Common Mistakes New Homeschoolers Make
Starting out with home-ed can be daunting. I get it! We’ve all been there! But with some planning and mindset shifts, you can avoid these mistakes new homeschoolers make. And start your journey with a bang!
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Common Mistakes New Homeschoolers Make: Not Deschooling
For someone not familiar with deschooling, it may seem counterintuitive. It definitely was for me! What?! My kids should just play, relax and decompress?! What?! I need to unlearn everything I ever knew about education?!
It felt like I had been given a heavy burden to carry, the education of my kids, and that I needed to get cracking on with it immediately! I soon discovered that we all needed time to adjust. And we embarked on almost a year and a half of deschooling.
So what does deschooling actually do?
- It gives children time to adjust from one reality to another. This could be from public school to homeschooling. Or maybe just from seeing home as home to seeing it as a place of learning.
- You can get to know your kids better. And more importantly, to discover their learning style.
- Deschooling helps you to save time and money by not jumping into buying resources and curricula. Once you have a better idea of how your kids learn, you’ll be able to find learning materials that engage them.
- The time you take to make the adjustment, is the perfect time to start figuring out a schedule that’s going to work for you. As a working homeschool mom, this is a vital step for success!
I would also like to add that deschooling might take a long time! But don’t worry about this! Once your kids are ready to start with homeschooling, they’ll fly!
Common Mistakes New Homeschoolers Make: Playing the Comparison Game
I started homeschooling because I saw others doing it. It made me feel like it was possible! But, I quickly slipped into the comparison game. And started doubting my abilities.
Getting inspiration from others is great! But this is what comparing can do to your homeschool.
- It can cause you to choose resources that don’t work for your kids. Rather test out lots of different things before you settle on one. And be prepared to change, should you need to!
- Comparing can cause burnout. If you’re trying to keep up with someone who has more time, money, space and energy, it’s going to be hard to maintain. Rather spend the time trying to find your unique path. Homeschooling offers so many possibilities!
- The comparison game can cause you to get stuck. If you’re using someone as a model, you might not be willing to change as needed. The flexibility that homeschooling offers is the best! It allows you to change and amend everything, just as life, work and children, grow and develop.
Common Mistakes New Homeschoolers Make: Doing Too Much
Public school kids spend 8 hours a day at school. So you might be tempted to recreate school at home. You might even try to do more because you feel responsible for educating your kids ‘properly’. But doing that much homeschooling is going to cause lots of problems for you!
- Much like trying to compare, doing too much homeschooling is going to cause burnout. It’s not possible to sustain so much, when you also have to do millions of others things as well. Luckily, homeschool allows you to do less with better results. You can choose materials that work, teach your kids when they’re receptive and take breaks if needed.
- Yours kids are probably also going to be resistant or reluctant. You took them out of school for a reason. So trying to do what they did at school, is not going to work. Rather find out what works for them. And include them in everything you do. There’s so much learning that happens in everyday life!
What children need is not new and better curricula but access to more and more of the real world; plenty of time and space to think over their experiences, and to use fantasy and play to make meaning out of them; and advice, road maps, guidebooks, to make it easier for them to get where they want to go (not where we think they ought to go), and to find out what they want to find out.John Holt
You Can Do It!
I know starting something big like homeschooling can be super scary. But you can do it! Things are always difficult and foreign until you become used to them. And the best way to get used to them, is to just do them! I want you to remember:
- The fact that you want to homeschool means you have the best interests of your kids at heart!
- There are people out there who can help. Find your community and lean on them!
- You are enough and you are qualified!