Are you faced with a reluctant homeschooler? Sometimes as parents we have to do what is best for our kids even when it means stepping out into unknown territory. And for some of you, that is exactly what homeschooling is—unknown and a bit overwhelming.

So what do you when homeschooling has become a necessity? Perhaps you are a parent who is reluctantly stepping into homeschooling due to the new vaccination laws in California, or because your child has a teacher who doesn’t belong in the classroom, or because you have seen your child sinking and you know it’s time to be the lifeguard. (Learn about homeschooling in California)

Have no fear! You are stepping into a community that loves to help, that is passionate about their kids and that is unbelievably creative and competent. There are communities of parents just like you!

So here are three simple steps for getting started that are designed to encourage both the reluctant homeschooler and the parent who is homeschooling because you know it is the best thing for your child.

Tip # 1 Don’t do it alone! You may feel completely alone right now. Perhaps you haven’t found your local homeschool community. Or perhaps you don’t know anyone else who is currently homeschooling. But take heart—you do not need to embark on this incredible adventure alone! Here are just a few places you can go to get the help you need:

  • http://www.BridgewayAcademy.com When you aren’t sure where to start, how to choose curriculum, what laws you need to follow, what records to keep, how to teach, etc. this is the place for you! At Bridgeway Academy, you have a support network like no other and getting started is simple—place your enrollment and your homeschool advisor takes it from there. You end up with a curriculum plan tailored to you and your child, a Go-To Person that walks with you throughout the school year, professional records, community events and full accreditation so whether you choose to go back to school or get your diploma, you have the credentials you need.
  • http://www.HomeschoolingHelp.com You are already here so you have found the best homeschooling blog! (Okay, we may be a bit bias.) But do bookmark this blog and others—you will find lots of encouragement, ideas and a community of homeschoolers ready to help when you need us.
  • http://homeedmag.com/groups/ Visit this page to find a local homeschool support group in your area. Groups vary from those that meet for just some time to get together to those that plan field trips and events to those that meet for classes.

Tip #2 Relax and Have Some Fun. As parents we tend to be overachievers. We want to be sure that we do things right, and (if we are honest) better than other parents. As a result, we can end up getting ourselves overly committed, stressed out, and far too busy. And our kids feel it. So as you start this journey, keep in mind that one of the greatest benefits of homeschooling is the time we get to spend with our kids. We have the incredible privilege of laughing with them, getting our hands dirty while exploring the great outdoors, and just getting to know them better. So avoid my mistake and remember that sometimes it is okay to shut those books and just get creative. I guarantee you will have a much better year if you do!

Tip #3 Be Willing to Learn from Others. There are so many outstanding resources out there—from articles on the web to homeschoolers in your community. Read what you can and ask questions when you have the opportunity. You won’t always agree, but you can always learn something new. Here are a few resources to help a reluctant homeschooler get started with homeschooling:

  • Step by Step Guide to Homeschooling. Ten steps for getting started that every new homeschooler needs.
  • Report: Ten Keys to Homeschool Success. Download this report for a bit more detail on how to succeed in homeschooling.
  • Learning Style Assessment. If you ignore everything else, don’t miss this one! Your assessment is good for the entire family and provides a look at each individual learning style, personality style and ideal learning environment. Best of all, the reports provide all kinds of tips and ideas for how to teach and communicate best with each of your children.
  • And my personal favorite? The parenting report, which compares your personality report with your child’s and provides a look at ways you can complement one another and the areas of potential conflict. So valuable for any parent, whether you are homeschooling or not!

As you navigate your options; as you seek alternatives to mandatory vaccinations, toxic school environments, poor teaching and/or just want a better education for your child, know that there is help.

We understand the reluctant homeschooler, so we suggest that you buckle your seat belt because although there will be days where it feels like a struggle, you will enjoy the ride! Contact us for more resource information at 800-863-1474.