Homeschooling is a rewarding way of life. It’s definitely not the easy road, but it allows you to give your kids a well-rounded education that you approve of. No homeschooling situation is perfect; you WILL make mistakes along the way.
Don’t look at mistakes as a bad thing though, as we can all learn from them. Sometimes, it’s best to learn from other people’s mistakes before you make them. A lot of people have made mistakes while homeschooling, it just comes with the territory.
If you’re a new homeschool mom, be sure to check out Dos and Don’ts Your First Year Homeschooling
Here are 7 common mistakes that you can easily avoid as you teach your children throughout the years.
Biggest Homeschooling Mistakes & Tips for Avoiding Them
#1. Following the Crowd and Not Focusing on Your Own Journey
The neat thing about homeschooling is your children don’t have to be learning at the same pace as everyone else. Your child might be miles ahead academically than students their age, or they might need a little extra time on certain fundamentals that haven’t clicked with them yet.
That’s okay. Work with your child on where they are at. If they are quick learners, don’t slow them down on repetitive learning they have already mastered, and vice versa.
You might be good friends with other homeschooling parents and find yourself worrying that your children are not at that level yet. Stop comparing and continue on your homeschooling journey at a pace that keeps your kids interested.
#2. Strictly Following a Curriculum With No Fun Involved
Put yourself in your children’s shoes. If you were doing the same curriculum and format every day for an entire school year, you would get burnt out long before winter or spring break.
Homeschooling will become a burden and more of a fight every morning if you don’t throw in something to change things up once in a while. Take a day where you go on a field trip where you can teach them about the world around them.
Take them places where they can see how things are made. Have them watch a documentary or great educational cartoons like the magic school bus. Not only will your kids enjoy this, you as a parent can get a break and have fun with it as well.
#3. Not Building a Homeschool Tribe That Supports You
Allow your kids to see other homeschooling families and their kids so they know they’re not alone. Having recess together at the park will give your children the interaction with other kids their age that they need.
Having other parents alongside you will give you the motivation and encouragement you need.
Interested in other ways you can build a homeschool tribe? Joining a co-op for homeschooling is a great way kids can be in a classroom environment with other homeschoolers. It’s also a great way for other homeschool moms or dads can teach your children.
#4. Setting Up Unrealistic Expectations for your Kids & Yourself
It’s a great idea to set attainable goals that can be reached at various points of the year. Just make sure they are realistic goals that can be reached without you and your child getting upset about it.
A good example would be: If your child is in second grade and is still reading at a kindergarten level, don’t expect them to be reading at a second grade level by winter break.
Every child learns and catches on at different times, so don’t frustrate you and your child over it. While you do need to push your children, make sure it’s not at the expense of your family. Once they reach a milestone, celebrate with your children.
#5. Over-scheduling Your Family on a Daily Basis
Another area to avoid each day is over-scheduling the day with too much learning and unnecessary fillers.
Having too high of expectations running alongside an over-scheduled day will lead to disaster. Try and mix up each day with what subjects they will be working on, and allow time for breaks, and have different cutoff times each day.
Taking breaks, while running errands and extracurricular activities, is a good thing that you and the kids can do together. However, having too many extracurricular activities, with very little time left for learning, is not good either.
Try and find a healthy balance so you can accomplish both learning and errands needing done along the way.
#6. Not Listening to Your Child When They Tell You Something
Sometimes parents of homeschool kids get set on how things are going to be. If your children are expressing their feelings about frustrations with homeschooling, don’t ignore it.
Let them know that their thoughts matter, and try and find ways of helping them through these feelings. When they know you’re on the same team, they will be able to cooperate, and learn better.
#7. Not Knowing When to say No
Not knowing when to say no to extra activities can be hard. There have been several instances when I said yes to something, when I should have said no. A huge mistake in homeschooling is saying YES, when you should have said no.
Saying “no” to other things can give you the time and energy you need to help your child get that extra one-on-one learning time.
These are a few things to avoid while homeschooling your children. What other mistakes have you made while homeschooling your children that didn’t show up in this article?