You may have found this blog because you are homeschooling or want to homeschool an older child. The google search alone is overwhelming in the beginning and can quickly lead even the strongest parents down a dark path of self doubt and fear. You have one opportunity (so wrong newbie, but we’ll get into how I too made that mistake later!) to do this right and you’re not going to sleep until you got this under control, right? Wrong.
What you don’t need is self-doubt riding along with you on a new or on-going journey. What you might need is a nap but this list isn’t about that. This list is leaving behind the fluff, the things that I thought I had to have in place before we began anything and slowly learned they mostly got in the way of not only learning, but our experiences together. I was endlessly researching, stressed about trying something I just knew would work and it didn’t, and frankly I felt like a failure. All of this extra footwork and pressure made me feel like someone else. I was cranky and exhausted, someone not even I wanted to be around long. At the end of the day you still want to be [insert parental title here] with some energy and child(ren) welcome and enjoy your presence.
What I wish present me could tell past me…
Take a deep breath, it’s all going to be ok.
Let’s see if anything on our list has been holding you back. Homeschooling is complicated but it doesn’t have to be painful.
5 Things You Don’t Need to Homeschool
1. A METHOD OR STYLE
It’s important to never forget that labels don’t always matter, our kids do and you know your kids best. The number one question a homeschooler is usually asked by someone somewhat informed is “What method do you follow?” At first I spit out an answer I thought best fit us at that given time and quickly realized things change, fast. I researched for over a year to find the best way to teach our son not only standard subjects but life skills as well as learning about things he likes and enjoys so that I can be a source of knowledge to help guide him in whatever direction he may go. And guess what I found? It’s ok to change directions and styles many times as long as the result is a happy and healthy child who is absorbing the education he is receiving in a manner that means something to him and his future. That’s a mouthful but necessary to be said, I only wish it had been said to me much earlier.
2. Expensive Curriculum
There are so many free resources available as well as inexpensive options like Rainbow Resource and Thrift Books that anyone on any budget can homeschool while ensuring the same level of education for their child. If budget is holding you back look for examples of curriculum you like but maybe can’t squeeze into the budget and find free or cheap alternatives that match those lessons.
3. A Dedicated Classroom
Education can and should happen anywhere. Don’t turn away from homeschool because of lack of space. Buy fold-able tables, take a section of a livingroom to place a desk, utilize study rooms at your local library, or visit a local
4. A Degree
This is a big debate that can vary by state. You don’t need to be an expert in every subject or hold a teaching degree to teach your child. If you don’t know find out, learn together, take a class, hire a tutor, and research. Know your state laws before beginning.
5. Never Ending Opinions of Others
Family, friends, and strangers alike will have tons of input. Learn to file what is necessary and can help you improve and recycle (nice way of saying throw away) what isn’t helpful. You as a parent have this wonderful advantage of time with your child to know them the best and adapt and move with them as they change. The end goal is their future and happiness so continue on and don’t let people ruin a good thing.
Tell us what else you think can go and what you got rid of in your homeschool routine and planning. How many styles have you tried before finding what worked? Do you care about labels in your homeschool? We would love to hear from you.
If you’re still searching for information on homeschooling methods visit HERE for great details on each style with links to more resources.
Free homeschool resources we love & think you will too
Khan Academy- Great for multiple subjects but we mostly use it for Math, History, & Computer
Ducksters- History, Science, Geography, & even Money and Finance, this is a great resource to book mark and supplement any lesson
Teachers Pay Teachers- This site has endless possibilities both paid & free. We love this one for fun downtime worksheets, supplementals, and projects. You instantly download & print making this a quick and easy resource
Your Local Library- Everyone knows about the library but many don’t use them enough. I see countless videos of books being purchased and can’t help but to feel bad not only for the loss of space in the home but also to depletion of resources it takes to make those books. In many cases Libraries within counties network and you can reserve a book and/or DVD and pick it up at your selected library. We plan ahead to ensure our books arrive in time.
YouTube- We are visual learners and will often watch a documentary before, during, and after an extended lesson. YouTube has so many great resources from quick how-tos to full length historical documentaries. We have even used it for life skills lessons like cooking and gardening.
Nature- This may not be for all families but for us, we spend most of our days outdoors studying, riding, playing, exploring…you get the point. This is us. We love it and being active and learning about the world around us is what gets us going every day. Most of our curriculum has grab-and-go materials that we can take outside and its always great when a lesson is interrupted by a learning experience like a blind snake or a rare bird visit.
Thanks for reading!