If you have chosen to homeschool your kids (like I did), you have thought long and hard about all the pros and cons and come to a decision that works best for everyone involved. However, that doesn’t mean that homeschooling is going to be easy and it doesn’t mean that it’s not going to be stressful at times. It will be! It’s an extra challenge to take on and it just means you need to have some tricks up your sleeve to make things a little less difficult. Read on to find out what some of these tricks could be.
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Even before the majority of parents became homeschoolers, at least temporarily, there were plenty of online resources that can be used to plan out your lessons and ensure that your children are getting a varied and well-rounded education.
You don’t have to do everything from scratch; in fact, you don’t have to do that much at all if you don’t want to – you can find entire lesson plans ready to go online, complete with a list of equipment required and a parent’s guide as to exactly what is going to be taught and what the expected outcomes should be. So you can choose to plan as little or as much as you want to, but if you want to make things less stressful, make sure you don’t give yourself or your child any extra work when it’s not necessary.
No one is good at everything and if you are getting stressed because you don’t know a lot about a specific subject and you’re worried you won’t be able to teach it well, get creative. In this situation, you can outsource the work to someone else. If, for example, you’re excellent at math but you’re not so confident in English, you can hire an English tutor. Your child will see a different face – which can help reduce their stress levels too – and you can be sure they are getting the right information taught in the right way.
If you don’t want to hire a tutor, what about friends and family? Do you know someone who has a special skill in art or science? Maybe they can help you create interesting lessons, or perhaps they can film lessons for you in advance. Never be afraid to ask for help.
You can also consider partnering with another family to share some of the homeschooling responsibilities or split days. For more creative ideas, take a look at my video series!
Consider Child-Led Learning
Children and adults of any age will retain information that interests them! So go with your children’s interests for the best learning experience for ALL of you. While this takes some creativity, I am willing to bet YOU know your children pretty well and can figure out how to combine their interests with their learning needs. If you’d like some inspiration here, check out this post about using Usborne Books to homeschool. I feel they do a great job of matching children’s interests with education.
Six Hours Is Too Long
In a traditional school, a child will be at school for around six hours. Trying to replicate that idea when you are homeschooling will not going to work well. This is because, although they might physically be in the building for six hours, they aren’t learning academically throughout that time. They will have physical education, lunchtime, and breaks. In fact, on some days they might only be learning academically for two to three hours.
This, then, is what should be replicated at home. And it works well because you can change things around to suit your schedule, working in the morning on some days and the afternoon on other days. Since some children are better at learning before lunch and some are better afterward, you can work out what is going to be best for you. Two to three hours a day is enough, no matter how you split it.
Be sure to get my free video, Homeschool vs. School at Home, for more on this perspective. I really believe that if you can switch your mindset from school-at-home to homeschool, your stress level will decrease considerably!