40 Tips for Successful Homeschooling

These tips consist of 40 positive attitudes of parents should have for successful homeschooling. Many parents get upset when making and running homeschool for their child. That is common and natural pulse for parent who want the best education for their child. However sometimes everything does not run very smoothly. The child may not get the expected progress or he shows negative attitudes for homeschooling. Parents in what ever condition should make a routine correction for what have be done instead of blame their child. Here are some tips which may open your wider perspective about running homeschooling your child.

1. You have to be flexible
When we write out lesson plans and have a schedule [which are important], it can be all too easy to remain bound by these rather than using them as tools. Keep your days flexible and allow for the natural flow of learning as it comes. If you have in your plans to read about birds and it leads to going outside and studying nests and trees, go for it! Our children are experts at leading us with questions. Explore while their curiosity is peaked.

2. You have to mor relax on your standards
You're not having school-at-home; you're homeschooling. While I think as mothers/teachers our standards for ourselves can be high, let’s keep the standards for our children at a reasonable level. There’s nothing wrong with expecting excellency from our children, but sometimes these standards can actually get in the way of achieving that simply because we become too focused on meeting it. Our children are going to make mistakes; they are going to fail. This gives us the opportunity to teach and guide them and watch them flourish as they grow. Don’t allow yourself to become frustrated over a standard that may not be realistic for the stage of your child. Relax!

3. Just let the bad days go of
We all have them. It’s inevitably going to happen. But don’t dwell on them and don’t allow them to discourage you. Let them go. Sometimes even in the crux of a bad day, it’s OK to scrap the schedule, scrap the plans and do something out of the ordinary. Begin again tomorrow and let the bad day go. Having several bad days? Rearrange some things, or try a different method. Be mindful of your child’s sleep patterns and diet. Sometimes  adjustments need to be made. But sometimes, kids have bad days, too.

 4. You need to have a plan
While being relaxed and flexible are good, and necessary at times, it’s really important to have a plan, a map of sorts, for where you want to head during the year. Even if the plan is a loose one, it really helps you to have some direction and focus on doing something intentional. For myself, I feel lost without some kind of idea of what I want to accomplish throughout the year, and even breaking that down into weekly bits.

5. You also need to have fun
Teaching your children can be a fun and enjoyable time. While having authority and order are essential, coming along side your children and simply doing life together while learning are the best years of your lives together. Have fun and enjoy them!

6. You need to read and read again
But don't read too many "This is the way to teach your child" books. You'll end up confused and convinced that you can't do it. Instead, read a few "how-to" books and lots of books on world history, philosophy, religion, biology, psychology, literature, and other topics. If you don't know where to start, go to the library and look up all the children's books on the subject in which you're interested. The children's books will give you an overview, with easy-to-understand explanations that provide a base for more advanced learning.

7. You need to choose the program which fit your child's learning style
What kinds of activities does your child enjoy most? Does she count with blocks, love fingerpaint and modeling clay, enjoy taking apart and putting together Legos or other building toys? Does he enjoy being read to or listening to cassette recordings of storybooks? Or is she happiest curled up with a good book and silence all around?

People learn in all three ways: kinesthetic, auditory, and visual. Of course, children learn through all their senses, unless they're physically disabled. However, since everyone tends to lean to one specific learning style, you can increase your child's learning enjoyment by adapting the curriculum to fit his style.

8. You need to try lots of stuff for teaching your child
How much would you pay for nine months at a private school? Probably $3500 and up. You don't need to spend that much to teach your children at home, but you shouldn't skimp, either. Education is at least as important as the amount you spent on Christmas last year, or on a trip to Disney World, or on a new Magnavox 31-inch television with a built-in VCR. If you set aside a specified amount for home school supplies at the beginning of the school year, you'll feel freer to buy that set of art prints or those German language tapes than if you have to dip into the family budget.

9. You have to write out your reasons for homeschooling and educational goals for each subject
Why do you want to teach your own children? Do you want to ensure their religious training, academic achievement, individuality, continuance of family/ethnic traditions? Are you simply crazy? (You will be asked this plenty of times, believe me.) When the rubber hits the road, you'll need to have written-out reasons for taking on this more-than-full-time job, so you can read them often. That way, you'll remember why you chose to keep your kids home when everyone else was merrily pushing theirs onto the big yellow school bus. Educational goals should focus on outcomes. What do you want your child to be able to do as a result of having been taught this material?

