Is there really a way to start homeschooling successfully from the get-go? I think so. After I had homeschooled a couple of years, I was a little lost about how to plan out the next year. I started reaching out to a few experienced homeschool moms for guidance. These six strategies are taken directly from conversations with them.
These tips have been invaluable to me as I continued on our homeschool journey.
1. Treat homeschooling as a job you are paid to do
This is such a powerful strategy to use! I don’t know about you, but if I am paid to do something I try especially hard to do my best. If this is applied to homeschooling, more is likely to get done in the year.
You will be motivated to get up and start your school day no matter what. Even on those days when you are not feeling very motivated, you will have a reason to keep going–it’s your job!
2. Enjoy your kids in the younger years
Don’t rush your little ones into doing too much too fast. They will only be little once and they grow so quickly. Sitting them down to complete formal schoolwork when they are young isn’t always the way to go.
They will learn so much just through daily life, play, crafts, and exploring outdoors. As they grow they will spend more time on schoolwork. By allowing them to freely explore when they are young, reading to them, and adding in some short lessons you may be surprised at all they learn!
3. Use hands-on activities often in the younger years
There are so many hands-on activity resources out there. Most elementary homeschool curriculum will provide you with lots of activities to do with your children. The internet is also full of ideas on just about any topic you may study in school.
If your kids aren’t the crafty type, there are still many ways to provide hands-on activities. You can try new recipes, study nature, build something, act something out, make an obstacle course–the list goes on and on.
Even as your kids get older they will still enjoy many types of hands-on activities. And still learn (and retain!) a lot from them.
4. Living books provide an engaging way to learn
What are “living books”? Living books are basically books written by a person especially passionate about the topic of that book. They are usually written in a natural, almost conversational style–far from the style used by dry textbooks! You can read more about living books here.
We started using living books almost from the very beginning. It is a much more enjoyable way to learn than how I was taught in public school as a child. Your kids will retain more because they are written in a very engaging way that makes that subject come alive to the child.
5. If the curriculum you are using isn’t working, consider changing it
There are some things in life that your kids will have to do no matter what, and there may be some complaining involved. Your homeschool does not have to be one of those things.
If your child is really struggling in an area, take the time to check out other curriculum options for them that may be a better fit. There are so many different types of curriculum out there! Many companies offer free samples of their curriculum on their website so you can get an idea of what they will be like before buying.
You can also check out this article for more information on when it may be in your child’s (or family’s) best interest to switch to a different curriculum.
6. Use the Bible as a teaching tool
In Deuteronomy 11:18-19, parents are told to first instill God’s words deeply into our hearts and minds. Then we are to teach them to our children “when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise”. So, pretty much all the time.
Obvious ways of using the Bible to teach are character study, correction, and things along those lines, but those aren’t the only ways. You can also use it for copywork–helping kids not only memorize verses but also learn grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc., to study poetry, to study history or science, or in any other way you can dream up.
By putting these 6 strategies into practice you will likely find your homeschool journey getting off to a great start. You will be on your way to homeschooling successfully.