Are you considering crossing over into homeschooling from traditional school? If so, you’ve already taken a big step! You’ve weighed the options and decided to look into the growing world of homeschooling. It seems like only one step up a giant mountain, but the view of your child’s future is worth it! We understand the mixed emotions you’re experiencing when you consider how to homeschool. At the top of the list is the concern that you’re just not cut out to be a teacher. You doubt your teaching skills, just like new parents doubt their parenting skills. But, you shouldn’t because parenting and teaching go hand-in-hand. You are your child’s first teacher and will be the best coach, guide, and support as you begin the journey of crossing over into homeschooling. Here’s why.
6 Tips for How to Homeschool with Confidence
- Be Enthusiastic. Let’s talk about teachers in traditional school. Besides serving as “assistant” parents for part of the day, traditional teachers have control over how students learn and receive information. Those who are enthusiastic about the material energize students with their passion. However, teacher enthusiasm can fizzle after teaching the same material over and over again. Homeschool parent-teachers don’t have that problem — it’s hard to feel bored when the subject is as new to you as it is to your child! Your excitement gets your child-student engaged, interested, and curious — so be an infectiously enthusiastic teacher! Yes, you!
- Think Outside the Desk. Forget your notion of what a “classroom” is and what “school” means. The homeschool “classroom” can be almost completely virtual (living on your screen) or just a room set aside for learning, decorated like a classroom. It can be a formal space or a temporary “during the day” kind of space. Whatever you choose, design your learning space to be compatible with how your child learns best. This may mean lots of outdoor learning, kitchen creating, or reading time on an exercise ball! Use the flexibility that homeschooling provides to your advantage.
- Be Flexible. Here’s a homeschooling secret, the best learning often happens outside of the lesson. There are teachable moments throughout each and every day, so embrace them! Different types of programs (online and otherwise) let you be flexible with scheduling. Math while baking, nature journaling for both art and science, history at your local museum, crossing over into homeschooling opens the door to real life learning and experiences you can’t have in a traditional school setting.
- Embrace Laughter. Just because you’re now a teacher doesn’t mean you have to be strict (Remember Miss Crabface from third grade?). When crossing over into homeschooling, it’s so important to smile and be positive. All teachable moments can also be humorous moments! Laugh with your child when you can (even, especially if it’s at yourself!). As parent-teachers, we need to be supportive as only a parent can, sympathetic when needed, and firm but fair when necessary. Just as our child possesses a specific learning style, we parents should identify our own appropriate teaching style. You can fit your hand into their learning glove!
- Keep Them at the Core. You know your kids best, so incorporate their passions and interests in the lessons. Some kids think learning is fun and embrace it, but others may need some coaxing. The truth is, kids love learning — but they dislike being forced to learn. Help them answer that multidimensional question, “Why?” and incorporate their passions into each subject and you’ll spark learning magic!
- Get Help When You Need It. Let’s face it, learning how to homeschool feels like a uphill climb. And, while we know you can do it and want you to feel confident, sometimes you need support to thrive. Maybe you’re a working parent. Maybe you have a child with special needs. Or, just maybe you simply want an expert in your corner to help you make the climb. Finding an accredited homeschool partner that can help you learn how to homeschool can be the best decision you make when crossing over into homeschooling (outside of taking the plunge itself!).
Above all, remember, you were your child’s first teacher. You taught them to walk, to talk, to be respectful, to embrace kindness– the lessons only a parent can teach. Be confident as you learn how to homeschool as you’ve already got everything you need to be a success! Remember, being a good teacher is a part of being a good parent, and there aren’t any hard-and-fast rules. All you need is a willing heart, a good dose of patience, and the desire to put the needs of our child front and center.
Crossing over into homeschooling for the first time? What’s your biggest worry? Tell us in a comment below so we can encourage you!