Friday, February 17, 2017

Homeschooling 101

Our last UHSG Support and Planning Meeting focused on the essentials of homeschooling. Whether you have been homeschooling for just a few months, or for many years, sometimes we all need a reminder of what is really important.  Here is a list of fourteen things you need to homeschool:

*Adapted from - 20 Things You Need to Homeschool*

14 Things You Need to Homeschool

 1. Flexibility - things don’t always go as planned, learn to roll with the punches and step outside of the schedule for maximum enjoyment and flexibility. Projects won’t turn out well, resources will be unavailable, your kids will want to learn things you can’t teach...creativity is needed to figure out a solution! Homeschooling will definitely hone your ability to improvise.

2. Insight - remember that your family is unique and shouldn't be compared to others. One curriculum choice may not be a good fit for all the children in your household. You know your children best, and therefore you are qualified to determine what works, and what doesn't, within your homeschool.

3. A library card. This is a must for many reasons.

4. Internet - the internet is a wonderful way to get support from other homeschoolers, find awesome activities to do, find curriculum, look up the answers to all the questions the kids ask...that it’s well worth the expense.

5. Patience... really, lots and lots of it. Patience with yourself, your kids, strangers you meet on the street...

6. A willingness to listen. Listen to your child and pick up their body cues to determine when something isn’t working and when something is working.

7. A willingness to change. You may have paid a million dollars for that new curriculum, but if it’s causing tears and anger it’s not worth it, it just isn’t.

8. A sense of fun and adventure! Learning doesn't have to take place while seated at a desk. Don't be afraid to get creative with your learning experiences. Homeschooling allows us to do so many things with our children that we might never have done before. Living in Europe, this is even more true, with endless travel opportunities.

9. A sense of humor! This is a really important one, as we all feel frustrated and impatient at times.

10. A way to organize - Experiment with finding an organizational method that works for you.

11. Knowledge of the law - know the law in your state/province better than the school officials do, and know how it’s practically applied. This can be important to those who know what state they will be returning to.  It is helpful to know the requirements that you will have to meet once you return home from your time overseas.

12. An arts & craft budget. Know the locations of stores in your area that sell school, office, and art supplies. Amazon is great, but sometimes you need things "right now." Tedi Euro, Aldi, Lidl, Globus, Kaufland, Real, and Toom are a few local places that have supplies you may need throughout the school year.

13. Support! This is often overlooked, especially when we are first starting a homeschooling adventure. Finding a support group should be at the top of your list. A support group can be entirely on-line, an actual local group, or a combination. Interacting with other homeschooling families is super important, so get involved.  The UHSG is here to help you do just that!

14. YOU. The most important part of homeschooling is YOU. Remember to schedule time during the week that is just for you. If you enjoy some quiet reading time, schedule it. If you enjoy going to the gym or running, schedule it. If you enjoy yoga, or painting, or writing, or even just walking in the woods, schedule it. Don't allow the activities which are important to you to get pushed aside for homeschooling. You will be a happier and more patient teacher if you keep doing the things that make YOU a content human being.