Many times we look at all the things we should be doing when we homeschool and it can perhaps feel daunting. Please, don’t let that get you down. Please don’t feel like it is too much. But let’s flip the script and look at what you should not do in homeschooling.
5 THINGS NOT TO DO
When you look at requirements set by your state and weigh that up with what you know about the hours kids are in school, you can start stressing about how much time to spend each day homeschooling.
It is easy to think you need to match the hours with “at desk work” or formal learning. But remember that when you are one-on-one with your child you are more focused and intentional. Do I spend 4.5 hours a day with my children in formal learning? No. But we do our work and the rest is informal learning that qualifies for “education”.
Don’t also try to cram a lot of lessons in the day that will overtax your child. Remember that one of the reasons you are homeschooling is flexibility and not doing what schools are doing.
STICK WITH A CURRICULUM YOU DON’T LIKE
It is totally ok to say you don’t like a certain curriculum after you have started it. One of the worst things we can do is force our children to stick with something that will make them not want to learn.
Point in fact, you don’t even need to use a complete or partial curriculum. You could even stop using curriculum if you want to. Here is a video where I talk about this very thing.
NOT INVOLVING YOUR CHILDREN IN DIRECTION
I do feel that it is important to involve your children in the decisions and direction of homeschooling – particularly if they are older. Ask them what they are interested in. Find out what is important to them in homeschooling. When our children are involved in the process they are also invested in it. I have talked with my girls since before we started about homeschooling and what it is and why we wanted to start it. Each year we continue to ask if they want to continue and also ask what they would like to learn.
PUSHING TOO HARD
When we homeschool it can be tempting to push our children to get ahead. I would say “please don’t”. Allow your children to work at their pace, and if they move forward at a quicker pace – which is most likely when you are not dealing with the distractions of schools – then that is great. But don’t fall into the trap of pushing them to get grades ahead if they are not ready for it. Follow their developmental stages and what is age appropriate. There are some interesting studies out there about pushing kids too early. There is also a great book called “Better late than early” by Dorothy and Raymond Moore that addresses this.
NOT MAKING IT FUN AND FLEXIBLE
Homeschool should be fun. It should be enjoyable. But trying to do too much, pushing too much, and forgetting about play and field trips/excursions will only suck the joy. There should be fun and joy in each day.
Watch your children and assess how they are doing. Do they need a half day off, or even a few days to decompress? You need to be able to tweak and be flexible in your day or schedule.
Are there many other things we should not do? Probably. But these are the top 5 in my opinion. What are some of your top things you feel you shouldn’t do in homeschooling?