As a parent, you want to give your child the best of everything, including the best education.
My children started out in public school their first years, then I homeschooled for two, then they went back to public school because they wanted to. Now, after two more years in public school, they are ready to be homeschooled again (and so am I!).
There are tons of reasons why I wanted to homeschool my children. Mainly, I wanted to be more present in their everyday lives, I wanted them to be able to learn more from the world around them by taking educational trips and traveling, and I wanted to be more involved in their learning experience.
My daughter, who is nine at the posting of this, was also on the receiving end of some bullying and that is the main reason why she wants to be homeschooled again. My son, who was diagnosed with SPD (sensory processing disorder), also faced challenges being in the classroom all day and a teacher who didn’t want to deal with him.
All of these things really contributed to my desire to teach my children at home.
If you, like me, have found yourself choosing to do homeschool after public school, the transition can be tough on you and them. Being that this is my second time around, I wanted to take some time to share a few tips based on my personal experience (I am no expert!) on how to be successful during the transitional period from public to homeschool.
Be Clear on Why
This is just as important for your child or children as it is for you.
Before anything else, it is so important to be clear on why you are deciding to homeschool and having time to explain that to them. I suggest starting with a mission statement for your homeschool and what you hope to accomplish. You can learn more about writing your homeschool mission statement from Crazy Homeschool Life.
Deschooling is Okay
Deschooling is a term I have heard thrown around in the homeschool community lately and I didn’t really see the point until a recent conversation with my daughter. I wanted to see what they expected from homeschool and what they wanted a homeschool day to look like, so I “interviewed” both of my school agers. When my daughter answered, she responded, “I think we should do some review worksheets of third grade stuff then figure out the fourth grade stuff.”
The point of deschooling is to break from the “normal” routine of school. I thought summer would be a good enough time of deschooling but I learned from research that since everyone else is out of school, it doesn’t really have an effect on the child- which I gathered to be true from my daughter’s response.
It is recommended to take a month of deschooling for every year of school they’ve attended. I don’t plan on taking this particular approach since my children are familiar with the homeschool concept, but we plan to take a month to deschool after summer and other children have returned to school. The key is to do what is right for your child.
Connect with Each Other
Many parents who homeschool agree that one of the reasons they decided to stay home is to be more present in their child’s life. During this transition period, do just that. Don’t think about curriculum or co-ops, just spend quality time with your child.
Take the time to go to parks or museums, paint, make mud pies. Do all the things you wish you could do with your child when they were spending hours in a school building and you couldn’t.
There is no better opportunity than this period to really learn how your child operates, how they learn, and what makes them unique. Observing your child will also help you determine what approach to take with them when it is time to actually teach them. Not everyone excels with worksheets and textbook readings; which is why you will be their best asset in their learning experience.
No matter why you chose to homeschool your child, this will be one of the most rewarding things you and your child will do together. It won’t be easy and it won’t always be fun, but in the end you will see what a difference it made!