So you’ve decided to homeschool, but now what? You know your reason for homeschooling, but it’s intimidating for those just starting to research. Learn how to start homeschooling without the pressure and overwhelm of everything to choose from.
Feeling Overwhelmed By All The Information?
You’re definitely not alone. I’m pretty sure that everyone who’s ever decided to homeschool has been apprehensive when they first get started.
No doubt you’ve been spending many hours searching for the right curriculum, wondering what it is you’ll even teach them.
Just googling the word “homeschool” leads to search results that probably have you searching for a brown bag to breathe in. I want to let you know that it doesn’t have to be so overwhelming.
Don’t Let Perfectionism Get In Your Way
When I first knew that we were going to be homeschooling our children, I started researching and planning things out right away.
Now keep in mind, the next school year wasn’t for another six months, but there I was, trying to prepare myself.
I was so overwhelmed by the prospect of everything, I had no idea where to even start.
Did we want to go year-round or traditional? Charlotte Mason, Classical, Un-Schooling? (Don’t know what those are? This really helped me out).
The possibilities were endless, and that was the problem. Thankfully, I realized that maybe I didn’t need to know all of the answers right away.
When you start to understand that you don’t have to be perfect at everything right away, your focus starts to come back.
Have I told you yet that I’m a recovering perfectionist??
Maybe you are also and that’s why you’re here. You want to feel the freedom of not worrying about what comes next. After all, trying to be perfect only brings on more pressure, am I right?
How to start homeschooling without the pressure
Whether your kids are just starting out in school or further along in grade, learning how to start homeschooling will save your school year.
I want to share with you some wisdom that I’ve accumulated so far in my homeschooling journey: It’s ok not to fit everything into one school year.
I know, I know . . . I’m starting to see the perfectionism creep back in on your end. It’ll be an adjustment to your mind, but I promise, this will help with the overwhelm.
When you think about everything a child has to squeeze in for one school year alone, it’s enough to have you reaching for that paper bag again.
But seriously, you have until they graduate high school to fit it all in. It doesn’t have to be so restricting. And that is exactly what I learned.
There was a renewed sense of freedom and I knew it was God revealing it to me.
Like my family, your family was probably also called by God to homeschool. If He called you to it, He didn’t mean for it to be overwhelming and confusing. Don’t bring that on yourself.
When we started homeschooling, my son was going into 1st grade and my daughter was going into Pre-K. That’s 12+ years of fitting everything in and having plenty of time.
Don’t Be Held Down By Cirriculum
There is also freedom in what you choose to learn about.
I will say that we are structured in both Language Arts and Math. I also feel like those two subjects should be every day in younger grades because that’s when they learn the basics.
Please know that that’s just our family and you may do whatever is best for your family.
However, when it comes to Science and History, we like to go down a more personal path.
Recruiting Your Kids To Help You Plan
Since Science and History aren’t strict subjects in early grades, it can definitely be made more personal.
When you bring your kids in to help with taking the pressure out of homeschooling, they feel excited to want to learn.
For example, my son has LOVED learning about US Presidents ever since he was 3 years old. He had George Washington to Abraham Lincoln memorized before he was 3 1/2 years old.
With that in mind, we decided it would be enjoyable to learn more about them in our history studies.
Also, I included them in Science as well. I let them choose the subject and topics that we would learn about. I broke it up into 6-week studies and we learned everything from farms, ocean life, plants, and volcanos.
Since I wasn’t going to be strict with History or Science, there wasn’t really a way for us to put together a curriculum for them.
We were flying by the seat of our pants with these, so we had to start getting creative. Every Monday we head to our local library as that day’s extracurricular. So why not use it to our advantage and build those subjects as we needed?
I want to encourage you to think about doing the same. It can definitely be a lifesaver when you’re also looking at the budget. After all, library books are free to use!
Keeping More Of The Fun
When learning how to start homeschooling, I realized also that it was better to let the kids have a better ratio of playing over learning.
For younger kids, the overwhelm of having to be in school for long hours is more trouble and doesn’t allow them to play and have fun as they should.
I truly believe that it’s better, when they’re younger, to make their day more about playing.
For Pre-K we like to do 90/10 for playing vs learning throughout the day. When it comes to Kindergarten, it could be 80/20. The first grade could be 70/30, and so on.
Our first year homeschooling, with a 1st grader and Pre-K, we had a total of about 2 hours of school every day. That’s it.
I learned that it isn’t natural for them to have to sit and do school all day when we had time to get everything all in eventually.
Having a more laid back approach takes the pressure off and relieves a lot of the stress involved in feeling like you have to compete with other homeschooling families.
Every family is different. Their personalities are different and their schedules aren’t the same as yours.
You might feel like traditional homeschooling works best for you, while your friend might be doing unschooling all year round. Everyone is different.
Have the confidence and trust in God that what He has you doing is what’s best. Don’t be overwhelmed and only go at the pace that’s best for your family.
In the end, your kids will learn everything that they need to learn. Plus, they’ll be involved with the deciding process and feel good that they were able to help you plan.
Have you learned to take the pressure off and find a way that’s best for your family? Share below and bless someone with the wisdom you’ve learned!