

Homeschooling can be absolutely overwhelming when you are just starting out. Today I am sharing what was shared with me as I started out homeschooling, three years ago, and some things I’ve learned along the way.

  1. Make God first. We are all human. We are all sinners. We all need God’s help. Start your day in prayer and learning God’s truth in his word together. Pray for one another asking for God to help with whatever struggles you have. Make sure you take captive those moments when you need Him most, whether it’s at the beginning of the day or in the middle of a long division problem.
  2. Write down why you started. You are bound to have a bad day. You may even have a bad week.  Sometimes in the thick of things it’s hard to remember why you began, so write it down. Then you can remind yourself and get refocused.
  3. Figure out your teaching style and their learning styles. You can buy the best curriculum out there, but if it’s all workbook learning and you have a hands on learner, teaching and learning will become difficult. I would suggest reading 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum: Choosing the Right Curriculum and Approach for Your Child’s Learning Style.
  4. Start slow. If you start homeschooling your children and try to get every subject accomplished the first week, it may overwhelm you and your student. Start with a couple of core subjects. Get used to how those flow. Then after a few weeks add another subject. The beauty of homeschooling is moving at your own pace.
  5. Be flexible.  Your husband suddenly gets the day off. You wake up sick. Your moving to a new house. Many things can interrupt your schedule. You need to be able to have some flexibility to move your lesson plans around when certain situations arise.
  6. Know your state laws. Every state and country will have different laws that you need to abide by. These are important to know as you get started. If you are unsure what your laws are you can find them at hslda.org.
  7. It’s okay if you’re only have school three hours a day. You are most likely homeschooling one or maybe a few children. This will not take eight hours like a traditional school, that has 30 children in each class. You know your children, their behaviors, and what motivates them. You know how they learn. All these things will make your day go faster. I have three children and our schooling can usually get done in about three hours. If you are just starting Kindergarten, it really shouldn’t be more than an hour of teaching per day. The rest of the day you can read and do fun learning.
  8. Your child doesn’t have to be smarter than everyone else. If your child is taking longer at learning something, slow down. Go at their pace. You want them to learn, and learn well, not keep up with the Jones’s. They may be able to pick something else up at a quicker pace. We all have different gifts.
  9. Ask your husband for advice. Whether your husband does half the teaching or is totally hands off, there is one thing he does know- your kids. If you are having trouble teaching a certain child or subject see if he has any ideas that you may not have thought of.
  10. Meet some veteran homeschoolers. Whether it’s in person, over the phone, or online, homeschoolers are everywhere. There are many that have experience and wisdom that will be helpful to you. They will be a great resource as you struggle and thrive on this new journey.

This is an exciting new adventure that can be exhausting and rewarding. I have enjoyed each year we have homeschooled, even through the rough moments. I hope these tips are helpful to you as start homeschooling.

Do you have any questions about homeschooling? or tips?
Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

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6 comments on Top Ten Tips for the New Homeschooler

  1. Fantastic advice little buddy! You sound like a pro.

  2. Nikki says:

    You wrote this post for me, Paula. I’m certain of it. I’ll be starting kindergarten this fall and already feel overwhelmed! Thanks for reminding me to get back to the core of things. I’m going to write down why I’m doing this…thank you!
    Nikki recently posted..All I SeekMy Profile

  3. Karin says:

    I love this post! Last year I home schooled my 3rd grade daughter & I am about to start home schooling my 2nd grade son. I love spending so much time watching my children learn. But I am anxious about teaching two children different grades. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Paula says:

      I actually have only schooled 2 or more at a time. When I started my eldest was in 2nd grade and my other daughter was starting Kindergarten.

      The biggest suggestion would be doing subjects together when possible. We have always done Science and History together as a family.
      Another idea I would suggest would be teaching the younger child first in the day. Have some school or chores prepared for your daughter to do while you teach your son. Also knowing their different learning styles will help you along greatly.
      Don’t worry, I am sure you will do fine. You will have days of struggle, but we all do. Ask for help when you need it.

      May God bless your family in this new homeschool year!

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