Advice for New Homeschooling Families

I’m super excited and mildly terrified: we are planning on officially doing “Kindergarten light” with our son this fall. So I’ve been looking at homeschooling philosophies, curricula, Pinterest projects, and local programs to see how exactly we are going to tackle this task.

Thankfully, next year will kind of be a practice year for us because J doesn’t have to be enrolled in school yet anyhow. I don’t feel the need to be hardcore on the academics (he’ll only be five), but he enjoys doing little “school” projects- so long as I’m not twisting his arm. My goal is not to turn him into an early genius, but rather to be more disciplined in my purposeful encouragement of his natural curiosities, and to give him a gentle introduction to Kindergarten skills without the extraneous pressures of the classroom.

Advice for new homeschooling families

I started asking some other homeschooling moms that I knew for advice on the topic, and then started asking some other blogger friends too. What advice would you give someone brand new at homeschooling? What do you wish you could look back and tell yourself in the early years?

I got a whole bunch of good advice to consider, so I thought I’d share some of the responses with you. Here it goes…

Make it your own. It doesn’t have to be school at home. Enjoy the journey and the younger years.” –Mama Kautz

“Heading into our 8th year and here’s what I have to say about it: Do what works for your family. Don’t worry about what other people are or aren’t doing, if it doesn’t work for you.” –A Farmish Kind of Life

“Learning takes place everywhere, and at all times – use this to your advantage. Also, curriculum can be helpful, but remember to take what works for your family, and leave behind what doesn’t. Think of it more as a jumping off point!” – Homestead Honey

“My short, overall advice is don’t sweat it – you’re the kid’s parent and nobody will ever be a more effective teacher for that child than you are. I find that to be true even with my child that I struggle with the most – I’m still the best she’s got because I KNOW her and am so invested in how she turns out.” –Homestead Lady

“Don’t be afraid to allow your kids to pursue their interests as part of their education. Once I learned to integrate their passions with writing, reading, science, speech and even math, I was amazed with their enthusiasm and retention of information!” –Our Life Out Here

“Get a book like ‘What your child needs to know when.’ One of the most common questions I get is: How will I know he/she is learning what they should? I think a book like that is an affordable investment for a little peace of mind. Other than that–it doesn’t have to cost a lot. Yes, there are expensive curriculum programs out there, but you can also do it for practically free. And…relax! Have fun!” –Serving Joyfully

“I would say “follow your kids’ lead” and the reason I say this is because I want to instill a lifelong love of learning in my children. That is my purpose in homeschooling them. I want to give them the tools they need in order to pursue their life passions. My kids are still little (7, 4, baby) but I know when a path (or curriculum) I have chosen isn’t working. And honestly it makes more sense to find something that they enjoy and want to do, rather than trying to force them to sit through something they don’t like…or to sit at all.” –Townsend House

I also enjoyed this discussion on the true cost of homeschool vs. public vs. private school at Homechooling the Well Prepared Child: How Much Does Homeschooling Cost?

If YOU are a homeschooling parent, please be sure to comment below with your feedback too. I would love to hear your experience. 🙂

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