Trying something different can be fun and challenging but one way to make it easier is to listen to the advice of those who have gone before for these endeavors. As a first-time homeschooler, it is helpful to research tips and check out sites from families who have been using this approach for a while.
One of the first things an experienced homeschool parent will tell a family just starting out with this learning approach is to take their time and find the right method that works for them. There are various homeschooling methods such as creating your own curriculum for each child, connecting with a homeschool group of families or enroll in an online learning program that supports all grades. Each works for different families so it’s important to review the options and decide which is the better approach for your family’s needs and expectations.
Next, be patient with yourself and with the kids because homeschooling requires commitment in time, energy and emotions. Every child is unique in their learning ability so if you have more than one student, it will take some time to find the right balance between everyone. When you partner with an online homeschool program, the process can be a little easier because the curriculum is designed to build on itself from elementary to graduation. So, you can find 1st grade homeschool curriculum that is in print form on the website and then transition the student to the online portal in the upper elementary grades without having to worry about a break in the flow of learning. Another way this is helpful is when you are teaching multiple grades, the foundation is basically the same throughout the curriculum so it is easier to have group sessions with the kids and discuss similar ideas in a single subject.
Lastly, have fun with homeschooling because one of the best benefits of this approach is the ability to spend time and develop relationships with your kids. Learning is important and when you find the 1st grade homeschool curriculum that has the highest approval in national standards then you can be sure your students are getting the education they need. However, there is more to learning than what can be found in books so make time during the week to go outside, have mini field trips, go to local museums and get the kids together to discuss what they are learning in their subjects.
An additional resource is to find other homeschooling families in your local area and schedule events with them so kids have peers to talk to and connect with that have a similar lifestyle as they do. Utilizing a formal online homeschooling program can relieve the pressure of grading and documentation for parents because this is all maintained by the school in a standard method that traditional schools and colleges are used to seeing. This leaves more time to get creative and include art, music and drama as part of the homeschooling schedule.
Every family chooses to homeschool for a different reason and there is no one-size-fits-all approach so it is up to each family to decide what their experience looks like. Number of kids, location, format, curriculum and time commitment are all factors that affect what a day of homeschooling looks like, but it can be fun and unique for a great learning experience.
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