For Newbies

The real beauty of home schooling is in how it allows the freedom to tailor your approach to education to fit your child’s individual wants and needs.  It can be a wonderful experience for both your child and for yourself.  But it is definitely not always easy!  It can sometimes feel overwhelming as you are suddenly faced with so many choices and learning styles, you might be dealing with the concerns and negative opinions of others (here is a handy print-out to help you deal with that: HE Dispelling the Myths leaflet), or you might just feel a bit anxious or lonely as you start your journey.  Here are few words of wisdom from some real home educating parents to help you through some of the more challenging times:

“It’s OK to do nothing sometimes. You’ll see a lot of HE blogs, Pinterest boards etc. with loads of brilliant ideas. But you do not have to fill every single day with planned educational activities. It’s OK to just go to the park. It’s OK to just give them some paper and pens and let them scribble. It’s even OK to watch so many episodes of Horrible Histories that Netflix asks you if you’re still watching it. Don’t put pressure on yourself! What you see other people doing on Instagram is not their real life. HE is not a competition. Do what’s best for you and your children.”

Definitely ‘deschool’, have a break from structured learning (if you are taking your children out of school). Get to know them, play with them and enjoy their company. Children usually need some time to heal from school (as do parents!) if they have had an unpleasant time there.”

Learn something new yourself and spend time on a current hobby or get a new one. Sit and read yourself. Join in with things your children are doing, if they love playing Minecraft then get them to teach you and set up your own world or get involved in whatever it is they enjoy.

Don’t think you have to know something just so your child(ren) can learn it.

Try to remember that everyone will have a different point of view on how to educate but the only ones that matter are those of you and your children. Whether you use structured learning, completely un-school, going Pinterest-project crazy and joining every trip or keeping it simple and going with the flow, or maybe a bit of everything, or even if you decide that returning to school will work best for your family, it is YOUR choice and YOUR view that matters. There is no set right or wrong way, only the way that works best for your family. Also, try to respect that others are likely to take a different approach to your own and appreciate that they too are just doing what is right for their children.”

Do what works for you and your family. Relax and enjoy it.  It’s not a competition and you do not need to prove to anyone you are doing a good job. If you and your kids are happy you’re doing great!

If you are stuck on something, or an activity isn’t going to plan and is challenging, take a break, step back, move onto something else and try again later.”

Don’t panic. Take your lead from your children and listen to that inner voice that has told you to take this leap. Enjoy, I was HE as a child and I am now at home with my boys and it is a fantastic journey. It all does turn out okay, I am here to tell you it is all okay.”

Just remember that you are not alone!  We all have wobble moments and there will always be others who have been through the same.  When you are finding it tough then go along to a meet-up or share your worries in one of the local Facebook groups (see Useful Links page), there is a wealth of support available and our community really is a lovely one!

Good luck

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