When your baby was born, you never thought you would be here today considering homeschooling. It is something you probably discussed, doubted you could do and decided not to follow through, because you thought “how could I possibly homeschool”? But, it is time and here you are again. Let me tell you something: you can do it!

Starting homeschooling for the first time with your kindergarten student can be very overwhelming. The way homeschooling has evolved over the past 20 years is amazing and you are jumping in at the right time. There is online support everywhere and a variety of curricula from which to choose. More than likely, someone in your neighborhood also homeschools and you just have to find them, so you can connect. Support may also be found from HomeLife Academy.

The way homeschooling looks in the homes of other families is in no way going to reflect anything you do in yours, so do not try to recreate it. You will also receive a lot of advice, some good and some on which you should pass. Here is some of that advice (hopefully some good), which may help you get started off in the right direction.

Take it Slow
This is a new experience for you and your child. Both of you are going to have to find your way and learn what works best for you as the teacher and your child as the student. Everything you do is on your own time, so set a pace that works for both of you. There is no need to hurry, so spend as much time as your child needs on what he covers. If you need to repeat a lesson or start all the way at the beginning, again, that is all right. You have many years of fun and learning together ahead. This is your experience. Put everything into it, because the rewards are wonderful.

Make a Plan
Decide what subjects you will cover. Reading and math should be priorities; reading and then math. Reading for skill and reading through listening (read-alouds). Math does not have to be complex. Teach the basics – addition and subtraction. Penmanship and writing may be considered. Other subjects like art, science and geography contain elements of fun and may be easily incorporated into a learning experience. Hands-on activities are a great way to stir interest in a subject (especially in math and reading). You are building a foundation for a love of learning. Learning should not be a chore.

Schedule, Keep It Short, But Spend Some Time
One thing you will learn about your child now and as they advance in grade is that they like knowing what work is planned for the day. Create a visible schedule with their daily routine – school work, play time, lunch, etc. Cover the subjects you need and keep the time spent for classwork short. At this age, you may only complete a good 15 to 20 minutes a day on any one subject. After their work is done, allow your child to spend as much time in areas that interests him.

Make Time to Play a Whole Big Bunch
Recess or playtime or breaks should be included in your school. This can be structured where you teach them games – physical and board – or where you let them explore and run outdoors (or indoors if you are brave). We all need downtime, especially children. Given a break, they will be refreshed and may be ready to start the learning all over again.

Start Planning for the Future
Kindergarten is the beginning of building a lifelong love of learning. Only God knows how far you and your child will travel the homeschool road together. Get to know your child and determine his learning style. You should research homeschool styles and curricula options, but be slow to purchase. Learning happens all around us every day and is often free. As your child gets older, there will be expense, but teach your child now to take advantage of the learning opportunities that surround him.

The kindergarten year is one of freedom to do anything your child and you want to do together. Enjoy this special time together. If your days are only filled with cuddling as books are read, creating in the kitchen or chasing butterflies, that is all right. Find your homeschool rhythm and take charge of this new journey. You can do it!

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©2017 HomeLife Academy. Article by Jennifer Smeltser. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the publisher /.