Preparation Tips for the New Homeschooler
If you are new to homeschooling and are now second-guessing yourself, you are not alone. I am a veteran homeschooler of 23 years and sometimes still wonder if I did the right thing. Looking back, however, knowing I depended upon the Lord for answers, I have no regrets. When I ask my adult children how they feel about having been homeschooled, they reply that they are grateful for the relationships they share with each other, the trips we were able to take as a family, and the emphasis of study on topics of their choosing. None of them would change a thing. Now it wasn’t always so easy on the road to getting where we are today. There were definitely trying times (once I even called the local high school and asked how I could enroll my ninth grader the next day!). Here are some things that I hope will be helpful as you prepare for your new journey into the exciting and often chaotic adventure of homeschooling.
Preparing Your Mind
- Once you have decided to embark upon this journey, don’t spend too much time with non-supporters. Surround yourself with those who will pray for and support you as you plunge headlong into this new endeavor.
- Work hard and stay focused. Don’t be afraid to aim high, but don’t aim so high that you will never achieve your goal. Otherwise, you will want to quit after the novelty and excitement wears off or the first speed bump comes along.
- Be patient…don’t give up if you have setbacks. Go with the flow…change daily plans, switch curriculum mid-stream, move the room around, move the schedule, do whatever it takes to find your family’s rhythm.
- Be prepared for days when you want to quit. Have scripture at the ready, and post it everywhere. Repeat it often. Pray it always.
Preparing Your Space
As a homeschooling mom, I always had the vision of a bright, wonderfully organized schoolroom in the back of my mind. However, with the joy of raising four children, my vision stayed just that; a vision yet to be fulfilled. It took a strong determination, a little elbow grease, and once I enlisted my family, my vision finally became a reality. Your ideal school room doesn’t have to be a far off vision. You can make it happen. Here are some tips that may encourage you to get started soon!
- Discuss your ideal homeschooling set up (schedule, schoolroom design, etc). Draw it out, visualize it, and make it happen.
- Answer this question…what would this look like if there was nothing stopping me? Once you have that answer, you know what obstacles are standing in your way, and you can begin to chip away at them one at a time.
- Be creative. Use the dining room for the school room, use the old dresser for a file cabinet, find chalkboard paint and make your own chalkboard.
- Setting up a classroom is easy, all you need are some bins, baskets or shoe boxes.
Organization is key. Supplies can be minimal.
Now that you have the right mindset and the perfect set up, you are ready to face the exciting challenge of homeschooling. May the Lord bless you and keep you. Ready, set, go!