Doing anything for the first time exudes all sorts of emotions. There is excitement, there is joy, as well as hopefulness. On the flip side, there are also fear and anxiety. Take for example the first time that you drove your very own car. You were probably so excited and you could not wait to show to your friends what you’ve got. But at the same time, the fear of getting involved in an accident could not seem to get off at the back of your head. How about the first time you went on a date? You must be overflowing with joy knowing that you will go out with the person you really like. But you are also too scared to commit one minor mistake that can ruin your perfectly planned first date. Probably the emotions are more powerful if the scenario is as important as becoming your child’s teacher. The fact that it involves the future of your child may or may not be a good thing. The intense pressure may get you to do an incredibly amazing job, but if not handled well, you might blow your opportunity to play a major role in the success of your child’s learning experience. Homeschooling is not a laughing matter. It requires dedication and hard work. You must be passionate about learning, about your children, and about sharing your knowledge with your kids.
So, what should you do to lessen the anxiety and focus more on the positive energy? Here are some helpful tips to make sure that your homeschool day will run smoothly. These tips will also guide you through the rest of your homeschooling journey with your kids.
First and foremost, planning is the most crucial element when it comes to organizing your homeschool day. This easily takes the number one spot. Plan how many days in a week would you allot for homeschooling and how many days for running errands and outdoor activities. You must also designate the beginning date of your homeschool year and when it will end. Keep track of the holidays and family vacations and days when you will not have school to make sure that you have ample time to cover everything in the curriculum. During the planning stage, some people would advise you to set a schedule, like the wake up time, the time to start homeschooling, the time to quit, and the time for each activity lined up for the day. This may be good for the first few days just to get yourself used to it. Once your body was able to follow a routine, you can drop the schedule altogether and just have fun. If you choose to keep the set schedule, it is like you allowed time to control you. It should be the other way around. You should be the one in control of your time. Others would say that with a schedule comes a sense of security in knowing what will happen next. But the truth is, it has a higher risk of throwing the fun out of the window. Remember when it was still your time going to school? During the class that you liked the least, didn’t you just wish that the bell would ring so it would be over? This might be the case as well if you intend to keep a daily schedule for your homeschooler. Your kid will be forced to wake up in the morning, or to take on a lesson that he does not feel like studying yet, making him/her look forward to finish the day when your day had just started. So be very careful if you want to keep a schedule. Make sure that it doesn’t take away your child’s freedom to choose a topic to learn at his own pace at his own time.
Next to planning is prioritizing. Write down every appointment, errand, and activity you can think of, including those that were set way before you start homeschooling. From this list, categorize everything from the most important to the least important. While setting up a schedule may not be a great way to do things, the solution may be found in this step. One workaround that may be more effective is, instead of assigning a specific time when to do things, just assign the duration or amount of time allotted for a specific activity. This gives your child more freedom to choose based on what interests him/her the most at a specific time of the day. Based on the level of importance of a specific activity, you can adjust the amount of time you will spend on it. From a block of time of 30 minutes, you can make it 45 minutes and take away the 15 minutes from least important item on your list. Also, make sure that you give enough time for breaks. Everybody needs one. The only time you have to be strict in following a schedule is if it is an appointment which involves other people such as a piano lesson that you signed up for or a volleyball tournament which your child participates in.
After you plan and after you prioritize, all you have to do is to respond. This is one of the most beautiful things about homeschooling. The spontaneity level is high which keeps the interest level high as well. As a teacher, do not get too caught up with the lesson or with what you are doing. Let your child do that for you. Be observant of the behavior of your student. If he/she exhibits uneasiness or boredom, immediately spice things up to keep the interaction active between the two of you. If you feel like it would help to let go of what you are doing and do something else, go for it. If your child shows interest in something, learn more about it with him. Do not allow your child to lose interest in what he is doing. Flexibility is the trick that keeps homeschooling fun and exciting. Make sure you don’t lose it.
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