Asking a group of seasoned homeschool moms is the best way to find out 32 things new homeschoolers should avoid.
I’m reminded of what my homeschooling mother used to say. You learn new things one of two ways. One is by example and other is by experience.
Instead of learning the homeschooling ropes the hard way by having to experiment on your kids, learn how to homeschool from those who’ve gone ahead of you or from their example.
Mistakes New Homeschoolers Should Avoid
Besides, nobody wants to experiment on their kids, but it happens.
Hoping to lessen your stress of beginning new to homeschool, look at these 32 things new homeschoolers should avoid.
- Remember your WHY or what brought you to homeschooling. Write it down somewhere so you don’t forget when times are tough.
- Do not worry if the shiny new curriculum is not working. You can change anytime, even mid-year. Look at my posts How to Build Elementary Homeschool Curriculum Directly From Amazon, How to Build Middle School Curriculum Directly From Amazon and You’ve Pitched the Homeschool Curriculum – Now What?.
- Do not recreate public school at home.
- Do not overbuy curriculum. Use inexpensive or free curriculum until you know how your children learn best. Look at my posts Free Middle School Science Curriculum and Magazine, Free Middle and High School Homeschool Language Arts, and BEST Digital Homeschool Curriculum – Big Ol’ List.
- Comparing your children, your home, and your spouse to other homeschooling families is a huge joy sucking trap. Your family is unique and homeschooling needs to fit your family’s needs.
Beginning to homeschool with unrealistic expectations is joy zapping and it’s huge among things new homeschoolers should avoid.
- You don’t have to run your homeschool day like other homeschool moms although they may tout only one way works.
- Keep pushing curriculum which isn’t working is another big do not do.
- Thinking your kids will all learn the same way is another hurdle. It’s okay to use various programs to meet each child’s needs.
- Curriculum is a tool, not the boss. You are the boss.
- Do not jump into a rigid schedule. Give yourself AND your kids time to adjust to homeschooling. Look at my post The Sticking Power of a Solid Homeschool Schedule.
Mistakes to Avoid When Homeschooling for the First Time
- Thinking your school needs to look like public school with tons of worksheets and textbooks is another mistake. Your school doesn’t have to look like public school. Look at my post The Great Homeschool Hoax – Public School At Home.
- Don’t stress over the small stuff. Learning doesn’t just happen with a book in a kid’s face. Learning happens through everyday interaction and meaningful conversations. Take time to deschool and understand what it means for your family.
- Do not think you have to cram everything a child needs to learn in a day. Take it one day at a time.
- You’re not a one act entertaining committee. Sometimes learning is not always fun, it’s just learning. Constantly feeling like everyday has to be over the top fun is exhausting and can zap the joy out of the day.
- Don’t forget to ask your kids what they want to learn. It’s their education. When you have a willing participant in homeschooling, kids work harder and retain what they’re learning. That makes your job easier.
Homeschooling Potholes to Avoid
- Do not skip field trips. They are essential to bringing learning to life. Kids learn by being out in the world.
- Don’t underestimate the value of play. Playing is the first introduction to self-education.
- Assuming homeschooling will be expensive is another mistake. You can spend as little or as much as you want depending on your needs.
- Know the difference between homeschooling and public school at home. Don’t assume you have to purchase a government based online public school. Look at my post Transitioning from a Public School Mindset to a Relaxed Homeschooling Lifestyle.
- Using curriculum because somebody else uses it is a costly mistake.
What NOT to Do When You Begin Homeschooling
Also, why do we focus only our kids’ needs when beginning to homeschool? When you focus on your education which doesn’t have to take long you truly can help each child meet his potential.
- Forcing socialization is another mistake to avoid. Over worrying how to socialize your kids is consuming. It’s like saying after kids graduate they’ll never make friends. Kids make friends through their whole journey and on into adulthood. Look at my posts Is Homeschooling Right for Your Family? Hear From the Kids and Socialization – A Homeschool Hallucination.
- Don’t be a perfectionist. You’ll mess up, your kids will mess up. Tomorrow starts a new and fresh day.
- Homeschooled kids don’t need to be in class the same amount of time as public schooled kids. We simply do not have the same distractions.
- You don’t have to follow state educational standards. Knowing your state homeschool laws is the first place to start.
- Don’t give up in February because the winter slump is real. Spring will come soon. Hang in there. Look at my post 10 Biggest Homeschool Burnout Triggers (and how to cope).
New to Homeschooling
- Instead of jumping to buy curriculum, take time to know how your child learns best. Look at my post How to Choose the BEST Homeschool Curriculum to Fit a Child’s Natural Abilities.
- Don’t rush. Get outdoors and go to the library. Nothing has to be timed.
- Don’t be put off when it takes you longer than a year for you or your child to adjust to homeschooling.
- There is no need to rush out and buy curriculum. Do your research and if you can try your friend’s curriculum before you buy. Look at my post BEST Curriculum by Homeschoolers for Homeschoolers.
- Do not think it’s not okay to step away and take a break.
- Don’t write your lesson plans in pen. The first sick day and you’re feeling behind. Plan just a few weeks out.
And finally, do NOT think you can’t do this. You absolutely one hundred percent can.
You’ll experience one or two mistakes, but they can be minimized. There seems to only be two mindsets when new homeschoolers start.
There are over achievers who are looking to right all the wrongs in a few months or under achievers who feel a rich learning environment just happens with no intentional effort of the parent.
Neither mindset works, but it can set you for failure. Achieving balance is absolutely key in your first year of homeschooling.
Do you find you’re making some of these mistakes already?
You’ll love some more tips below about how to start homeschooling:
- First Time Homeschool Mom: Am I Doing This Right?
- Is Homeschooling Right for Your Family? Hear From the Kids!
- What to Expect When You Expect to Homeschool (25 Silliest Questions Ever)
- Homeschool Critics: How Do You Know You’re on Track?
- 100 Ways to Silence the Homeschool Naysayers (Maybe!)
- Deschooling: Step One for the New Homeschooler (the Definitions, the Dangers, and the Delight)
- 12 Easy Ways Homeschooled Teens and Tweens Socialize
Hugs and love ya,