10. You have to realize that sometimes it's not fun
Nothing is fun all the time. Going to work isn't always fun. Running a household isn't always my idea of a good time. And sometimes I'd rather dig in my garden than teach my kids. Don't get me wrong. Life should be enjoyable and fulfilling. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to slog through the hard parts in order to make way for the good.

If you've done all you can to make grammar fun and the kids still gripe, explain that even though it's tough, an intelligent person must have a grasp of correct grammar. You can sweeten up the drudge with rewards along the way. For instance, I use index cards colorfully decorated with the words, "Coveted Candy Bar Card— Redeemable for one candy bar," to reward my kids for perfect papers. Or I give them something to look forward to, such as a "field trip" to an amusement park or campground after a particularly hard semester of schoolwork.

11. You have to give it a year
One year of home education will not irrevocably harm your child, even if the only "schooling" you do is reading lots of books. (We're talking here about a literate family who gets out to the library now and then.) On the other hand, after a year, you should be able to tell if home education has been a success for you and your kids.

Be generous in your judgment of "success." Maybe your family has suffered a financial setback, death, illness, childbirth, or the like (in other words, normal life), and you've all had to pitch in to make it through tough times. In that case, "success" may mean a closer relationship between parents and children, and perhaps a talent discovered in carpentry, nursing, or clothing design. These family lessons are priceless and can only be taught at home, not in a public or private school setting.

12. You have to do unit studies
The beauty of a unit study is that the whole family can study a subject at the same time. You can take an armchair tour of a different European country every month, or follow the chronology of classical music throughout history. You may decide to take an in-depth look at Eastern religions for a semester. Or you can select a species of animal, research it, and then plan a field trip to its natural habitat.

In a unit study, each family member works to the limit of his ability. For an activity on a unit study covering the Revolutionary War, first graders may make a model of a hornbook with the alphabet and numbers printed on it. Ninth graders may reenact the signing of the Declaration of Independence. You don't have to leave out the primary wage-earner when you do your unit study. Make posters charting the taxonomy of living things and hang them on the dining room walls. Plan an ethnically appropriate meal and have the kids cook and serve it. Watch a library video on Germany after dinner one evening.

13. You have to balance the  life skills with academic skills
Driving a car. Planning and preparing a meal. Mowing the lawn. Re-shingling the roof. Sewing kitchen curtains. Balancing the household budget. These are life skills and, while we may think they don't take a lot of brain power, life skills will most likely mean the difference between your child's future independence or her ineptness. It's extraordinary how much we worry about whether our children are learning biology, but then neglect to teach them the correct way to paint a room or a house, how to iron a shirt, how to cut or trim hair, or how to fix the toaster. Instead, we do these things ourselves or pay others to do them for us.

Make a list of life skills you'd like your kids to know before they leave your tender care. Teaching these skills not only helps the family now, but ensures that your kids will be able to take care of themselves later. And the number one tip for home educators:

14.  You need to enjoy yourself
Did you study the subjects you wanted to learn during your educational career? More important, do you remember any of it? My three years of French have withered away to one feeble chorus of "La plume de ma tante." I have even less memory of my Algebra II class (except that the teacher pronounced the word "function" in a very interesting way). Now I'm learning German and taking guitar lessons. And algebra is more understandable without all the distractions I had in tenth grade.

Who says school is for kids only? Now's your chance to listen to all of J.S. Bach's works for organ, investigate the ecology of your part of the country, or read up on hot air balloons. There's no limit to what you and your kids can learn when you have the freedom that home education brings.

15. You need to get children involved in some kind of sport or other activity that they like.
 Don't force them to do anything but don't let them give up too easily, either. These activities get children to socialize and also teach important life skills such as making friends, and keeping commitments.

