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Encouragement and Advice

We asked our members to share what is the first thing they’d tell a parent who is in the process of Crossing Over to Homeschooling. This is what they said:

“I am reading and realizing I should have made this decision for my daughter's sooner.”
“Be flexible. You don’t have to choose a single curriculum. Just find what your child likes.”
“Find a local support group and join it. If you can't find one (or your local one does not fit)...then start one.”
“BREATHE! You have decided to homeschool. That does not mean that you have to find your curriculum or make your entire plan within the next day, week or even month! Take your time. Deschool (the kids AND yourself) and pay attention to how your kids learn. Take it one subject at a time...look for suggestions based on what you’ve noticed about your kids. Make a short list and shop through those. Trust me...you will be looking at curriculum/learning options for the rest of your homeschooling life. LOL So, you do not have to try and learn about every single one of them now.”
“I didn't receive any advice when I first crossed over. I ordered Cathy Duffy's 101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum book and it was a great asset for me. I did a lot of Internet searching and after about 6 months I joined an umbrella school, which was very helpful in giving me advice on different curriculums, etc. I'm learning as we go along what works and does not work. It's okay if you find if you have to change curriculum halfway through. I say relax and take it one day at a time. Whatever you do, don't make it feel like school.”
“Take your time and let the kids learn at their own pace. Let them learn wherever they want to learn whether that be on the couch, table, desk or bed.”
“Relax! You do not have to figure everything out on day one. Take some time to acclimate to your new life. Find a local support group for your area. Ask lots of questions from those who have been homeschooling longer than you. But most important, please relax and enjoy your family.”
“Don't try to duplicate public school at home.”
“Relax! Take one day at a time. Do not overwhelm yourself with Curriculum.”
“I didn't receive a lot of advice starting out. What I figured out is that... (1) Trying to save money by buying random "State Aligned" workbooks from Barnes & Noble just caused a headache for me. The lesson planning took way too long and was scattered and confusing. (2) Curriculum is VERY important. Research what will work best for you rather than just buying what someone else likes to use. There are many styles of teaching. Find one that works best for your children. (3) Workboxes are wonderful things to use! If you don't know what these are, look them up on YouTube and ask about them in groups. When you have multiple children, they are a lifesaver! (4) Your school room/space does not have to look like a classroom. I have found that too many posters on the walls can be over stimulating to a child and distract them. Simple is just fine. (5) If you can, buy your curriculum used. I have saved hundreds doing this! There are many groups on Facebook that are for this purpose! (6) If you are having trouble with a child that doesn't get it or doesn't want to get it. It may not be the child. It may be the learning style of that curriculum. (7) Don't beat yourself up over the little things. This doesn't exactly come naturally to anyone and everyone struggles from time to time. This will just teach your children that you are human and you mess up too :) Have fun! That is what this is all about!”
“I was given two very good pieces of advice: 1) each day is going to be different and that is ok. 2) If you want to reduce frustration level in both kids and yourself do not have your homeschool set up or follow the schedule of the public school. Both have been right on the mark that I am less stressed out regarding homeschooling than I was during the whole K-10 years while my kids were in school.”
“I guess I would say to know your state’s laws is a must. I am grateful that my state’s laws are rather lax. Which means we are kind of on our own here. I like that because, although our town's school system was kind to us, we have looked into our children's education and know that there have been gaps. It’s not to be blamed on the school system. By looking around the Internet we see that this is all across many states. We know that our Family can teach our children as well as the public school can and more. It is up to us to pick the curriculum, I as " Mom" can nurture the kids and teach them real life values, which we feel is lacking these days in the class room. We are taking our time. This is a marathon for us - meaning slow and steady is best. Letting the kids lead in their own learning seems natural to us.”
“Homeschooling is not a sprint, it's a marathon! Relax. Enjoy your time. Make learning fun. Try different methods. Learning doesn't have to take place with a textbook. You can do this!”
“There is plenty of time and no need to rush.”
“Believe in yourself and your knowledge of your children. No one knows your children better than you do! Make it a team effort, and learn along with your kids, makes sure they know that you are a part of the learning experience and that you are in it together...this empowers and encourages them to 'take the reigns' in their own education.”
“Take time to deschool. Get to know your child so you can educate them in a stress-free way!”
“Take your time once you are home, deschool a bit, follow their interests and decompress!”
“Take a moment and talk to your child. You need to reconnect with your child, as much as you need to teach your child. Find your child under all the frustration and anger.”
“We haven't started yet, but I keep hearing read, read, read, decompress from public school, and attend a homeschooling convention.”
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