Today is day 3 of my #write28days challenge. I am enjoying sharing tips, resources and other information from our homeschooling journey. Sometimes it is hard to know where to get started. And often it is just as difficult to know when to move on from a resource because something is not working. Over the years, we have tried and succeeded or tried and failed with resources that I have heard others rave about many times. So today I want to talk about getting started in homeschooling. Then tomorrow I will look at how to know when to move on to a different way of homeschooling, a different resource, or just changing how you use a resource.
My best advice for getting started is just to jump in and begin. In this day of technology, there are so many opportunities to preview materials online or even complete resources available online for free. It does not have to cost a lot to homeschool. Just because something is unbelievably expensive, does not mean it will work any better than free or less expensive options.
If you happen to be blessed to have friends who homeschool, see if you can get together to look at their materials. Check with your local library. Some offer homeschool materials that you can borrow.
But just pick something and begin. Taking that first step of starting often is the hardest.
Another frequent problem is knowing when the material is not working for your child versus knowing when your child just does not want to work at all. You know your child best, so take a step back and look at the situation from knowledgable eyes. If you find yourself constantly jumping from resource to resource to resource, something else might be going on rather than the material not working. Examine what else is going on with your child, family and outside influences at the time.
For example, one of our sons tends to enjoy being lazy. So if he does not feel like doing work, he will complain about the resource. He will attempt to convince me he is not capable of doing the work. However, I take the time to sit down with him while he attempts to work on the material I am able to see it is not an issue with the resource but the issue is with him.
On the other hand, if I sit down with him and I am able to see the resource is not explaining what our son needs to do, or if it not explaining things properly before expecting him to do the work, then I will look through the rest of the resource to see if it is only that lesson that is poorly written for my child, or if I anticipate having more problems in the future.
All three of our sons absolutely loved a particular science resource, It worked well for all three of them. Our daughter loved and excelled with the elementary books, but then she reached the Junior High/Middle School books and it was a horrible experience for us both. So in that instance, I quickly made the decision to move on to another resource.
When you spend a lot of money on materials, it promotes difficulty, disappointment and other negative emotions about moving on to something else. Even when you do diligent research prior to buying something, things come up. Maybe life throws you a curveball that necessitates a change in the direction of your homeschool.
If you want to read other posts in this series, click here.