There has been a drastic increase in the number of parents who have started homeschooling officially. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown many parents that they can actually homeschool their kids and that they actually enjoy it. I wrote a piece about a few things to consider before homeschool now, I think it is still important. But if you have made the final decision and aren’t sure what the next step is, keep reading.
It is important to keep in mind that homeschooling looks different to the online school you have been doing with your child’s school. Homeschooling is a lot more fun because you have complete control over everything.
It will also take some time to adjust to your new routine. Be patient with yourself and your children.
Once you have decided that you want your family to become homeschoolers, follow these steps to help you get on your way.
Check out the legalities. My advice is to join the Pestalozzi Trust. Read all the information they have available and familiarise yourself with the legalities around homeschooling in South Africa. It is not as overwhelming as you might have been led to believe. Knowledge is power so equipe yourself with as much knowledge as possible so that you feel comfortable with the decisions you have made. Some people will tell you not to register, some will say you must. Others will say don’t talk about your journey while others will say don’t hide it. Do what feels right for you and your family.
Understand your WHY for homeschooling. Do this before you pick a curriculum because it will have an impact on what you decide. Be clear on why you decided to homeschool and what you want to achieve. It doesn’t really matter why you have made the decision, as long as you know what you want to achieve.
Research curriculums. Take some time to do this. There are so many options available, take the time to do some research. There are formal boxed curriculums that you can follow, like we are doing with Kiara. Check out Impaq, Think Digital and Cambridge. Love2Learn also has a boxed curriculum. Alternatively you mix and match and pull study units from a few sources depending on your child. This is what I am doing with Jack and Emma. We use a combination of Twinkl, Khan Academy and Pinterest. This exercise takes a little bit of time, don’t rush through it. Ask existing homeschoolers for their input, google different options and read as much as you can. My advice on this is don’t rush into buying anything too quickly, give yourself and your kids some time to find your groove. Se7en has been homeschooling for many many years, her blog has invaluable information on it.
If you have little kids, it might be easier to pick a few subjects you want to focus on and then find age appropriate work that covers those subjects. Our focus has been Maths, English, Art and some science. This year I have introduced History and Geography.
The beauty of homeschooling is that you can change the way you are doing things at any point.
Find a tribe. This will take some time but reach out to other homeschooling moms in your area. Find out if there are co-ops or get togethers. It might take some time to find a group that works for you and your child, you don’t have to just join the first group you find. We attend an Eco club once a week and are part of a nature co-op. We do also join up with a few other social events that happen in our area. Homeschooling can be lonely if you let it, so take the time to find a few families in your are you can connect with.
Start with a plan. Routine is important, we all know this. When you are trying to juggle work and homeschooling, you do need a plan and a routine. That routine may look different for every family, the important thing is to find a groove that works for your kids. My kids are up early so we start early but if you like to sleep in, then start later. Having said this though, be flexible. If your routine feels to prescriptive and rigid, change it up until you find the one that works for you.
I would love to hear if you have recently made the decision to homeschool your kids.