This is a guest post written by Homeschool Consultant Shelby Brannon. You can find her contact information below.
2020 has definitely been a year for the books and we are only a little more than halfway through it.
Here we are just days away from August, and for the first time school is going to look a lot different than it did in the past. For some it means participating in virtual or remote learning through the school system. For others, the uncertainty of virtual or remote learning through the school system has placed you in a position where you are seriously considering homeschooling.
Welcome to the fun that never stops!!
Now, before you freak out and buy a ton of stuff you don’t need, subscribe to Homeschoolers Monthly, and start looking for farm land somewhere near little house on the prairie . . . remember, that since you have decided to homeschool you don’t have to play by the same deadlines and timeframes and structure as all of those stressed out about the mid-August start date!
In fact, here are three encouragements that will allow you to take a breath and enjoy the journey you are embarking upon!
1. Start Slow
The moment you decided to homeschool you released yourself from the social constructs of a school schedule. There is NOTHING out there that says you MUST begin school on the same day as your local public school. Take a deep breath and start slow. DON’T RUSH into purchasing a curriculum; take your time. I promise you, your children will not fall behind because you took a couple extra weeks to paint a vision for the kind of learning atmosphere you want to create in your homes. At its heart homeschooling is a lifestyle, even if just a temporary one, that lets you more fully set the tone and pace of your household. Think, pray, talk to your spouse, talk to your kids (even if they are small), work together to establish a strong vision and foundation for your school year.
2. Keep it Simple
Now you can start looking at curriculum, BUT remember curriculum is a TOOL not your master. Focus on reading and math. It can be as simple as reading aloud and playing a board game or baking cookies. Eventually, through researching, exploring, and asking the right questions you will find the curriculum that is the best fit for your family, but don’t discount the time spent learning together in simple ways while you are searching.
3. Have fun!
In case you weren’t already having fun reading, playing, and baking together now is the time to get a little more intentional. Go on field trips to historical sites and landmarks, check out a book of science experiments from the library (or purchase a kit from my friends at Learning with Friends) and get dirty, blow stuff up, and learn together! Even with high schoolers, you will work your way into a curriculum and routine you can all handle, but don’t rush into it and miss out on opportunities to grow together and show your kids that learning is a process and life is really about spending time and building relationships with those you love!
Shelby Brannon has a Master’s degree in education and many years experience teaching in the public school system. She is now a homeschooling mom and is the owner of Homeschool Consulting Services, where she will walk you step by step through the best homeschooling choices for your family. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.