Homeschooling Doesn't Have To Mean Going It Alone
If you are homeschooling your child, it may be because you want to make sure that your child gets the attention in their education that they need, and you want to offer them every possible chance to succeed.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that you think that you have to handle everything alone. Indeed, few who do homeschool their children do it without any help.
Here, we’re going to look at a few sources of help you might need, and how the right resources and partners can help lighten the load, making it easier to create the kind of education that you want for your child.
And don’t forget to reach out to me at any time with questions about homeschooling your child.
Involving the Other Parent or Significant Other
If you have a partner who is willing to help, then you should be ready and willing to make good use of them, as well. It might be that you have been taking the lead with their curriculum and you want to pay close attention to their progress, and that’s fine if so.
Sometimes trying to get two heads involved may end up making things more complicated than they need to be. However, that doesn’t mean that your partner can’t play a role in their education, such as by playing educational games with them, being the one to take them on educational trips, or reading with them in the evening after you’ve done the teaching for the day.
Remember, there is no shame in needing help or asking for it! Homeschooling can be a lot and you will definitely need some support along your journey.
Getting the Resources you Need
You know my thoughts on resources – use whatever works for you and your family. And try not to compare your homeschool to that of someone else.
In whatever way you teach your child (be it online, with workbooks or boxed curricula), be sure to have enough supplies so that your kiddo has everything they need to learn.
To that end, you should make sure that you find a good supply store near you. A lot of school supplies are sold in bulk, but you can find homeschooling supply stores that are just as effective at helping you get what you need, without having to pay big prices for more than you will use.
Arranging Joint Trips with Parents
One tip for any parent looking to homeschool is to build a network or find a network, of homeschooling parents that they can keep in touch with. You know how I feel about community! 😉
Aside from being able to find all manner of tips and discussions on the best ways to carry out lessons at home and focus your homeschooling efforts, you can also work with them to the benefit of your children, too.
For instance, some educational or field trips might not be as easy to organize with your child, alone. As a group, however, you might be able to benefit from discounts or perks that can allow for the best educational experience possible.
Just make sure that you’re mindful of safety while arranging any trips with other adults involved.
Consider Bringing in a Tutor
Sometimes, you might recognize that you are not the best person to handle your child’s education with a certain part of the syllabus.
There’s nothing wrong with admitting that, of course. Outsource, outsource, outsource, I say!
If you’re not good at math or either learning or teaching language, then you should consider bringing in a tutor who might be able to handle the parts that you cannot.
For one, it can give you something of a break from having to be the one constantly on top of your child’s education, but it can also be a great opportunity to learn some teaching techniques from others who have been doing it perhaps longer than you or with a range of different children.
Use the Right Apps where Appropriate
Of course, if you want some help teaching your child in the most effective and interactive way, you don’t always need the help of a tutor to do just that.
Instead, you might want to take a look at the range of educational apps and online tools, such as Elephango, that can help you do just that.
This can be especially helpful when using things like language apps to teach your child a new language, or even to learn it alongside them.
Technology really is making education much more accessible to anyone nowadays, so it’s worth taking a moment to see what options are out there for you and your child.
Listen to math expert Pat Murray chat about using technology to teach math. Such a great episode!
Get Help with the Financial Side
Any parent can tell you that not only is homeschooling a child demanding when it comes to your time, but it can just as easily be expensive, as well.
Whether it’s paying for all of the child’s school supplies, your teaching materials, including schoolbooks, educational trips, or otherwise, it can put a sizeable hole in your pocket.
However, there are ways to fundraise that can help you collect a little additional financial help from those in your family or community.
Don’t be afraid to put out an open request to help your child (or children) benefit from the best education possible. And be sure to offer your time, enthusiasm, expertise and support in return! Homeschooling is a community effort, after all!
Make Use of Your Library
Simply put, your local library is likely to be one of the single best free education resources available in your community, so you should be certain to make good use of it.
Not only can you use it to encourage your child to explore their imagination and to learn how to research topics you’re studying as they get a little older, but you can also use it as a space for learning outside of the home.
For instance, after a day of homeschooling, the library might be the perfect place to get away from the same space so that they can focus on independent projects.
It can also teach your child the benefits of public resources like the library and how to support them.
Getting Some Time from the Family
You might not want to get too many people involved in educating your child if you’re trying to keep things to a consistent quality, so you may not want to ask the family for much in the way of teaching efforts, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t help in other ways.
In most cases, they could be a great help if they’re willing to offer a little help with childcare from time to time, which can give you more time to prepare their lessons or even help you catch a break for a couple of hours after a busy day of teaching them.
However, if they do have any special interests or hobbies, such as gardening or otherwise, then you can ask them for a special lesson or demonstration.
Help for You, as Well
Of course, not all the help you get is going to be specifically for the education of your child.
There might be help that can ensure that you’re able to manage the burden of homeschooling more easily, as well.
Look for homeschooling support groups that can offer not just practical advice for the challenges of teaching your child, but a welcoming community that is willing to talk and listen.
Sometimes, finding a community of people who are experiencing the same thing as you, or have a similar set of values, can help you feel a lot less alone in your efforts, which can make them easier to get through.
Final Thoughts on Going it Alone
How much help you want with your homeschooling efforts is dependent on you, but it’s important to know that it is out there, you just have to be willing to look for it.
As I said before, there is no shame in asking for help. Others have been through the messy beginning and can really help you to figure out your first steps.