Transitioning your family to homeschooling is easier than you think and can even be a fun experience. It is important to help your child transition to homeschooling since nearly everything they know about “school” will be changing.
My oldest went to a private school for his 1st-grade year as I had to work full-time outside of the home. It was the hardest year and most destructive to his education.
I sent him knowing how to add and subtract in his head, using phonics to read new words he stumbled on and he came home using his fingers to figure out all of his math problems and guessing what new words were.
In one year outside of homeschooling, he had forgotten the most important steps that I had spent nearly two years teaching him on my own.
From that moment on, I made the decision that both of my children would be homeschooled through high school.
Transitioning to homeschooling isn’t difficult, but there are a few things that you can do to make the process easier for both you and your children.
Helping Your Child (and you!) Transition to Homeschooling
One of the most common ways to start the transition from traditional schools to homeschooling is to spend sometime deschooling.
Deschooling is the process of taking time away from structured academics to allow your child to find joy in learning again. This time is spent on field trips, reading books, and exploring lessons hands-on.
Encourage your child to find a hobby (or hobbies) they enjoy.
Homeschooling takes significantly less time than traditional public and private schools. One of the biggest reasons is that they do not have to wait for a classroom full of kids to quiet down for class to begin. This means that your children will have more time on their hands to pursue things that truly interest them.
Allow your child to have a say in what they will be learning.
Even if the majority of your curriculum is coming from a complete boxed set, ask your child what they actually would like to learn about. If need be, plan extra lessons to help them learn what interests them. This step is extremely important to encourage and inspire life long learning.
- One on One Time
Spend time with your child alone.
When kids are away for 8 plus hours a day they don’t always get the one one one time they need with their parents. Homeschooling gives you more time to meet this need for your child. This can be a great way to make the transition easy and fulfill your child’s emotional needs.
- Keep Old Friends
Before you pull your child from school have your them get the phone numbers and addresses of their friends.
This is will allow you the opportunity to contact their parents and set up a time for your child to spend time with their friends outside of school. The most common fear children have when leaving school is that they won’t see their friends again. This is a simple way to alleviate that fear.
- Find New Friends
Make time for your child to play with other kids.
One major concern whenever homeschooling is mentioned is socialization. Kids do not need to be kept socially isolated to homeschool. In fact, most homeschoolers have much better social skills because they spend so much time with people of all ages. However, kids still need time with other kids.
- Have Fun
Throw a party.
On your first day of homeschooling throw a not back to school party. Stay in your PJs all day, eat treats and watch a movie. Make your first day of homeschooling as fun and positive as possible.
This can set the tone for the school year or remainder of a school year while helping to calm any anxiety your child is feeling over the change. Encourage your child to help you plan to make the party exciting! Homeschooling is a family journey, the more your kids are involved in the planning the better it will be!
The best thing you can do to help your child transition is to give them a little grace.
The transition to homeschooling can reveal cranky kids and for a time you may struggle to get them to do their schoolwork. Go easy on your child during this transition and have faith that it will get better as your child adjusts.
Anytime you start something new, there will be challenges along the way. Yet, through the difficulties, you grow and on the other side, you look back knowing at those accomplishments with pride.
Transitioning to homeschooling will not be easy at times. Though the memories waiting to be made and the opportunities that await you abound.
You can do this. Homeschooling your children isn’t as hard as it may seem. The outcome? Relationships. Learning. Memories. Fun.