Homeschool Beginner Tips

So my boys are still quite young at 3.5 and 2 years old. So, I feel fortunate to know that homeschooling is the path, albeit not the easiest one, that our family is going to take early. For me, homeschooling will take YEARS to hone and to organize, let alone to feel good about my competence as a teacher/administrator/mother/guidance counselor. This morning, for example, I had a lovely “plan” for the day but my preschoolers took that plan on a ride. They wanted to explore other things. I introduced a new work but we didn’t have time for the project that accompanied that work because they wanted to play trains and go “shopping” in their kitchen. I let it go…they were playing independently…so I took a shower. Bliss.

homeschoolertips Homeschool Beginner Tips

The good news is that the learning curve is very steep. I learn something new about our {future} homeschool every day.

Here are a few of lessons I’ve learned over the last year and a half plus a few from some of my readers.

{Age Matters} Think about the age of your child. My boys are 3.5 and 2. So, unstructured play is pretty vital in their development right now. When they are 11 or 12 and want to “play trains”, I might have another opinion. Thoughts?

{Be Organic} If you or your child, no matter what age is “not feeling it” that day or morning or afternoon, take a break, maybe even a long one. This flexibility is one of the great, underutilized and underestimated luxuries of homeschooling. Use it.

{Chores} This point was a huge pain for me. From what I have learned over the past year is that we homeschoolers need to work chores into your home school “curriculum”. I began to get overwhelmed with trying to simply keep the house “picked up” let alone actually clean. I panicked a bit and then one day a few weeks ago, I said to my sons, “I have to go change the laundry around, I will be right back up.” To which both my sons said in their own special way, “Let us be involved, mom.” So they helped me. It was fun and they learned something. I love Sarah Dees’ from Frugal Fun for Boys recent post about how to organize chores with your children.

So there you have my top three pieces of advice…so far…what are yours?

Warmly,
Marnie

 Homeschool Beginner Tips

Marnie

Founder, Publisher, Writer & Editor at Carrots Are Orange, Inc.
Marnie began Carrots Are Orange in 2010 after the birth of her first son. Carrots Are Orange is a Montessori inspired learning and living blog for parents and educators. She hails from Maine, a wonderfully down to earth place to grow up. Marnie moved to the west coast in 1999, currently living east of Seattle with her husband and three young boys. She is pursuing Montessori certification. Her work has been featured on Apartment Therapy, PBS Kids, BabyCenter, the Melissa & Doug blog, and WhattoExpect.com.
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Comments

  1. says

    I have learned that with homeschooling a 3 1/2 year old.flexibility is key. When I let him decide what we learn that day, (child lead) he retains much more because he is actually playing with and learning about something that he is interested in!
    Amber C recently posted…Gelatin PlaydoughMy Profile

  2. says

    Great advice. I am also feeling lucky that we have made the decision to homeschool now before my girls are ready for kindergarten. I feel I will have more time to explore methods that I want to use and hone in on their learning styles before we get “officially” started. During this first year home I find myself changing a lot in how I want our “school time” to go. As a classroom teacher I had to be on a schedule and very structured to meet requirements and keep all of the children on task, and I carried a lot of that structure home with me. Now I am having fun modifying our schedule and learning when I need to be structured and when to follow their lead. This is turning out to be a fun journey for all of us.
    Shaunna recently posted…Panda Small World PlayMy Profile

  3. eve says

    thanks for all the tips. I’ve decided to homeschool two of my boys,3 and 18months but need someone to support me that I have made a right decision and also some tips and direction.

  4. sita says

    1) I have learned that you need to plan for your breaks. For some moms this means a cleaner every two weeks for others it means their spouse takes the kids out of the house once a week. I am so busy homeschooling 6.5 and 4.5 yr boys that I need a little space to reflect on where we are going and 8pm is not always a good time.
    2) Most of our best learning this year has happened fairly naturally. The units I over think don’t end up the best. Other units I let my kids lead (because I’m not organized) and they turn out great.
    3) And I love homeschooling!

  5. says

    Our homeschool life changes week to week. I thought after homeschooling for 6 years I would be set in my ways. Ohhhhh no!!! Everyday is an adventure and there are days still with my kiddos that we just say you know what today is a relax day or we play a math board game instead of book work. That\’s what I love about educating our kids at home. :) Love your blog so much! ;)
    Manic Mom recently posted…Themed School Year…Not so late in the gameMy Profile

  6. Amber says

    Re-reading some of your older posts as I’ve just stumbled onto your blog and love it. This is so what I needed to hear today! Things rarely go as planned right now, partially because I change my mind about what to do and partially because my 4 year has different ideas on want she wants to learn. Go with the flow is huge, and also taking time to step back and look at the big picture if what she is learning. Great blog!
    Amber recently posted…Montessori Homeschool… current obsessionMy Profile

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