We asked families in our Facebook group for words of advice/encouragement for new families. Here is what we received:
My biggest piece of advice for new homeschoolers is to Relax, it doesn’t have to look like a public school. It can look however you want it to look and no one way is better than another. Whatever works best for you and your family is the best way.
Advice! Just take the leap! Homeschooling is so worth it! I know people worry they can’t do it, I had those same worries.. but I learn right along with my daughter if it’s things I’m not sure about. (We learned about how they make mirrors, who invented them, and how long ago yesterday. I never knew lol)
Don’t stress. When they find their motivation they learn in huge leaps. Don’t be afraid to take a day off.
Children never stop learning- no matter what they are doing, they are learning. You Can’t stop it. And yes they will miss learning some things public school kids know, who cares? As long as they have the skill to learn how to find the answers themselves, they will be fine.
Patience and every child learns differently. Go with the flow and enjoy every moment. If they ain’t catching on now they will eventually and that’s the great thing with homeschooling, there is no rush, no test, and don’t have to be like everyone else. It will all happen one day in their timing. Just enjoy the journey.
As the centerpiece to our homeschooling curriculum, we are running a Son-Rise program for our 12-year-old son with autism. We left the ABA world for Son-Rise six years ago, which in and of itself was a game-changer. He has come so far, and we now weave academics and life skills into his Son-Rise curriculum. The SR curriculum focuses on eye contact and nonverbal communication, lengthening interactive attention span, verbal communication, and flexibility. They have a developmental outline of the curriculum that is free online with which you can map your child to see where they are currently within the five stages of the program. The best place to start is with the book that explains the program: Autism Breakthrough, by Raun K. Kaufman. (The audiobook really sinks in.)
Don’t buy the whole curriculum in a box right off the bat if your kiddo is a learner that is not average in some way. Build your curriculum for your unique learner slowly once you figure out what works for you in EACH subject. Ask around for recommendations from parents with kiddos like yours. And yes relax into it and don’t worry if it isn’t all figured out right away. I love Athena’s Academy for literature classes & science, Beast Academy & Teachingtextbook.com for math. Royal Fireworks Press is great for math seminars and classes and literature.
My advice is to find what works for you, your kids, and your schedule. Be ready to drop something that isn’t working and try something else. I saw this advice a lot from other parents and found it a relief. Ask your kids what they want to learn about, you may be surprised! I have told my girls to find something they are interested in and want to learn more about. They then have to research it at the library and online and write me a report on it. They have done gardening, Ann Frank and WWII, space and mythology. Most of all just talk to your kids about what they are learning, you never know where the conversation may go.
Be willing to give up what isn’t working!! Life is too short to be miserable. You could go back to school for that.
My advice is homeschooling doesn’t have to cost much and never force your kid to use a curriculum they hate. Not all kids like STEM so don’t force that either. I have homeschooled for nine years and have a graduating senior this year and next year. The oldest is already working a federal job.
Don’t try to do it all, take every day one day at a time. Remember to slow down and smell the flowers and enjoy the process of being home instead of rushing ahead to try to force learning.
We will to this as they come in!
Peace, Love & Homeschooling,
Farm School Satellite Program Staff