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When beginning to homeschool, we worry most about teaching. The true secret to success is becoming a student, though. Learning and growing together will build a lifetime of memories. It will also ensure success, even when there are bumps in the road. How do you become a student and still teach? Come along with me.
Study Your Students
The beauty of homeschooling is that it provides an individualized education. Personalization is the name of the game. Even with box curriculums, you are in charge of your destiny. Instead of being pulled along, or held back, by the pack, homeschool students forge their own path. This puts homeschool moms in complete control. They are driving the bus!
Does that overwhelm you? It shouldn’t, it is an incomparable opportunity. Homeschooling means that you are an advocate, guide, facilitator, and mentor for your children. This is why you need to study your students. No curriculum developer knows your children better than you. It really doesn’t matter how many reviews or ratings the program has, what matters is what it does for your child.
Take the time to learn how your child learns. What are his strengths? What are her weaknesses? More importantly, what are their passions? You already know your child better than anyone. Take the time to trust your instincts. Take a step back, look at your child, not the curriculum options.
Study Your Home
Home is the heart of homeschooling. How does your homeschool fit into your home? Homeschooling is unique because it isn’t really an education option, it is a lifestyle shift. It needs to become a part of your home life, your home culture. If you compartmentalize it too much, it becomes a chore to tackle instead of an adventure to take. Where doesn’t your homeschool fit?
Did that lead you to thinking about homeschool rooms and placements of desks? Well, that is part of fitting in a homeschool, however real homeschool stretches far beyond the schoolroom walls. It’s important to take an honest look at your life and your family needs. Are you trying too much to “fit in”? Take the reigns and study what will make your family thrive. This could be classes in the evening, or taking off Wednesday instead of Saturday. You are not running a school, you are managing a home. Make it a welcome space for all.
Study What Your Child Can Teach
Give your children time to pursue their passions and take up hobbies. Your job is to provide the tools, not to necessarily teach. Just let them go. Provide books or course, tools and supplies, but let this be their baby. Then sit back and learn from them. Children have so many lessons to teach. It could be about a favorite storybook, or the chemical make up of sand. You will be astonished how much they know. Celebrate their accomplishment and just listen. You are free to ask questions, but don’t turn it into a test. This should be about self-directed learning, not assessments and grades. If you need a grade for it, have your child create a portfolio or blog about their progress. Lastly, do not feel like them knowing more than you means you are not qualified to teach. The best teachers are lifelong students.
What could your homeschool teach you?