The Best Way to Homeschool

Yeah, my title is pretty provocative.

And you brand new homeschooling moms are jumping all over this post going, “Yeah! She’s going to give me the answer. I will find the best way to do this homeschooling thing. My problems are solved!”

Not so fast.

To be honest, there is no “Best Way to Homeschool.”

That’s because every family is different. God gave you a unique personality and a one-of-a kind outlook. You have amazing strengths that are singular to you. You have weaknesses that you will have to learn to compensate for.

In addition, you have kids with their own personalities, strengths, and weaknesses as well.

You have a spouse and a lifestyle that is suited to your personality and individual style.

This is why there is no easy answer to “The Best Way to Homeschool.”

Classical, School-in-a-Box, Online Learning, Eclectic, Literature Based, Unit Studies…all the choices can seem overwhelming to the novice homeschooler.

So before you choose a homeschooling method, you should examine your own personality, your family situation, your strengths, and your weaknesses. Then, you just need to try to make a good decision. Remember, this decision isn’t final. Give your first try at least a couple of months of earnest effort before you make any changes. Sometimes, you will just need to tweak a few things to make the method suit your family better. Sometimes, you may need to dump the whole thing and try something else. But don’t change things based upon just one month’s work. Give it a try for at least 8 weeks before you make changes.

Your Own Personality Style

Are you organized, methodical, and check-list oriented? Do you like a scheduled routine or are you more of a “go with the flow” kind of person? Do you love in-depth learning or does a general overview of things suit you better? Are you artsy? Do you love learning for its own sake and you could happily spend hours learning new things without thought for moving on? Or would you rather just get school done for the day so you can move onto other things?

Think about the habits that you have in place in your current day to day life.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking, “Well, if I were home all day with the kids, I would be more organized or more spontaneous.” Wishful thinking will have you wasting your money and adding to your frustration. Be honest about your personality.

Your Kids’ Personality Styles

This is where conflict can come in. You also need to take into account your kids’ personality styles. Its very hard when your kids’ styles are opposite one another’s and even harder when they are on a totally different page from you. However, you can tweak some programs and learning styles to suit different kids and yourself. I will discuss that tweaking process soon, I promise.

Weaknesses

Be brutally honest with yourself about your weaknesses. If you are disorganized, you won’t want a program with a million little bits to keep track of. If you need a check-list, a program that doesn’t give you concrete guidelines to follow will leave you feeling unsettled. If you dislike artsy projects cluttering your dining room table, you shouldn’t choose a program that features note-booking or crafty projects as a big part of the learning.

Figuring out how homeschooling will work in your house takes a bit of soul searching. Ask experienced homeschoolers about their favorite programs and what method they like. But don’t stop there. Talk to them about how it plays out in their house, and what their personalities are like. It may take some trial and error, but you will eventually figure things out.

Additionally, some homeschooling styles come for a season and will also go away after a time. More gentle unit studies may work fabulously when your kids are tiny, but as they get to middle school and older, they may need a more structured approach.

Tomorrow, I will go into more detail about the HOW’S of choosing your homeschooling style. However, remember that no matter how you choose to homeschool, you can do this. Avoid comparing yourself to others and learn alongside your children.

How would you classify your homeschooling style?

homeschooling

Hot Mess Homeschooling

Classical, Unit Studies, Eclectic, Traditional Textbooks, Literature Based, Online, or Something Else? Why does that particular style work for your family? Did you get it right the first time or did you have a few bumps in the road along the way? Let’s talk about homeschooling styles! Leave a comment below.

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