I've noticed many parents expressing hardship over the learning curve of homeschooling. These tips I provide are more centered around helping the parent find strategies that assist with that process, more than educational resources implemented for the child. Given my background of raising my two girls through traditional public school for several years, then transitioning them to homeschool education while having no prior experience of educating children myself, I thought I would share some of the tips I have learned along the way. Our girls are both grown women with college degrees now. As I look back, I can not attest to being the perfect parent, nor that I felt at any time during those homeschool years that I had things all figured out, but I will say, I was there. No matter where a parent chooses to educate their child, my first advice would be to challenge you to be all in. I will provide a bit of history of my own experiences to explain this.
I held a mainstream career for years. After my first child was born, I chose to open a child care facility in my home. I continued this profession ranging from full-time to part-time for a few years while my girls were young. This provided more time with my own daughters during their early years. It was also during this time that I discovered the love for creating fashion and was able to transition to a career in custom design work and learn a lot about boutique fashion. Time really is a great tool when we utilize it well.
During those years while children would come and go from my home, I often marveled at some of the strategies parents would use in coaxing their children to even the smallest of tasks, such as putting a coat on, or getting into the car, or even out the door. Sometimes I would witness a long drawn out struggle. As parents, we have all faced our challenges of trying our best to convey our importance to the ones we love. I observed then, and still that the parents who usually have the most success are the ones who are calmly confident and remain true to their words and actions. It is as if the child is yearning to see leadership in their parent in this manner. This is true for any age, is it not? Are we more apt to comfortably follow a person who is inconsistent and sporadic with emotions, or do we naturally gravitate to calm consistency and proven strategy? My point in this topic is to say, be all in as a parent. Remain true to yourself first, take the time to understand the needs of your child, and be supportive and proactive in whatever education process you choose for your child. Then watch as your consistency helps guide your child to finding education to be more enjoyable. Remember, they learn from you first, and they are listening. I think the most challenging part of parenting is to remain consistent, and that the consistency we choose determines the outcome.
As you read through these tips below, know that they are brief recaps. This is not a conclusive list, as so many values have been learned along the way. I've stated previously that I was not the perfect parent, nor perfect at educating while I learned homeschool along with my girls, but I was all in and so was my husband. The daily responsibility of homeschooling was mine in part, but we as parents were together on this being the best choice for our girls. (This in itself could be a full point expanded.) We were also all in to homeschooling no matter what the perspective of the rest of the world was at the time in regards to our decision. Each of us are given as parents the tremendous privilege to guide our children in the best way we are able to determine. One of the best things I observed along the way is the simple reflection how each of us are wired so differently for unique interests. To witness each of my girls growing and choosing their fields of interest and developing in that, was for me one of life's greatest blessings. Time passes so quickly, especially during those busy years. Observing as your child becomes who they are meant to be is both a joy and a privilege. We are very proud as parents of the strong individuals, gifted women each of our girls have become.
Be Prepared for the Day
Don't try to be the "Perfect Parent"
No different than in life itself, there are going to be days that just feel like things are backwards, or imperfect. Don't try to be without fail. Rather, let your kids learn from you how you grow through challenges. There is no "perfect way" of educating. There is only learning strategies that are improved upon all the time, and people who are inventing them. Explore what works best for your family. Rather than setting perfection as a goal based off traditional styles of education, strive for the greatness that your child is capable of reaching. Embrace the opportunity to help your child find the best way they enjoy learning about life and how they will use what they learn to impact our world for the better.