16. You have to prepare Yourself.
Realize that you care about your child's future more than anyone. Therefore, you are uniquely qualified for the role of homeschooling parent. Homeschooling is a big responsibility, but if you mold it to your family lifestyle it works well and doesn't mean you, as a parent, have no other life outside of home educating your children.

17. You have to determine Your Home Education Style.
Examine your own intentions and motivations. Why do you want to home educate? What do you consider a ‘good’ education? What do you believe about children, teaching, and learning? How do your children seem to learn best? These questions can help you determine what approach to take, and help you create a learning environment that will be best for your family and your children. Learn about the different home education methods, such as

18. You need to make a plan for your Curriculum.
The enormous volume of material and methods that are available can be very overwhelming for a new home educating parent. Identifying your approach will help narrow things down. (For example, unschoolers usually have a wide variety of resources for their children to experience, but no formal curriculum. Authentic classical education involves teaching reading, thinking, and speaking to substantial mastery. There are many resources to help you navigate through the maze of ideas. Libraries and bookstores have books on home education methods, experiences, and proven curricula. The internet offers a never-ending source of information as well: basic information on various subjects, online curriculum and supply ordering, articles about methodologies, support groups, and public school curricula. The internet even has free lessons on most subjects from teachers, other home educators, and even television stations. Research, read, and plan what you want to teach and how.

19. You need to look for local support.
You can find local groups that meet regularly, organizations that put on periodic seminars or conventions, or even online groups that swap ideas and resources on it. Many groups set up co-op classes - taught by other parents - in a variety of subjects. If you start to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, or all alone in your family's educational pursuits, a support group can offer advice or just a reassuring acknowledgment from other parents that you are not alone. They are also an invaluable resource for tips on how to comply with the home education laws in your area.

20. You have to establish your home education legally.
Learn what is required to home educate legally where you live, then do what is necessary to work within that structure. Make sure you get a copy of the actual laws involved as well as discovering the current legal interpretation of those laws. Since home educators have a personal investment in ensuring they understand the homeschooling laws correctly, local support groups are often the best resource to steer you to the most accurate legal information in your area. Be advised that the legal requirements for home educators vary by country, state, and even sometimes by school district, so a bit of research will be required. HSLDA and AtoZ Home’s Cool provide useful guides to what it means to home educate legally (see external links.)

21. You have to prepare your children.
Explain to them what is going to happen in the months to come - including how daily life will be changing - for them and the family. To older children, make clear that though they may be leaving their school, it doesn't mean they are leaving their education or their friends. Ask them what they would be interested in studying (for example, if one loves star gazing, get a telescope and study astronomy). Be sure to get them excited. Home Education is fun!

22. You need to Inform you extended family.
Others in your family who care about you and your children can be helpful and give great support to your home education efforts - or they can be heartbreaking critics. Plan how you will tell them what you are planning to do, listen to their responses, and answer questions and concerns they may have. Help them understand that you are both prepared and determined, and don't let any negative attitudes get you down. They care, and over time as your children show success in their education at home, they very well may come around and be your greatest supporters.

23. You need to allow time to adjust with older children.
Often children who leave the standard educational system for home education need some time to adjust. Instead of immediately jumping into "school at home" you may want to do unstructured activities and then slowly work into your routine. Determine how much "recovery time" is needed for your particular child, then work with them to create a different and more enjoyable learning environment.

24. You need to studying with flashcards
Gather Supplies. Home Education supplies, like everything else in home education, vary greatly by teaching method. You can order textbooks, boxed curriculum, and learning tools online or at home educating curriculum and supply sales. For cheaper alternatives, many home educators use libraries, used book stores, curriculum swaps, thrift stores, and garage sales. Also, a back-to-school-sale at a local discount store or office supply store is the perfect place to get some of the basic supplies like pens, notebooks and glue.

25. Y ou need to plan your Day.
If you choose to have a more formal home education environment, you can prepare by gathering your lesson plans, materials, and textbooks together - or even by setting-up a room in your house for studies and activities. A different approach might mean your preparation involves setting up field trips for the rest of the year in every subject, placing learning objects around your home, or simply getting yourself into a mindset of using every day as a learning opportunity with no set plans or textbooks. However you choose to home educate, it can only be helped by planning and preparing as much as you can before you start.

