Happy New Year!
At about this time of the year most people will have given up on their New Year Resolutions, which usually consist of trying to lose weight, living more healthily, and going to bed earlier. For homeschooling parents, we can add promising ourselves to read to our children more frequently and to shout at them less.
When we get busy with everyday life we can start to forget the basics – the reason why we are homeschooling. The vision we had when we started this adventure. And yet it’s the vision (and keeping our focus on our vision) that makes the difference.
If you are feeling ready for a boost to get going this year, I have a few tips to help you today. They are in no particular order, but I think they are important to remember.
1. Do whatever you can to get a coach, author or mentor with a proven track record in homeschooling. A successful classroom teacher doesn’t count. Homeschool teaching is completely different from classroom teaching. Neither does someone who homeschooled for a couple of years. You need a solid, successful homeschool expert to turn to and trust. Your chosen support person will be able to help you work out a plan which will lead to a successful homeschooling experience for you and your family.
2. Make every effort to learn what you can from your coach. Making this investment in yourself will save you time, money and protect you from stress in the long term. And it’s much more productive and easier on your children too than chasing every new ‘miracle of the week’.
3. Be realistic in your expectations of what you will accomplish with your children in a day. It can be discouraging if you look at a day or a week and see how much has been done. But try flicking back through your child’s work to a year ago, or look at the number of read aloud books you have covered over the past several months and you will see real accomplishments.
4. Remember that it’s by actually doing that you will find your own style and discover what works for your children. For example, I know from experience that allocating a short quiet time for myself to refresh during the day means that I get through to bedtime without too many dramas from me.
5. Give yourself and your children a head start on each day by planning ahead. You should be able to plan your day or week in minutes not hours. If it’s taking you hours, then you might like to reassess your methods, because if you don’t change you will likely burn out.
I’ll write again soon with some more tips to encourage you in your homeschooling ventures. Meantime, if you find this helpful and would like a weekly boost to help you in your homeschooling, you might like to join my course: Successful Homeschooling Made Easy, with 26 weekly lessons giving solid, practical support to homeschool.