Homeschooling is a wonderful, worthwhile journey, but even the most experienced homeschool parents sometimes need a bit of advice or encouragement. Here are 11 tips for success.
1. Start with prayer. Even if you don’t do Bible class first, start each day with prayer. You can lead it or take turns praying aloud.
2. Incorporate multiple learning styles.Abeka’s curriculum and workbooks incorporate the different learning styles, but feel free to add more learning games, reading out loud, experiments, etc. Taking advantage of the different styles of learning (hearing, seeing, and doing) creates a well-rounded education and improves retention.
3. Stay organized. The best way to stay on track is to stay organized. Keep a daily planner of goals to achieve by the end of each lesson. Jot everything down, from schoolwork to household chores. To encourage focus, try to keep your school space organized, too.
4. Work with a mentor. Look to other homeschool parents for advice and help. As you get more experience yourself, look for someone you can mentor.
5. Join a homeschool group. Join with other homeschoolers or co-ops in your area to provide support for each other. Along with offering teaching resources, these groups give your children a chance to socialize with others.
6. Don’t take on too much. Saying yes to too many extracurriculars can leave you and your kids tired and overwhelmed. Participate in what really matters to your family, and evaluate your commitments throughout the year to see if something should go.
7. Tackle the hard subjects first. If your children are struggling with certain subjects, such as math or science, teach those in the morning when everyone is more alert. Save the easier subjects for later in the day.
8. Keep it fun. Look for creative ways to make learning fun.
Younger children might enjoy having dolls or stuffed animals in the classroom. You can ask these other “students” questions and have your child answer for them in different voices. Video your older children pretending to be news anchors as they deliver “news” that might correspond with a history lesson or book report.
9. Take breaks. There will be times when you and your children get frustrated. Don’t be discouraged! Take a break. Go outside for some sunshine and fresh air, get a snack, or play a game together.
10. Realize the curriculum is there to serve you. Use it as a guide instead of a master. You’re in control of your homeschooling, not your lesson plans or suggested daily schedule.
11. Plan ahead. Start looking ahead to college when your children are in 9th grade. Begin preparing transcripts, taking note of your children’s interests, and even making college visits.