In the past I would often toss around the idea of homeschooling my children, of course that was when I was still raising my hypothetical children in my head. Let me tell you, raising your hypothetical children is so much easier!! Fast forward quiet a few years and here I am a homeschool mama. We are still new to the homeschool journey and I would love to share what I have learned so far!
Homeschool is flexible
This one is exactly what it sounds like, flexible! One of the main reasons we decided homeschool would work best for our family this year was the flexibility it gives you. I don’t know about your kids, but mine do not like a strict schedule. Sure schedules are good, they provide structure and you know exactly what to expect but what happens when you do not stick to your schedule? Do you feel like you wasted or ruined the day? Do you feel defeated? That is exactly how I feel when my plans fail.
Every day we start with a plan, we have a routine that we follow and the day just flows from there. If we need to skip a day, an hour, a few pages, its ok we keep going and move on or come back to the topic/subject. That is the beauty of homeschool. We can plan a last minute trip to the book store to find a book about a certain bug we want to learn about, we can take a walk to the park to study the falling leaves, we can go apple picking and learn about apples. The possibilities are just so endless.
Homeschool is NOT distance learning
With a 5 year old, a 16 month old, and a baby due in a few short months distance learning through a public school did not sound the least bit fun. I am not here to bash distance learning, especially since we have never participated in it. I will say that from what all my friends and other moms have told me is it doesn’t sound like much fun. I have been told its hard for the younger kids to sit at the computer for morning check ins, attendance takes a long time and often by the time that is done the little ones focus is just gone. That sounds like a huge challenge itself, not to mention all the other challenges that these kids and parents both face with distance learning. Homeschool does have its own set of challenges as well don’t get me wrong, there is no perfect way.
Homeschool is fun!
Like I mentioned above, the possibilities are really endless. This year is packed full of fun activities that coincide with our lesson plan. Play-Doh mats, counting with Legos, digging up fossils as we learn about dinosaurs, these are just a few fun activities I have planned for this year. Planning out our year so far has been fun, yeah sure it is also more work for me but I know my 5 year old is going to enjoy this year so much more. I am also excited to see my son try new things and have fun while he is learning.
It is as simple as you make it
Or as complicated as you make it, which ever way you want to look at it. Homeschool can be simple and fun. It takes a little bit of thought and work in the beginning. There are many different things to think about like curriculum, your teaching style, how you will enforce school rules and so many other things. I believe if your heart is in the right place it will all just come together. Just try to not over think and overcomplicate things for yourself.
State Standards and Laws
Be sure to look up your states standards and laws regarding homeschool. This will give you an idea of where and how to get started if you are a California resident.
Your child will not be missing out!
I have talked to several other parents about this one and it seems to be a common concern. Parents typically think that because their child does not attend public school that they will miss out on all the fun school activities. Activities like field trips, all the art/craft projects, school sports, and social skills. If you want to skip out on some of those you most certainly can. I think that homeschooled children get to participate in more activities! We are planning not to skip out on anything. From first day of school photos, official school portraits, field trips, all the art activities and some at home sports since the kids are still young!
Right now is a hard time with the pandemic, I think that most school sports would be canceled this year as well as many other activities for kids.
We love to learn!
Of course our learning area doesn’t always look like this, after a lesson it is usually a mess! My 16 month old loves to take all the books out and organize for me while I teach my 5 year old. It could be worse, I love that both my boys love books and learning. This learning space is key in creating that learning environment for my son.