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New to Homeschooling?

New to Homeschooling?

Starting out homeschooling is a daunting thought! It can feel overwhelming and frightening, you may have to deal with those close to you criticising your decision. Then there is the choice of curriculum- the bewildering array, and the conflicting voices all saying their’s is best can be very confusing!

Whether you start out at day one of school, or start when your children are a bit older, my advice is to take it slow! Consider what are your essentials… I would suggest maths, and english (reading and writing basically!). Make this your starting point. If your children have already been in school, do not feel you have to reject the curriculum the school used. Consider sticking with the maths and english/language curriculum they were already doing. This will bring continuity for them, you can always change at a later date.

Join your local homeschool support group. If you have heard of any curriculum and want to know more about it, there is a good chance someone close by will already be using it. Other homeschoolers are always happy to answer questions, also ask if anyone has had negative experiences with the curriculum. Remember, what has been amazing for one child, may not suit your child.

Once your confidence grows, then add other subjects. Part of homeschooling is not only educating your child, but learning about your child in a new and different way. Finding out how they learn, what fires their imagination, their interests and likes all help inform the course of their education. Many home educators build their child’s education around their child’s natural interests.

Even if the early days of schooling is reading together, it is a start. Educating a child is a very long marathon. Do not sprint ahead at the beginning and become worn out! Take your time.

Do not be surprised with feelings of failure, and a sense that you are not doing the best by your child. We all battle these thoughts. They are not helped when we feel the world is watching, judging our decision to home educate. Children learn at their own pace, but they do learn, they are created for learning. It is important to find people to love and support you through this journey. Other homeschoolers will be a great source of encouragement- well they should! Find people you can connect with, and who will love you and your family. Online there are many blogs, and forums where there is advice, encouragement and support from people who want you to succeed.

Finally, seek to keep yourself in a spiritually healthy place. In all things, our source of strength, vision and encouragement is God.

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