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Although I completed my time as a homeschool mom almost two years ago, I can still share the ABCs of homeschooling with you.
It’s entertaining and exciting to look at homeschooling in this way.
I will explain some of them along the way, but most of them are self-explanatory.
ABCs of Homeschooling
A–Attitude; Art supplies; Art classes; Afternoons
If you don’t have a positive attitude toward homeschooling and learning, it will be hard to succeed.
My daughter took a lot of art classes, so she had totes full of art supplies. One of her classes even gave her a plastic toolbox with the tools for that specific class.
Afternoons are great for working on schoolwork. You don’t have to get up early unless you just want to when you are homeschooling.
B–Books; Binders; Boldness; Bowling Balls; Bravery
Books are obvious, right? However, you can use books for the curriculum or simply allow your kiddo to read whatever he/she would like to read.
Binders are something else. You can make binders for each subject or have one big binder that keeps up with work that you want to hold on to for later. One thing I did was keep a binder for test schools, attendance, immunizations, and other important papers.
Be bold. Tell people that you are homeschooling. Don’t be afraid of what others will say about your decision.
Bravery is needed when you are going to try new things.
Bowling balls were part of our homeschooling supplies. My daughter began bowling as a freshman in high school. By the time she graduated, she was a nationally-ranked junior amateur bowler. She bowled in the local youth league, on the NC All-Star team, on the local travel league team, and in individual and team tournaments. There were a couple of colleges that talked to her about coming to bowl at their schools, but she decided not to bowl competitively after high school. Although she only bowled competitively for 4 years, she had a bag of supplies (like tape, NuSkin, towels, and rosin bags), and she had 8 bowling balls. They all do different things on different types of oil patterns.
C–Curriculum; Conferences; Computer; Compassion; Curiosity; Calculator; Classes
Most of the Cs of the ABCs of homeschooling are on the list of self-explanatory items.
You will need to choose a curriculum for your child to use.
Your child will probably need a computer that you purchase because he/she will have to do some work on it. Writing papers would be a big thing to have a computer for, but your student may have online classes.
Before we began homeschooling, I attended a homeschooling conference about 2 hours from our house. My husband and I were able to see the books and talk to people about the curriculum and classes. We could ask questions during panels and at the different display booths. It was great being able to get all my questions (and I had a ton of them) answered before we jumped into homeschooling.
D–Desk; Dinner; Dining Room; Decisions; Dishes
We had to make a lot of decisions before we began homeschooling. Some were easy to make, but some were difficult. In NC, I don’t know about other places, you have to name your homeschool. That took us weeks to do, but we ended up with the name Boundless Triumphs Academy. We thought it spoke volumes in just a few words.
Our daughter had a desk, but she did most of her work at our dining room table (or at my parents’ table).
We tried to be sure that all of her work was completed by the time we had dinner every night. Obviously, we controlled the schedule, but there were times more work had to be done. Part of her Life Skills class was to wash the dishes. When I tell you that anything can be part of homeschooling, believe me, it can.
Before you begin homeschooling, you have to set expectations. The state where you live may have some expectations, and you have to meet those. Other than that, you set your own expectations. Set what you want for the endgame; for us it was graduation. Then, be sure you know your expectations for the year, month, week, and day. Each lesson needs to have expectations set, and you can measure those daily or weekly.
F–Faith; Fun; Family; Flashlights; Forgiveness; Fairness
Most of these go together. They are just a few of the qualities you need to keep close by when you are homeschooling. Faith, fun, forgiveness, and fairness are great to have all the time, but you need to be sure that you have them for homeschooling as well.
Yes, our homeschool was a Christian homeschool, but even if you aren’t religious, you need faith. Faith in yourself that you can do whatever is needed for your child and his/her education.
Flashlights are great to use when you are looking for things for science class at night.
Family can be a great support. As I said in my post last week about homeschool myths, my daughter did most of her work through her first two years of high school at the dining room table at my parents’ house. I was working full time or close it for those two years. My dad had retired already, and our daughter was able to stay there with him.
G–Goals; Grace; God; Google
Google is one of your best friends when you need answers or advice about homeschooling. I had to look up math and science help for my daughter a few times because I am more into English and history than math/science.
You have to set goals for your homeschool. If your child is willing and old enough, have him/her help you. Having the student help set the goals will give him/her a real reason to want to do the work to achieve them.
As I stated before, we were a Christian homeschool. We included God and grace in our daily lives.
H–Humility; Help; Home; Hot Chocolate; Honesty
Be honest with yourself about what you can/can’t do.
Humility is needed when you have to ask for help. Trust me, asking for help is a humbling experience. It was for me at least.
You will need help. Find someone who can help you when you need it. I had my husband, my parents, and my sister who were willing to help. There were also some other homeschool families in our church who helped me when I needed it.
Home is where you homeschool. You can also homeschool at the park, playground, or in the car.
Since I don’t drink coffee, I drank a lot of hot chocolate during the four years that we homeschooled.
I–Integrity; Intensity; Imagination
Have integrity; do what you need to and do it correctly. Don’t cut corners or try to take the easy way out.
Sometimes you have to be really intense to get things done. The times of intensity will end; I promise.
