As we all know, homeschooling ultimately comes down to a lot of trial and error. There are plenty of challenges and mistakes to overcome as your home becomes the classroom.
And while this is totally okay — and will help you to be a better teacher in the long run! — we want to share seven of the most common homeschooling mistakes so you can avoid them altogether.
From proper scheduling to reining in your shopping, this guide will help you be the best homeschooler you can.
#1: Don’t try to turn your home into a school
Although you might be tempted to deck out your living room with whiteboards, filing cabinets, and maybe even a desk and chair for your child, none of this is actually necessary for effective homeschooling.
Sure, having the right equipment is important and will help your child’s learning, but jumping the gun and turning your home into a school (particularly in the early stages) can be counterproductive.
Don’t feel like you have to recreate a public school set-up at home — sometimes the opposite is better! You can just as easily convert a tiny corner of the room into a dedicated learning space, complete with educational wall or door art.
#2: Don’t think you have to follow a traditional structure
In the same vein of not needing to physically emulate the school experience, you also don’t need to follow the structure of a traditional school day, either.
Granted, organization and consistency are key to effective teaching, but this doesn’t mean that you have to replicate the 8 am-3 pm school routine.
If this works for you, great! But if it doesn’t, don’t fret about it.
Try to build a schedule that works for you and your child, and really take advantage of the flexibility homeschooling offers.
#3: Don’t stress yourself out!
While it’s natural to be feeling a lot of responsibility regarding your child’s education, you don’t want to let that responsibility translate into stress and anxiety.
Homeschooling isn’t easy — especially at the beginning — but that doesn’t mean you should overwhelm yourself with all the boxes that need ticking.
Stress is wasted energy and it’ll have a negative impact on both you and your child, which is a total recipe for disaster.
So do all you can to avoid feeling stressed as you homeschool. Make a plan and stick to it, and try working through day-to-day tasks in a very organized and methodical way.
It’s also important to look after your own wellbeing, too. Take some time whenever you need it to calm yourself down, and practice mindfulness to collect your thoughts before immediately jumping back into teacher mode.
#4: Don’t expect things to instantly fall into place
Homeschooling isn’t without its challenges, and it’s important to be honest about those challenges instead of being harsh on yourself when things don’t go to plan.
The truth is, the transition from public school to homeschooling takes time. This isn’t to say that things don’t eventually slot into place, but it does mean that getting things right requires a little patience.
Prepare for this and don’t expect things to instantly get off to a flying start.
You’ll have to experiment with different teaching styles, different teaching set-ups, and possibly even different curriculums over time.
Don’t be afraid and don’t get sidetracked when things go wrong. Take every obstacle as part of the learning curve — your child’s education will be all the better for it.
#5: Don’t over-schedule
The temptation to over-schedule is totally understandable when you first take your child out of school. But, despite your instincts saying otherwise, this could be detrimental to their academic success.
Remember, quality matters more than quantity.
In other words: what and how you teach your child is more important than the amount of time you spend teaching. In fact, you’ll probably learn that your child can cover far more, in much less time, at home than at school.
Of course, you should make sure that your child is receiving a full and thorough curriculum, but filling every day with constant learning tasks will overwhelm your child and prevent them from learning as effectively as they can.
Don’t be tempted to compensate with endless content because your child’s not in school. Instead, embrace the freedom of homeschooling and create a schedule that will benefit your child, as opposed to one that’s fixed on the clock.
#6: Don’t skip breaks!
Similarly, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that fewer breaks mean more learning.
In fact, research has shown that while children are easily distracted, “regular and short breaks can help them to focus, increase productivity and reduce their stress”.
Try to incorporate breaks whenever you can — long and short, at lunchtime and between lessons. Your child will appreciate it (and so will you)!
#7: And finally, don’t forget to seek help when it’s needed
Since you’ve chosen to homeschool your child, it’s easy to feel as though that everything must now fall on your shoulders. But this really doesn’t have to be the case.
Homeschooling can be tricky, and those who do it well are those who make use of as much help as they can get.
We’re talking online resources like printable worksheets and YouTube lessons for subjects you struggle to teach. Or asking a qualified family member or private tutor to act as your support (homeschooling teachers have sick days too, you know!).
Remember the old proverb, “it takes a village to raise a child” — now’s the time to put that into action! Bring in as much help as you can to ensure that your child’s education is broad and complete.
Mistake-free homeschooling (well, almost!)
No matter how hard you try, mistakes will happen as you homeschool. And that’s totally okay. Embrace the learning curve of homeschooling and you’ll be a better teacher for the lessons learned along the way!
Head over to our worksheet library for high-quality worksheets that’ll instantly boost your child’s home-based learning.
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Link will appear as 7 Homeschooling Mistakes That Every Parent Should Avoid: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, May 15, 2020