The one thing I’m asked about most often when people begin homeschooling or start looking to travel full-time is curriculum. Everyone who is just starting out begins by trying to find a golden source that’ll work for everyone and comes as a set. But that just doesn’t exist. Sorry, there’s no one-size-fits-all in education. Much like life.
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If I had to tell you 5 main things when it comes to getting started with homeschooling though they would be:
- Figure out who your child is and how they learn. You may already know this or you may need to take a break before starting “school” to figure it out. Make messes, play games, create together, and just live. They’ll show you who they are.
- Don’t try to recreate “school” at home. This works for some but for the vast majority this is a spiraling nightmare that often ends poorly for everyone in the family. Just don’t. Please? It rarely goes well.
- Give Masterbooks a try. Even if it’s just “More Than Words” and “Math Lessons for a Living Education”. It’s inexpensive, well-rounded, open & go, and honestly if it’s doesn’t fit, okay, but if it does your whole world might change. 👌
- Keep it simple early on! Think about this. Schools get your kids for 6-8 hours a day 180 days a year for 13 years with 25+ kids per class vying for attention. Homeschoolers get 24/7/365 for 16-18+ years where their kids are their main focus. In the beginning, all they really need is math, reading, and real life. If you can teach them to do basic math, to enjoy reading, and to love learning then they can go anywhere and do anything! The limits are endless when they find their passions and have the skills to delve into it. Go explore, try new things, and let them live. They’ll get there and you’ll have one hell of a journey watching them grow…probably while growing right along with them.
- Grace. Lots of grace. For your children. For yourself. For your spouse/loved ones. Grace, compassion, humility, and forgiveness all around. You’re going to have your good days and your tiring moments. You’re going to slip and struggle. You’re sometimes going to need to step back and just live life without doing lessons, activities, or projects. And that’s okay! Don’t be ashamed to ask for forgiveness when you lose your temper. Don’t be afraid to take a month long break when life just gets hard. Don’t be afraid to throw a curriculum book into the fire pit when it doesn’t fit your family or let your child shoot it full of holes when they’ve completed it and want to celebrate. The most important thing to remember is you’re raising whole humans here. It isn’t a race or a competition to see how fast they can learn or who can do more. This is real life. Live it and let it be raw.
For our favorite reading curriculum, check out All About Reading.