Whether your first child is almost ready to start school or you’re worn out from years in the school system, you’ve decided to homeschool your children. Now that you’ve made that decision, where do you begin? The homeschool community is a lot bigger than it seems from the outside. It’s full of strong opinions and unique terminology. As you begin, here are a few questions that may be weighing on your mind.
Can I even do this?
You may not have an education degree and are probably feeling like you don’t know a thing about teaching. But don’t let such doubts distract you. The National Home Education Research Institute reports that many homeschooled children perform better on standardized achievement tests than public school students, even if their parents don’t hold higher degrees. Whether you’re homeschooling a special needs child or not, you are just the expert your children need. Ask around, and every veteran homeschool parent will say the same thing. If you’re uncomfortable with teaching or you’re homeschooling several children, consider using video lessons through BJU Press’s Distance Learning courses. Our Distance Learning teachers are experienced and engaging educators who have a passion for Christian education.
What makes a homeschool family successful?
Every homeschool family is different. The choices you make on this journey will set you apart from every other family, from the style you choose to the curriculum you use. But there are two qualities that will equip you to go the distance—stability and flexibility. Successful homeschool families know that there are certain things they can’t or shouldn’t change about their experiences. These things are like signposts that direct the rest of your journey.
But on the other side, homeschool families also know that many elements of their journey are beyond their control. In order to keep moving forward, they stay flexible so that the inevitable changes that they face won’t become roadblocks. As you grow and learn as a family, you’ll discover that what worked when you began may eventually stop working. You will need to change and adjust as you go, and you will need the flexibility to accept new changes.
What should I expect as I get started homeschooling?
Your homeschool journey will be unique to you and your family. Because of that, you shouldn’t jeopardize the success of your homeschool by sliding into the trap of comparison. Your journey doesn’t have to fit into any particular mold because there aren’t many absolutes in the homeschool world. That makes it hard to foresee what your specific homeschool will look like. Much of your experience will be dependent on the goals you set for yourself and your family and on your specific reasons for homeschooling.
Do I have to do it alone?
Many homeschool families agree that it’s a lonely calling, but you don’t have to resign yourself to being isolated. There are plenty of online communities and local homeschool groups that you can join. Consultants with HomeWorks by Precept, partners with BJU Press, delight in bringing homeschool families together to share experiences and insights.
If you’re ready to jump into this homeschooling thing feet first, please sign up to receive our free eBook, “A Guide to Homeschooling,” and learn more about the road ahead of you. Be sure to fill out the Homeschool Preparation Checklist at the end, and feel free to ask questions in the comments section below.