Dear New Homeschooler,
Congratulations and welcome to the most amazing and rewarding realm of planet Earth!
Whatever your reasons for “opting out” of the system, trust your decision, trust your instincts, you were 110% right.
Ironclad Rules for Instant Homeschool Success
1) Don’t Waste Time
You just clawed back an enormous amount of free time. School takes up 2 hours a day of a child’s/parent’s life just getting ready for school, getting to school, getting home from school, and recovering from it all.
Not to mention all the time wasted at school and dealing with homework!
But a major risk is squandering all this liberated time. Why would you want to do that?
Be VERY CAREFUL about increased TV watching, video game playing, organized sports participation, or over-scheduling as I’ve seen them poison many homeschooling families’ experiences.
2) Don’t Buy Complete Curricula
Too many families, partly out of fear and partly out of just ignorance/innocence, think they need or can benefit from a so-called all-in-one, purchased curriculum.
For one thing, this essentially just re-creates “school at home”. While there are kids/parents/situations and specific curricula where this may be fine….I think you can do much better (and cheaper!) by cobbling together your own curriculum.
Enroll in a couple local homeschool classes on top of all that you’ll be good-to-go. Plus you’ll maintain the ever-important flexibility a thriving homeschool family needs.
3) Seek Out and Heed Veteran Advice
Newbies should lean on the grizzled veterans for all things – for curricular matters, to help break into the homeschooling groups, and for much needed support. We all started out knowing nothing and can all relate to the fears and worries of the new homeschooler.
Continually pick the brains of every single homeschool veteran you can. Some will have different styles and goals than you and may seem of little help but I want to encourage you to never rest on your laurels.
Listen to us. Trust us. We are the ones who’ve SURVIVED and THRIVED!
4) Create a House of Reading Maniacs
The benefits of extreme bibliphilia for children cannot be underestimated. Bookworms are much better behaved, have long attention spans, are never bored, and can much more easily do their academic work.
Even though I am a crazy-passionate math teacher….my number one suggestion for can’t-miss homeschool success is to do everything in your power to create book addicts.
How do you pull this off?
It’s very simple – PUT YOUR TELEVISIONS ON THE CURB.
Do this and yours will be drawn to books like moths to a flame.
No DVD movies, no Netflix, no mindless YouTube watching either!
You have to understand that education is all about what goes on between your children’s ears and that TV doesn’t just dull the mind, it FRIES it. Even “just an hour a day” has a hangover effect of 5 hours after the tube is turned off. So there’s no way you can “manage” or “control” or “moderate” TV’s deleterious effect on your precious children.
Every single time I work with a struggling student – whether homeschooled or in traditional school….there’s a TV in the equation (and/or Minecraft). EVERY SINGLE TIME.
And every single child I’ve met who grows up in a ZERO-TV house has been extremely thoughtful, well-behaved, and passionately interested in many things.
5) Keep Learning
Read homeschool blogs and never stop Googling your brains out. There are just so many amazing resources and insights within the homeschooling community – and more every day. Have you seen our Pinterest page yet?
Constantly think about how your children are doing and what type of future you want for them.
My Ironclad Rules aren’t simply “one approach” or just my opinion. They are the conclusion of much empiricism and following them is the most sure-fire way to ignite your homeschool with ideas, competence, and success.
Homeschooling, done right, should get easier and more rewarding every single year.
If you aren’t experiencing positive momentum….you are definitely doing it wrong. Revisit the guidelines above.
Still stuck? Ask for help. Reach out to me at HomeschoolDad.com. I’d love to hear from you. This is what I do. It’s my passion!