If you homeschool, do you consider yourself to be a teacher? Do you feel empowered to make decisions for your homeschool and not be at the mercy of what the book says?
Well, here is your permission slip: From the day you became a parent, you also became a teacher, and you are equipped to teach your child.
A major cause of homeschool failure is when parents don’t take ownership of their materials and adapt them to meet the interests and learning styles of themselves and their kids. A surefire way to make yourself and your kids miserable is to let the schedule provided by the publisher dictate what you will do each day, or for that matter, trying to keep up with other moms at the park with stories of how far ahead they are. When we moms compare ourselves and our children to the homeschool “Jones’s,” we set ourselves up for failure.
So, how about some radical homeschool ideas?
- Don’t check off all the boxes on your schedule. Take out your pen and cross things off. Make IT work for YOU.
- If you (or your child) think a novel on your “homeschool list” is so boring you’d rather stick a fork in your eye than read another page, chuck it.
- Pull together resources to combine subjects and grades. If one child is studying American history, one is studying ancient history, and one is studying medieval history all at the same time, you will never see the light of day. History is history, and you do not have to be in a certain grade to learn about a certain time period.
- Do the science experiments. Many homeschool moms skip them because of the hassle. But your kids will remember what they did with their own hands better than what they saw in a book.
- Skip assignments. If your homeschool child knows his five times tables fluently, why do 25 practice problems?
- Listen to audiobooks in the car as a way to sneak in “school” time on the go.
- Don’t be tied to grade levels. A perk of homeschooling is getting to customize your child’s curriculum. One of my sons was in first grade phonics, third grade math, and fourth grade science in the same year, while listening to ninth grade history read-alouds with his brothers. Just be sure to plan a quick answer when the check-out clerk at the grocery store asks your kid what grade he is in. (Um, deer in the headlights?)
- Seek help and support when you need it. There are great tutors out there—maybe even in your local homeschool network.
- Look for alternatives to textbooks, such as living books, online courses, volunteering, and homeschool co-op courses.
So, print off your homeschool permission slip and paste it in your planner. And if you forget that you can do this, tell me and I will remind you.