By Kristin Herman
There are a ton of benefits that come with homeschooling children, and no matter what reason you’re thinking about doing it, there’s no denying you need to be prepared. While you’re probably, and rightly, thinking about everything you should be doing, it’s also essential to think about the things you shouldn’t be doing, and the things you need to avoid.
Homeschooling can be a very different experience to a child. It’s important to make sure you’re balancing their lives in such a way that they get everything they would have gotten and needed from a regular schooling life.
With this in mind, let’s explore the seven homeschooling mistakes you need to avoid:
1. Just Pretending It’s Normal School
Homeschooling is very different from traditional public schooling, and if you’re trying to pretend they’re the same thing, you’re going to experience problems. The entire purpose of homeschooling is to be different from traditional schooling, so be different and explore the new opportunities this form of education brings.
For example, having a timetable that fills an entire day may not be the most productive way to work, but having several lessons scattered throughout the day might be. Work in a way that’s best for your children, not just replicating what public schools do.
2. Not Scheduling
Time management is vital when it comes to homeschooling, and not taking the time to schedule can lead to a lot of organisation problems. Sure, there’s a lot to learn, but track what your child is good at and what areas need more work, allowing you to invest the little time you have as wisely as possible.
3. Comparing Your Children
It’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing your homeschooled child with others, but this is a sure-fire way to bring yourself down and set your child up for trauma later in life. Remember, every child is living their own life with their own strengths and weaknesses. It’s unfair to compare at any stage of their life.
4. Having Too High Expectations
Yes, avoiding this mistake is easier said than done. On the one hand, you’re probably thinking about how amazing your child is going to be. On the other, you’re thinking about how you could mess it up and miseducate your child forever.
Don’t push yourself or your kid too hard due to your expectations, but instead take things as they come, test your limits, and simply aim to do the best you both can do. After all, isn’t that what you should expect from anyone in their life?
5. Isolating Your Child
Children need to socialize, and they need to experience people their own age. They need friends as well as people who don’t like them. They need to develop social skills outside their own families. There are tons of opportunities out there for homeschooled kids to meet others, whether that’s through homeschool meetups or out-of-curriculum clubs, so get involved!
6. Not Budgeting
Homeschooling a child doesn’t come without costs and buying all the resources and equipment you need can get expensive, so it’s important you budget yourself and think about how much you’re spending.
After all, you don’t need to spend a fortune on expensive textbooks when you could just go and rent them from the library for free. Always look out for good deals and opportunities to help you manage your finances in the best possible way.
7. Not Letting Your Child be a Child
Children are still children, and they still need to be children. Homeschooling a child doesn’t mean you’re squashing out what makes a child themselves while trying to robotically turn them into the perfect student. That’s not fair to the child.
Always listen to your children and their feedback. Listen to their wants and needs and try to act accordingly. Of course, they’re going to push their boundaries to try and get what they want, but it’s important you balance discipline with freedom.
The truth is, you’re not going to homeschool your child perfectly and without problems. That’s simply not going to happen, and there are going to be obstacles you need to overcome. However, with an open mind and a willingness to do your best, there’s no problem too big that will hold you back.
Kristin Herman is an education expert, tutor and writer at Bigassignments.com and Oxessays.com online writing services. She writes articles for online magazine and blogs, such as Australianhelp.com, and others.
Click here for a resource on Home Day Care from Porch.com for which I contributed the answer on communication.