Some parents approach homeschooling with reluctance, while others couldn’t be more excited. Some may have decided on homeschooling due to a lack of other options, while others embrace it as a chance to invest in their children’s future.
Regardless of how enthusiastic you are about homeschooling or how you and your family have come to the decision to start, all parents are at risk of making common homeschooling mistakes. After all, even parents who were keen to start teaching their children at home can run the risk of becoming a taskmaster or facing burnout.
So, what are some common errors that homeschooling parents can avoid? Keep reading to find out how to enjoy a successful school year full of fun and learning with your children!
1. Insisting on Doing It All space
Many many parents fall into the trap of taking on everything themselves when teaching their children at home. But this is a big mistake for both you and your little learners as boredom and resentment can soon set in. Rather than trying to do it all, consider these options to lighten your load:
- Hire a tutor for one or more subjects. This is often beneficial if your children are learning a foreign language you don’t speak or other topics beyond your capabilities as a teacher.
- Share teaching duties between you and your spouse. Often, one parent does it all but both parents can and should be involved in some way. This shows your children that you’re both invested in their learning.
- Connect with other homeschooling families to see if they can help out. Many homeschooling parents join together for trips, but there’s no reason why you can’t share teaching duties too – especially if you excel at different subjects.
- Use video lessons and other online resources .
By reaching out for help from others, you and your kids are sure to enjoy the experience a lot more.
2. Overscheduling and Underschedulinga schedule
start of the academic year when you’re pumped about all the fun homeschool activities, field trips, and learning opportunities you have planned.
But this kind of overscheduling can often mean setting unrealistic expectations about how much your children can achieve in a set amount of time. On the flipside, underscheduling with too few fun homeschool activities to break up the day or not enough learning resources for fast learners can also be a nightmare.
So, by all means, create a schedule but make sure to be flexible and ready with a backup plan. This way, you won’t be disappointed or underprepared when your schedule has to change.
3. Hitting the Book
Following a curriculum for homeschooling that works for you and your family doesn’t mean book-learning all day long. Laying off the books and indulging in practical experiments, field trips, and even playing can often help dry and difficult subjects like science and maths easier for you to teach and easier for your children to understand.
This kind of blended learning along with support from online resources and guides makes for a much more rounded experience that your children are sure to find more engaging and memorable. What’s more, we all have different learning styles so it’s important to take this into account when choosing your homeschooling plan.
4. Trying to Replicate Regular School
One of the biggest benefits of homeschooling is that it introduces children to a new learning approach. But many parents make the mistake of trying to create a mini regular school at home. Activities and schedules soon become forced and oppressive, leaving children unable to go at their own pace and feeling like failures.
Avoid this by embracing the flexibility that teaching children at home allows. There will always be subjects that your children have no interest in. But the beauty of homeschooling means that you can choose an approachable and reliable program that lets your children work through it in a way that suits them.
The individualised and customisable nature of homeschool also means that children placed at different grades in different subjects don’t feel rushed to move along before they grasp a new topic or finish a book.
5. Forgetting to Take Breaks
It can be tempting to try to squeeze everything into a tight morning schedule so that you can take the afternoon off. But this kind of intense approach often leads to burnout and can hinder your children’s learning.
While it’s a good idea to tackle more challenging subjects first thing when you’re all feeling more alert, make sure to take a mid-morning break and then stop for lunch. To keep your children engaged, you might also want to mix things up with fun homeschool activities to shift the mood and keep your children engaged. This way, you can come back to learning in the afternoon without it feeling like such a long day and intense day.
6. Neglecting Your Schoolroom
Many homeschoolers work from the kitchen or dining room table. This often creates the wrong atmosphere for your schoolroom, while also making these areas of the home unusable for family activities throughout most of the day.
If possible, try to carve out a dedicated homeschool space for learning somewhere else in the house. But don’t think that a dreary spare room will cut it. Try to create a space that you and your children will look forward to working in. Bright colourful walls can do wonders, while hanging education posters, your children’s artwork, and bulletin boards will make your school room feel like a true learning hub.
7. Ignoring Your Children’s Input
Parents can get so wrapped up in their homeschool teacher role that they forget to check in on their children. Unlike sometimes totalitarian regular schools, an advantage of homeschooling is how much more of a collaborative process it can be. Embrace this by bouncing ideas off your children and coming up with plans together. They might just surprise you and feeling more involved when creating homeschool schedules will mean a lot to them.
Common Homeschooling Mistakes
Homeschooling can be a rewarding learning experience for both students and parents. That’s not to say that there won’t be tough days, of course! But, by avoiding these common homeschooling mistakes, you’ll feel more confident and capable as a teacher and your children will respond better as a result.
Have questions about teaching children at home? Curious to know how our curriculum could help you on your journey to homeschooling success? Feel free to contact us today for more information!