When Christian families choose to make Christian homeschooling part of their lives, the task can seem very daunting. It often looks insurmountable when first starting out, but as in all things in life, it’s important to create a game plan to help alleviate some of the anxiety of the unknown.
By developing a plan, you create a road map to follow. There may be times when you deviate from the plan, but once you realize you have done so, you can simply go back to your road map and continue on the journey.
Before you start, consider the advice of one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time: “I think it’s the little things that really count. The first thing I would show our players at our first meeting was how to take a little extra time putting on their shoes and socks properly. The most important part of your equipment is your shoes and socks. You play on a hard floor. So you must have shoes that fit right.”
This sounds so basic, it’s almost silly. But if you don’t get the basics right, it will affect all of the other areas. Check your homeschooling “shoes and socks” with these five steps.
How to Homeschool: 5 Ways to Develop Your Game Plan
- Get A Handle On Your Curriculum
There are many types of homeschooling resources to help your kids succeed, but knowing the curriculum is always the place to start. Make sure you understand its rhythm and content. If you develop confidence in the curriculum you use, this confidence will splash over into your teaching and onto your kids’ learning. Find additional resources and media to support the learning experience in fun and interesting ways.
- Know The Laws In Your Area
Every state has different laws for homeschools. Do diligent research to ensure your homeschool is in compliance with these laws. Doing this will remove any issues that could occur with your child’s future class placement, as well as their eligibility to graduate. Be sure to get your ducks in a row when it comes to laws for teaching eligibility, homeschool eligibility, and the number of students in your school.
- Set Up A Separate School Space
It isn’t necessary to build a new addition to your home to ensure ample child development or success in your homeschool. However, it is important to set up a space that separates your school from your home. This will help your kids differentiate between home and school even though they are in the same building.
Kids like variety, but they also like sameness. Create an environment where they “feel” like they are in school, not just at the kitchen table. Setting up such a space will help them focus on their subjects and remove them from normal distractions.
Imagine sitting down to watch a movie with three loads of laundry in front of the screen. Could you fully concentrate? Probably not. It’s the same with your children when it comes to distractions. Creating a space that promotes learning and focus will lead to successful education.
- Create A Daily Rhythm
This may be difficult at first, but it’s vital for homeschool success. Develop a schedule for each day. For instance:
Breakfast: 7:00 a.m. to 7:25 a.m.
School begins: 7:45 a.m.
Daily School Schedule:
7:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
This is just an example of course, but it gives you an idea for the structure of your day. Once you know the day’s rhythm, schedule out the school day. Include breaks, times for outside activities, as well as study time. By scheduling out your day, you will begin establishing a routine for your kids. Having a set rhythm will promote learning and distinguish between school and non-school time.
- Connect With Your Local Community Of Home Educators
While the previous four items are extremely important in your game plan, this one is probably the most important to ensure a successful homeschool that doesn’t just survive but thrives. Even if you aren’t aware of others in your area who are homeschooling their kids, there are likely more than you realize. Do a search for homeschool groups and co-ops, then contact them for a meet and greet time. See if they’re a group you could work with to enhance the learning experience for your kids. Find a seasoned homeschool educator who could serve as a mentor to you. This relationship will be a vital resource for wisdom and homeschooling knowledge.
Executing Your Game Plan
Once you have developed your game plan, execute it daily, and try to not deviate from it. It’s not the end of the world if you deviate, but remember that road maps are usually trustworthy. Like Christian parenting, Christian homeschooling is rarely perfect, but by establishing a game plan and being deliberate in its execution, you’ll create an environment for everyone’s learning success.
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