Use your imagination for lessons, curriculum, and classes. It will pay off.
Let your kiddo wear his/her jammies to do schoolwork. If he/she is getting the work done and you don’t have anywhere to go, do it every day.
Tell jokes. Find a way to laugh when things get tough.
You should spread kindness as much as possible. Speak kindly to those around you and to your child.
Obviously, if you are homeschooling, you will need at least one child.
L–Library Card; Love; Lesson Plans; Learning
Again, some of these ABCs of homeschooling are self-explanatory–lesson plans, learning, and love.
One thing you may not know is that you will need a library card to check out books that you don’t want to purchase. Sometimes, you can get textbooks from the library as well. That way you can return them when you are finished, and you don’t have to pay for them.
M–Mentor; Mind; Mental Health
You will want to find a mentor who can help walk you through as much of the paperwork and set up as possible.
In order to protect your mental health, you will need to find some self-care that you like to do.
N–Notebooks; Neatness; Niceness; Noise; Notes
I can probably get most of these ABCs of homeschooling in one sentence, but it may take me two.
Keep your notes neat in a notebook so that your child will be nice to you when you ask to see them.
I guess it will be two sentences with these words. Homeschools can have a lot of noise or almost none at all. Find some things to do that you enjoy that can make some noise.
O–Openness; Open-mindedness; Outings; Organization
Be open with others about struggles and victories in your homeschool.
Keep an open mind about things. You may have to pivot in the middle of a lesson or even in the middle of the year.
Go on outings. If you have friends who are homeschooling, meet up with them for some fun field trips.
You will need a way to organize important papers, assignments, and books. Find a place to keep all your homeschooling stuff together.
P–Pencils; Pens; Paper; Parents; People; Places; Pressure; Patience
There is always some pressure when you homeschool. You think that you have to do it exactly like other people, but you don’t. You should do it your own way.
Obviously, you will have a lot of pens, pencils, and paper in your homeschool.
Have patience with yourself, your family, and your child.
You are the parent, but you can have other people help you with homeschooling your child.
Q–Quiet; Questions; Quilts
Sometimes your child will need quiet so that he/she can get his/her work completed. There are times when you will want quiet just to be alone.
Ask questions. Answer questions. You will have a lot of questions before, during, and after you homeschool.
If your child has a favorite quilt, allow him/her to cuddle up in it to complete school work when possible.
R–Respect; Responsibility; Rest
Respect the process of homeschooling. You should also respect yourself and your child while you are homeschooling.
You are responsible for your child’s well-being. As a homeschool parent, you are responsible for your child’s education as well.
Get some rest. You can take days off if needed. When you are sluggish, rest. Period. Rest.
S–Storage; Shelves; Shoes; Support System; Sleep
Sleep when you need to, and get enough sleep every night. If you want to sleep in, you can because you set the schedule.
Ensure that you have a great support system in place.
Be sure you have plenty of storage for all of your homeschool supplies. You will probably need a few sets of shelves.
Shoes are optional. The best part about homeschooling is that you can be barefoot all day.
T–Timer; Time; Team
Have a team to help you. Know who you can call when you need help.
Have a schedule and use your time wisely.
We used a timer for my daughter. She and I have ADHD. In order to make focusing work easier, she would set a 30-minute timer. When the time expired, she would take a break for 2-3 minutes. She could set the timer for 30 minutes one more time for the same assignment. After that, she took another break and began working on something else. At the end of the day, she could go back to anything she needed to complete, kind of like homework, and work for 30 minutes again.
You will need to pack a lot of understanding when it comes to homeschooling. In the beginning, you will have some false starts. Homeschooling is a learning experience but not just for your kids. You will learn so much from the process of homeschooling.
V–Vacation; Volunteer Hours
The best part about homeschooling is that you control your schedule. You can take a vacation when you want to. Go somewhere during the off-season instead of being there with the crowd.
Our daughter was in Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts (because girls are able to do both now), and she needed volunteer hours for each. We were able to volunteer during the day so that she did not have to use her weekends for it.
You will need the willingness to learn new things and try new things.
X is always a hard letter to do. I had to stretch it a little here, right?
You will need explanations for questions your child will have. There will be questions about lessons sometimes.
If you are going to homeschool, you will need yourself. Be yourself. I say this again; don’t try to copy what someone else is doing in his/her homeschool. Do it your way.
Z–Zzzzzz (yes, sleep, again!)
This was another stretch. Many families could say zebras because they take zoo trips. However, we did not do that because our daughter was in high school.
If your child takes a sewing class, you could use zippers here. We didn’t do that either.
I will tell you that you need sleep. There will be times that you don’t want to sleep because you have so many things on your to-do list. You need it, so do it. Sleep. Catch your Zs. It will be best for you and your child. Also, be sure that your child is getting enough sleep.
These are the ABCs of homeschooling. Well, they are the ABCs of homeschooling for our house. I always say that I wish I had started homeschooling my daughter even earlier. It was the best thing we did for her education.
If you are thinking about homeschooling, I hope these ABCs of homeschooling help you out. I know there are more that I could have added, and I’d love to know what you would add.
Do you have homeschooling questions? If so, drop them in the comments.