Selena Heyer is a homeschooling mother of three with a baby on the way. A former schoolteacher, Selena seemed the perfect candidate to become a homeschooling mom. She had studied childhood development extensively in college and had a great deal of experience teaching students in the primary grades.
Yet, Selena found her first year of homeschooling to be frustrating and exhausting. She felt as if her five-year-old daughter wasn’t progressing fast enough in her studies. She believed that she was lax in her discipline and wondered whether her children would ever behave. She also felt as if she were neglecting some of her other important duties as she devoted herself to homeschooling.
Selena’s experience is not uncommon. Throughout the nation, an increasing number of parents are turning to homeschooling in an effort to give their children a better education. Yet, many find that the reality of homeschooling is a bit daunting.
According to the experts, it is possible to have success at homeschooling if you follow a few simple rules:
- Maintain healthy expectations. You cannot expect your three-year-old to play the perfect concerto, or your ten-year-old to be a whiz at calculus. Just because you’ve decided to homeschool, that does not mean that your children are prodigies. You’ll find that homeschooling becomes easier if you have realistic expectations-both for your child and for yourself.
- Pace yourself. All too often, parents feel as if they have to tackle an entire textbook in just a few days. Remember, you have an entire year to cover your subject matter. You may find that you spend more time on a particular subject on some days, less on others. Keep your eye fixed on the final goal, and don’t worry so much about how you get there.
- Set a realistic schedule. This is perhaps the most critical element to homeschooling success. Be sure you schedule time in your day for cooking, cleaning, and your other household chores. Also, be sure to take time for yourself, even if it means only 15 minutes soaking in a hot tub or a half hour of stretching exercises. You’ll find that you’re better able to handle the stresses of homeschooling if you take good care of yourself.
- Dads have to be involved. If your homeschool is to be successful, you must have participation from both parents. Dad might be able to teach a science course in the evening, or help in ordering textbooks. With support from Dad, Mom should be better able to cope with the demands of homeschooling.
- Join a homeschooling support group. This is vitally important to help you maintain the proper perspective. Just knowing that there are other parents who face the same challenges you do can help you to maintain your equilibrium. Homeschooling groups have also been known to invite special educators, such as Montessori teachers, to group gatherings in order to provide additional instruction to youngsters. You should take advantage of this opportunity, since it can only enhance your child’s education. To find a homeschooling support group near you, you can turn to the World Wide Web for relevant websites.
Homeschooling can obviously be quite a challenge. There are lessons to teach, papers to review, and projects to guide. However, homeschooling can also be a rewarding experience for both you and your child. By ensuring that you have appropriate support for your teaching, you can become an A+ homeschooling parent in no time.