When life-changing decisions are made, such as choosing to homeschool mid-year, there is always an adjustment period. Not just for your child, either — you as the new teacher must also adapt. It’s natural, especially if you and your child have been accustomed to the public school routine.
This adjustment period usually varies; some children adjust quickly, others take more time even if their previous schooling experience became unbearable. Afterall, change can be scary, but once you find your groove and fully embrace homeschooling and the many benefits it offers, you and your child will thrive.
10 Tips for Homeschooling Mid-Year
Almost everyone needs a little coaching as they begin this new schooling process. Here are some tips that will help smooth out the transition.
- Have a family meeting: It’s important that everyone is on board and on the same page. Discuss what your goals are and how you plan on achieving them. Let your children talk about what their expectations are — and what they’re interested in learning about. Remember, you’re homeschooling now so you don’t have to follow the strict guidelines that public schools enforce.
- Don’t go gung ho: You’re not in a rush. This process will take some time so slowly ease into it. You may even take a few weeks off of school and decompress as you plan out your strategy and choose your curriculum options. If you do rush and have expectations that are unreasonable, you and your children could suffer the consequences such as unnecessary stress and burnout.
- Investigate different curriculum choices: One thing that stresses out many homeschooling parents is choosing the “right” curriculum for their children. But most experienced homeschoolers will tell you there is no perfect curriculum. The one that works for you and fits your child’s needs is the best. It usually varies. For example, some parents use interactive online curriculum options and mix in some textbooks or workbooks. Many children love using the computer or tablet, so the online options make sense — and they’re fun! A quick Google search will provide you with many curriculum options.
- Have fun: Speaking of fun, you are no longer tethered to the public school routine, which means you can mix in fun activities such as school trips, visits to the park, and other interesting activities that your children enjoy. Remember what they say about “all work and no play” …
- Don’t be afraid to commit: You can’t go into homeschooling with one foot in the water and one on land — you must jump in! It is a process that you and your children must negotiate and become comfortable with before things start clicking. Once you slowly start the process and discover what curriculum choices work best for your children, you will slowly make progress. This is a new experience for your children, and even if you don’t realize it at first, your children will be learning along the way.
- Make it new: If your children have been in the public school system for a while, they’re likely used to the regimented manner where teachers hand out assignments and give lectures on certain topics day after day. You don’t have to teach that way; you can give one-on-one instructions, have a cooking course, make crafts, or take the learning outside. You have the flexibility and freedom to make this a new and exciting learning experience.
- Understand your state laws: Each state has their own homeschooling guidelines. Some are more stringent than others but homeschooling is legal in each state. For example, Georgia and California have low regulations, while Pennsylvania is higher and Florida is moderate. You can easily find your state requirements by doing a quick Google search.
- Empower your children. Although you are the principal, teacher, and chief administrator, homeschooling is a team endeavor. So, let your children take the lead once in a while. You may learn from them and find some surprising topics and activities that inspire and interest them. Maybe they want to move the classroom outside once a week or build a fort and study in that space. Let them make some decisions. It empowers them and gives them confidence.
- Set up weekly or bi-weekly meetings. Let your children discuss their worries and air out their grievances if they have any. Support them and take their feelings and emotions seriously. This is a huge change for them, even if their past experiences with the public school system was unhealthy.
- Find support for yourself. The one thing you should always remember about homeschooling — you are not alone. Millions of other parents are homeschooling at this very minute. And there are many support systems such as homeschool groups, chat rooms, and other outlets that put you in touch with veteran homeschoolers who will provide you with information, tips, and a pat on the back when you need one. Just check out social media and find groups who share your values and goals.
Successful Mid-Year Homeschooling
Now that you have a solid base for beginning your mid-year homeschooling adventure, don’t let anxiety or fear ruin your best laid plans. You will experience some apprehension but remember, this is your child’s education and you are a determined and inspired parent. Success is in your future. Go get it and have a fun and memorable homeschool experience.
Time4Learning.com is an award-winning, comprehensive curriculum for PreK-12th that makes learning effective and engaging through animated lessons and activities. The online program teaches and grades lessons, tracks and records progress, and keeps reports to help simplify homeschool portfolios.
For over a decade, Time4Learning has helped more than 500,000 homeschooling families with its flexible and engaging curriculum, homeschool resources, and more. Our team of homeschool moms, homeschool dads, and support staff have come together to create helpful homeschool insights on subjects such as family, education, fun, and more!
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