15 Homeschooling Tips

15 Homeschooling Tips I’ve Learned Over the Years

New to homeschooling and looking for tips from a “seasoned” homeschool family?

Below I lay out for you 15 homeschooling tips that I have learned over our 9 years long (and counting!) journey in the homeschooling world.

Tips to Start Your Homeschool Off Right

1. Everything you thought you knew about education may be upturned. If you have read my about me page then you know that we didn’t always follow an interest-led approach to education. When we started homeschooling, we began JUST LIKE we were in a traditional school. EEK! I am glad those days are over! It was a challenging task of reprogramming, but so very worth it!

2. You don’t need a dedicated homeschool room. Homeschooling can happen anywhere and anytime. A child-sized desk, marker board, or classroom setup is NOT needed. Things went much more smoothly for us when we tossed those things out of our homeschool.

3. Don’t replicate school. There is freedom in homeschooling……and even more so in unschooling. There is absolutely no need to do it “their” way. This is YOUR homeschool. Rock it however you want!

4. You don’t need to follow a strict schedule. Some people may find a schedule helpful or even necessary. Particularly since we are more interest-led schoolers, we just roll with what comes. There are no morning time activities or laid out hour-by-hour schedule. We did try that in the beginning but found out quickly that that is just not how we roll. And that is okay!

5. Grades and tests are not necessary. (Neither are worksheets!) Grades, tests, and yes, even worksheets are traditional school tools therefore they are not necessary in a homeschool environment. You will know what your child can and cannot do or what he or she does or does not know without using grades, tests, and worksheets.

6. Socialization is not a problem. Really, it isn’t. This seems to be one of those myths that won’t die. The opportunities for children to socialize exist outside of school in an unlimited supply. You can check out how we socialize here.

7. Your “why” may change. The reasons we choose to homeschool at the beginning of our journey are not even close to why we continue today. Change is good. The important thing is to always know your why and focus on that.

8. It’s okay to change directions. Not only is it okay to change directions, but sometimes it is essential to do so. Over the years my theory on education has changed dramatically and as such, so has the way we do things.

9. Building a connection is key. Yes! In the beginning, I was all focused on “checking off the boxes.” We had to do x, y, and z. It was what I was trained to do after all! I learned quickly that without an actual genuine connection with my child, we were getting nowhere fast. Take the time to build a connection. You will reap the rewards for a lifetime!

10. Work with your child to set goals. Ask them what they want to learn. What do they want to know how to do? What are they interested in? What is important to them? When they get to work toward their own goals, the learning happens naturally.

11. Plan outings. Do it! Go to the park. Visit that museum. Go on a hike. Take a trip to the library. See what brings them JOY and run after that.

12. Follow your child’s interests. You can’t force learning. You can force memorization but that can quickly be forgotten. True learning happens when you are interested in it. Follow your child’s interest. Go down the rabbit holes together. You will be amazed at where you end up and all that is learned along the way.

13. Trust your child. This. So much this. For too many years I saw myself as the teacher. The one who held the roadmap for educational success in our homeschool. In reality, I was the one who spat out the information and expected my child to learn it. I didn’t allow him to take the lead in his education until we found the idea of unschooling. And now, we are never looking back!

14. PLAY. Play is so important. Unstructured, unscripted play is paramount to learning. Please make time for it. Dr. Peter Gray explains the importance of play beautifully, particularly as it relates to interest-led learning.

15. Know your state’s requirements. Every state is different in what they require of you to homeschool. Some are super lenient, others not so much, but it is legal to homeschool in every state in the USA. Find out the requirements in your state and abide by them!

The Wrap-Up: Homeschooling Tips I’ve Learned Over the Years

Starting your homeschooling journey can be quite intimidating. That’s why it is so important to draw on others’ experiences. We can learn from each other and grow together in this mission together!