Have you chosen to Homeschool? Are you still considering the pros and cons? Have you lost your way and need to get back to basics? Then this blog post is for you!
The first steps into your homeschool journey can be a very daunting task. As you dive into this unknown world, we start to doubt ourselves and our ability to educate our children. The task of gathering a curriculum, buying books and supplies and preparing to teach children of different ages at the same time may be disheartening. I am going to try to give you some hints on how to proceed. I do not have it all figured out and I do have my weak days but I am just putting together my experiences with lots of reading and research that I have done and hoping that it would make your journey a tiny bit easier.
1.Know the Education Law
Read the education law and make sure you know all your rights as well as your duties in order to be able to plan your homeschool journey without encountering problems with authorities on the way. (I WILL UPDATE THIS AS SOON AS THE NEW EDUCATION ACT IS IN FORCE)
2. Get a Vision
Create a vision statement for your homeschool journey. This will be your backbone to fall upon every time doubt and uncertainties creep in. Define your goals and why you are choosing to homeschool in the first place. This will help you solidify your decision and get you back on track if you lose focus or get discouraged.
3. Get online
As a homeschool mom, you WILL get lonely, you will feel that you are alone and cut off from the world. This page is a good place to start for any Maltese Homeschool Family. We would love to hear from you and encourage you in any way we can. Join our Homeschool in Malta facebook group and there are also lots of international homeschool groups on Facebook with lots of moms who are in your same boat!! Don’t let yourself be cut off alone! As that will affect you, your husbands and your children.
4. Homeschool Methods
As homeschool became an increasingly popular choice across the world, several different approaches to homeschool have also emerged . Get informed and choose what best method fits your family. You may want to choose one method or merge them together or even create your own. Very often as you read through these, one or two may stand out to you and sound like they are just what you want for your kids’ education, well that’s a good place to start. But remember never to box yourself into a specific approach, remain flexible in order to best accommodate all your children’s learning styles. You can read about all the Homeschool methods here.
5. Set a budget
Set a spending limit per child per year depending on what you can afford. Homeschool will cost as much as you want it to. I suggest keeping a record of where you are spending most money in order to re-evaluate your budget better the following year. Please do not get carried away with buy stuff!! There are a lot of free resources online, our library is available for you too and do speak up before buying books, we may have it sitting on our shelf ready for you!
6. Choosing Curriculum
This links up with my previous point. I will not go into too much detail about curricula as that would take me a week. This really depends on your family’s needs, teaching method you are leaning towards and your budget. I usually start by choosing which subject I want to teach each child. Find what is available online, if I find nothing that fits my plan, I ask other moms, read reviews and then buy books. Amazon is usually a great place to start, I often buy used books from there are they are quite cheap.
7. Team Work
Homeschool will take up quite a bit of your time. However, all your other household chores still need to be done. Get your kids to help out. Have the family work as a team. This teaches your children all about responsibility, caring for others and good stewardship. From my experience, I know that husbands do not want to come home to messy floors and a kitchen table full of crayons and papers so just before hubby comes home, we dedicate about half an hour to pick up everything and clean all the dirty dishes. Creating (or downloading) a chore chart may help.
One thing I have learnt in my time with the kids at home is grace!! Grace with kids and their messes, grace with my husband and most of all grace with myself and my plans that often times don’t work out. Rest when you need to and ask for help whenever you are
feeling weak. Other homeschool moms know what you are going through and I find that they judge much less than everyone else around you.
There is a lot more to write about the subject really but I know you will find all you need for you and your family. Do not put too much pressure on yourself, do not get carried away with all the amazing ideas that you find all over facebook and on pinterest. I personally find that when I choose to be simple and minimal in all aspects in our house, things work much smoother.
I hope that you find this helpful. Please leave a comment for us, we love to hear from you.