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Begin Homeschooling with Confidence

By Julie Gilbert

Take a Deep Breath. You CAN Homeschool!

Take a deep breath! You can do this!

When you first start homeschooling it can be very daunting. The possibility of ‘getting it wrong’ seems very real. My first thoughts were “how on earth am I going to teach my children everything they need to know?” It was overwhelming – and I just didn’t know where to start.

But you can begin homeschooling with confidence. Homeschooling is a very natural process. But it does take a little time to relax into it and find your own way. Here is my advice for you if you are about to begin homeschooling.

  1. Don’t rush out and by an expensive curriculum.
    Until you have tried homeschooling for a while, you will have no idea which kind of curriculum will work (or not work) for your family. Even if every other family in your homeschool group uses the same curriculum, there is a good chance that it may not work for you. Try a free curriculum and use these free resources first. Give it 3 or 4 months at least. This will really give you the experience to decide what you would love from a curriculum – and what just would not work for you at all.
  2. Keep researching homeschooling information.
    This is a time of learning for everyone in the family! You need to understand the choices available to you. As this start homeschooling chat shows, there are may ways of homeschooling that do not include curriculum, or even a ‘school-type’ schedule.
  3. Set a budget.
    It is best to start as you mean to go on – and setting a budget was one of the best things I did for my family. Not only because it has helped me through when money was tight. I was also able to put unspent money aside to use for bit items that I would not have been able to justify buying otherwise. Having an educational budget will really help you to have control over your finances.
  4. Build up a support network.
    Everyone may worry about socialization of the children, but in fact the whole family needs a supportive framework of friends. Not just for friendship and fun, but to help you celebrate the good times and commiserate over the bad.
  5. Don’t expect it to go well all the time.
    As an experienced homeschool mom I can assure you that we all have our ups and downs. There have been times when I felt my children would neverget something I was teaching them – and even times when I was convinced they would never learn anything at all! Remember that you are in this for the long haul – and that there are bound to be times when things don’t seem to be working. Don’t compare yourself to others. Just do the best you can and keep on tweaking until you find a solution that does work for you.
  6. Trust Yourself.
    You and your family are completely individual and have different needs, hopes and talents to other families. Don’t look outside for all the answers. You probably know best deep down inside you what the answer is. Trust yourself to find it. Will you make mistakes? Yes, of course! But you wouldn’t expect your children to learn new things without making mistakes, now would you?

Homeschooling is a fulfilling and satisfying journey.
The key is to enjoy that journey – missed buses, lost luggage and all! The destination will arrive before you know it, so just relax and enjoy.

Julie homeschools her two children in the UK and shares her experience and ideas on her site Homeschooling Ideas.


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