Things I Wished I’d Known Before I Started Homeschooling – #2 of 4

#2: You Don’t Have to Go It Alone

When we first started homeschooling, we lived in a very rural mountain community. The closest little convenience store was four miles away; it took about 20 minutes just to get to the nearest grocery store of any size. The children and I spent a lot of time by ourselves at home working through lessons together.

But we did have a playgroup. A friend of mine and I started it when our oldest children were about three years old, and we would meet once a week with other friends so the kids could interact with each other. And as they grew, the playgroup grew up too. It became more of an educational group that went on field trips and did science experiments together. Moms began not only sharing recipes and discipline strategies, but also lesson plans, unit studies, and other homeschooling resources.

The kids grew even older, our “educational group” continued, and many of the families began joining co-ops as well. At a co-op, parents teach the subjects they know well to a class of other homeschooled students.  While the kids still do most of the work at home, they have other adults they can go to if they need extra help.

You may think you have to excel in everything in order to give your children a solid education at home. The good news is: you don’t. In fact, I don’t know anyone who is able to teach every subject well. If you find a particular subject difficult to teach, see if you can find a homeschooling friend who can help you out. You might trade classes – you teach a subject you’re passionate about, and your friend teaches a subject she enjoys. You might form a weekly club and have various moms present different lessons. You might find a teacher online. Or you might even start your own co-op.

And the help doesn’t stop there! As homeschooling parents, we often need encouragement when we’re feeling overwhelmed. Be sure to find other homeschooling families to connect with on a regular basis. Share your struggles and get the support we all need from time to time. Homeschooling is hard, but with the help of fellow homeschooling parents, you’ll find your children can have an excellent, well-rounded, quality education.

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