26. You need to make benefit from a study garden
Look for hands-on activities. Everyone benefits from seeing things firsthand. Some activities that can be educational as well as easy to do are: gardening, cooking, sewing, composting, science projects, hiking, fixing the house, caring for pets, and taking apart broken appliances (just make sure there are no lasers or dangerous electronic components still active). Your children will learn different things depending on their ages, but everyone will come away better-educated.

27. You have to keep a portfolio of each child's work.
Thick, three-ringed binders with tab separators for each student are an excellent way to keep track of school work, along with whatever may be required from a legal standpoint. Label each tab with whatever subjects you are studying (for example: Math, Spelling, Language Arts, History, Biology, Spanish). After your child has completed a page under that subject, punch holes (using a three-ring hole punch) and snap the page into the proper section of their book. Remember to date each page or it will be a big jigsaw puzzle to figure out later. This is most useful when your child may be thinking of university study, as they often require portfolios of work from home educators.

28. You have to periodically evaluate your progress.
Progress evaluation happens naturally through the one-on-one process of home educating, although in some areas the law requires periodic formal testing or evaluation of home educators. Personal evaluation, however, should not only consider how your child is doing academically, but also how the process is working for everyone in the family. If the teaching methods are a poor match with your child’s learning styles, if the curriculum is too structured or not structured enough, or if the process of home educating seems to be making things worse rather than better, then it’s time for a change. Fortunately, change is something you can do fairly quickly with just a little research. If you feel uncomfortable with your level of knowledge on the subject, there are standardized progress tests (such as Fcat) that your child can take and then have the scores mailed to you, and you can find many other tests to order or take online.

29. You need trust your knowledge and instincts regarding your own children.
You are not only the one ultimately responsible for guiding your children's education, but you are often the one person best able to recognize what they do or do not need. Turn to evaluations and insights from others to help guide you, but trust your own instincts about what your children need to learn and do in their educational progress.

30. You need to have your child go to the park and to other public areas in the town to meet new friends.
If you child already had friends make sure they stay in touch. Do not force our child to become friends with a certain person, like maybe another home educated child. Remember even though another students parents might be your friend doesn't mean your child has to be friends with their child.

31. You need to join a Homeschooling Co-op or support group to talk to and share ideas with when things get difficult.
Sometimes you just need to know you're not alone. I have learned so much by observing other women interact with their children.

32. You need not feel pressured into recreating a classroom setting.
When I first started homeschooling, I tried to recreate a classroom setting similar to that of a public school system. I even had my children wear uniforms, which is not a bad idea, but in the end it didn't work for us.

I found that taking my children to the grocery store with a calculator taught subtraction and addition in a more tangible way. Trips to the library opened our hearts and minds to some of the finest literature and stories available, working side by side with my children taught them life skills in organization, cleanliness, administration, time management, budgeting, craftsmanship, and more. Children learn differently and have talents and abilities unlike their siblings or friends. Teach according to those differences, abilities, and talents. You may have to learn to be a bit more creative, but the bonus is less stress and happier children.

33. You need to listen to your husband's counsel.
If you have boys (and girls), the importance of going to your husband for wise counsel is necessary for your sanity and success. I cannot count the times my husband shared a tip or gave advice that worked wonders for me and the boys. One day my boy was giving me a hard time and I was trying to lecture him out of his funk (tip: lectures do not work on boys <-- tweet this ). I remembered a conversation I had had with my husband and it stopped me dead in my tracks. I instructed this man-child to grab his jacket and run twenty laps around the house. The twenty laps energized him so completely that after the run he organized the entire garage without being told to do so.

34.You need to give yourself permission to fail.
I have adopted strategies that have failed, but at least I know it doesn't work. The beauty of homeschooling is you can change something that isn't working in a matter of days. Sometimes a routine is all that is needed, maybe more flexibility, or maybe a day off. Don't beat yourself up. You'll figure it out!
Take a minute or two and write down the reasons you have chosen to homeschool; refer to them often as an encouragement when frustrated or confused.
Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that's in you, love him with all you've got! Write these commandments that I've given you today on your hearts.

