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What is Homeschooling

Update on 2024-04-11

What is Homeschooling? - Steps to become a Homeschoolers.

Every first-time homeschool parent is ready to dig in and get started in a big way. It’s especially easy when you partner with a formal homeschool program that has its own curriculum and grading system so you can focus on teaching the kids. One of the easiest traps to fall into is thinking that the day needs to be packed with school and activities so much so that you and the kids are constantly on the move and no chance to relax.

While it may seem a good idea to have art, sports, music, drama, and the typical subject line-up outline for every day, this quickly becomes overwhelming and everyone gets cranky and burned out. Remember that traditional schools have the core subjects as a daily part of the routine and then add extracurricular throughout the week. The best part of homeschooling is that you can play around until you find what works for you and the kids.

On the flip side, not scheduling enough things to do will have the kids bored and acting up quickly during the year. This is where connecting with other homeschool families or groups can help because everyone can get together and plan a couple of activities a month that reinforce what the kids are learning even if they are all using different methods.

Parents should know about the first-grade curriculum so they can discuss it with other homeschoolers and decide how to plan out field trips and activities that work for the kids in that grade. It gives the kids something to look forward to and a chance to get out of the house for a break in scenery and schedule which is exciting for everyone.

This leads to a third pitfall which sounds simple enough but can actually create a lot of problems. Traditional schools work in recess for younger students (changing classrooms for older students) so they have a small break to help get them out of their seats and work off excess energy. Many homeschools
families start off doing this well but then fall into the mindset that if breaks are skipped then they can get through the day faster and have time off in the afternoon.

Even the kids think this sounds great at the beginning but what ends up happening is everyone gets burned out because they are moving directly from one subject to the next and they don’t give their brains a chance to rest and recoup.

Everyone needs a few minutes between subjects to get outside, run around, or just take a walk so they can relax and maybe get a new perspective on a tough subject. When planning the day, know about the first-grade curriculum and how many lessons are targeted for each day across all subjects and identify where the best place is for taking a recess. You’ll be amazed at how much easier and happier students are when they come back after getting some sunshine and are now ready to get back to the computer or textbook.

The organization is critical but it doesn’t mean you have to turn into a neat freak or strict dictator. The key is finding a balance for you and the kids so that everyone knows the expectations, knows where to find their supplies, and can stay focused on their classes. This way, the day is productive instead of derailed by lost pencil searches, Internet problems, or getting sucked into the fact that your house isn’t as clean as it used to be.

Get the kids involved to make it fun and to have them provide ideas about when to start school, what they would like their class order to look like, how to store supplies (specific closet and a backpack for each kid) and even change up where the class is held from time to time.

There’s nothing wrong with taking school outside onto the porch or in the backyard where everyone can look at different scenery and still get their work done. The online homeschool platform will take care of the grading and lesson plans especially for online classes so it gives the parent more time to concentrate on how best to help their kids be productive and motivated about school.

➥ Homeschooling is not a perfect science and every family is bound to make their own unique mistakes or some of the same ones that others have made before. Take time before the year begins to research blogs and articles written by parents who have been through the process and shared their experiences so you can avoid some of the pitfalls and make the year a little easier.

Homeschool groups are another great resource and connect with an accredited online program to get to know about the first-grade homeschool curriculum so you can start planning the year and having fun with the process.

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