Homeschooling has grown tremendously in the past few years with an estimated 2%-8% increase in homeschoolers each year. The pandemic definitely had a huge influence on the number of homeschoolers in the world today.
Homeschooling can be a stressful endeavor. You may be worried about doing enough, doing too much, which curriculum is best for your child, is your child learning everything they should be…the list of worries never ends.
But I’m here today to share the 4 simple steps that you can take to make sure this homeschool year is stress-free.
Before you even begin looking for a homeschool curriculum, you should set up your routine. This is not going to be a time-structured schedule. Instead, you’ll create a list of the things you plan on doing each day in the order you want to do them.
You follow the routine in the order you planned, but you follow your child’s lead with when to transition to the next activity. The best way to create this routine is to follow your child’s natural daily rhythm.
Spend a week documenting your child’s routine when you have nothing else planned. Write down their tired times, active times, and engaged times. By the end of the week, you’ll notice a pattern. Use this information to create a routine that flows with your child’s natural rhythm.
If you have more than one child, use your youngest child’s natural daily rhythm since younger children have a harder time adapting to new routines.
Your environment is your secret weapon in teaching. The things you place in your environment and the experiences you give your child is what determines their unique learning timeline.
The learning timeline is when your child is developmentally ready to learn specific skills. A child will not engage or be motivated to learn a skill until he/she is ready both physically and mentally. Some of your child’s readiness is determined by the way the brain develops, but you can help speed that up by having an encouraging environment.
A few helpful tips for setting up your learning space:
- Keep it organized. Have you ever tried cooking a full course meal in a disorganized kitchen? It’s really hard! The same goes for learning in an unorganized space.
- Keep materials within reach. Yes, even the paint and scissors. Spend time teaching the rules first.
- Think ahead! If you plan on doing messy activities, have a space and clean up supplies nearby.
- Rotate materials. You don’t need to have everything out all the time. Set up a rotation.
- Use your whole house. Place book baskets and learning materials throughout your whole house. You don’t need a specific learning space.
Now it’s time to begin your search for a curriculum or not. It’s up to you. However, it’s important to make sure the majority of the activities you choose are child-led.
Children are natural born learners. They are great at inquiring, experimenting, and discovering new information. So let them!
You don’t have to teach everything. You are more of a learning GUIDE. You create the environment, set out resources, and ask questions that help them on their learning journey. If they get stuck or it’s brand new skills like phonics or addition, then you can be more authoritative in your teaching while still keeping it fun.
Not sure what to even teach your child? Click here to grab the Homeschool Skills Checklist where we’ve laid out everything you need to teach and when.
Trust in the Process
This is the most important step to a successful homeschool. You have to trust your child and their unique learning timeline. And you have to trust yourself!
As long as you are guiding your child’s learning and providing an encouraging environment, you’re doing great and won’t mess them up.
You got this! Happy Learning!
As a former elementary school teacher, Amanda is dedicated to helping parents understand the REAL developmentally appropriate standards. She is the curriculum designer at Wonders of Curiosity where she creates engaging, child-led curriculum.
Amanda is a supporter of delayed academics, child-led learning, and open-ended learning experiences. She strives to help parents feel confident in their educational choices while also making it fun for both the child and parent. Be sure to grab the Free Homeschool Skills Checklist and know exactly what your child needs to be learning and when.
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