35.  You need to accept that you can't do it all.
Actually you won't do it all and you don't have to. Period.  You don't have to teach every page in the book nor does your child need to finish every worksheet in his/her book. Most textbooks have a lot of review at the beginning and a lot of 'introduction' of next year's concepts at the end. That's a lot of overlap.  Not only that, some children get concepts more easily than others and so don't need as much practice. On the other hand, some may need more practice on a particular concept that what is offered in  the book.  Some lessons are more easily understood than others.  You make the call..don't let the books or your 'pre-conceived' ideas of what everyone else is doing push you around.  If you are doing school every day, you won't 'get behind'. Consistency is the key.

36. You have to be a loving mommy and wife.
Don't let your schedule and expectations spoil your attitude towards your children or husband. If you find yourself getting stressed, take a break and/or lower your  expectations. You are not going to teach perfectly and your children aren't going to learn perfectly. You've got tons of time!  When my children were elementary school age and I was having a new baby every other year, I focused on the three R's. I bought good resource books, like the Doring Kindserly books, and science and history books from the public library to leave around the house. It's amazing what the older boys picked up in the afternoons while I cleaned and paid bills.! When my oldest children were tested in science and history at the end of their elementary school years,  we discovered that they were in the 85th percentile! No questions, tests, or formal lesson plans. were used or administered.  They read their science and history textbooks like they would any other book, because they were interesting. And it all stuck. Besides, I knew they would be studying these things in depth for the next six years.  Why worry or get stressed out?

37.You need to maintain balance in your life by maintaining reasonable standards in every area of your life including school.
Don't sacrifice the rest of your homemaking duties and family relationships for the sake of a 'perfect' education. YIt isn't necessary and you will burn out if you do this.  Instead, simply understand that nothing will get done perfectly, but you can give every area of your life a certain level of care and maintenance.  Your children don't need the 'perfect' education...they need a 'good, strong, foundation in the 3 R's--and they need a loving happy home. You don't want them to 'hate' homeschooling do you? All my kids want to home school their children and that is the greatest tribute to my hard work all these years that I could ever ask for.

38. You must not compare your kids to other people's kids
This will stress you out to no end and put needless pressure on your and your children! You are who YOU are as a family. Share what you love but don't try to be what others are. Others will be better at some things than you. Other families have different priorities.  Be yourself and let your kids be themselves.  They will excel in what they love and be weak in some areas, just like public schoolers. Yes, you will be able to help them with deficiencies more than could be done in a large group setting, but some things can't be 'taught' away. Some kids are naturally better at math, spelling, art, writing, speaking etc.  So what?  We don't have to be great at everything!  A scientist doesn't have to be good at art and an artist doesn't have to be good at math. A homemaker doesn't have to excel at calculus, and a programmer, doesn't have to be good at creative writing.  Do you understand what I'm trying to say here?

49.  You need to take time to train your children
Discipline problems won't just 'go away'. You can't teach disobedient children. Just ask my Aunt Joan. She taught first grade for 20 years. There came a point where teaching simply wasn't possible any more. Children are not being trained in simple obedience and that leads to chaos in the classroom and that is just as true in the home school kitchen!  If children won't sit still, pick up toys, or be quiet, they are not going to do school work either. If they have an attitude issue, they will not be able to able to focus on school. Stop everything and deal with discipline issues in a loving way. Homeschooling is as much or more about character as it is about education. My children have excelled both in school and in jobs more because of their CHARACTER than their EDUCATION.

40.  You need to maintain a Certain Order and Routine. 
Start supper first thing in the morning. You will be too tired to cook at the end of the day. Do a load of laundry every day.  Pick up before bed, so the house won't be in total chaos first thing in the morning. A messy house and home schooling is just too discouraging to bear! Make a schedule of what order you are going to clean, teach, cook, etc. and then work on these tasks in that order but don't fret about the exact time everything is done, just the order. Start with the most important things first. Devotions, Dinner, Math, Reading, Writing, and Laundry are essential. Other things can wait. 

These 40 tips which consist of some positive attitude of homeschooler parent which seem to drive your success in homeschool are compiled from some sources: 
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