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How to Feel Prepared for Homeschooling
I remember when I started homeschooling kinder. There was so many beautiful Waldorf things I wanted to do with my children . craft, drawing, morning circle, rhythm, seasonal songs, lavender foot baths . so many things but it all just felt ...overwhelming. I had a little bubba to look after, I didn't have the energy or headspace to organise a grocery shopping list let alone a craft activity! How do those mums on those blogs do it and do it so darn beautifully, I wondered.
Well somehow amidst the fog and nappy washing and getting dinners, I started. I started with One Thing. One thing at a time and over months and months and months it built up to be a lovely rhythm, and over the years, the beautiful elements and the home environment I wanted. Homeschooling each year became easy and in flow.
Here are the steps to organise things quicker and feel .. comfortable, organised and prepared.
1. Plot out your rhythms. Rhythm is the best way to prepare for homeschooling. Your day stops being overwhelming with a rhythm because you have made one that is comfortable and doable for you. You can have activity rhythm, daily rhythm, weekly rhythm, housework rhythm, seasonal rhythm.. Each one gives you calm and takes away a huge amount of overwhelm, ... saving. you. energy. A rhythm also flows seamlessly into schooling.
2. Prepare your home environment. Don't start with decluttering the study where you throw everything which will take 6months and all of your energy just thinking about it. Decluttering "key" areas in your home reduces overwhelm for you and your children. Declutter toys and books. Create calm play spaces and a homeschool area (this can be as simple as a shelf or trolly next to your table).
3. Start a resource list. As you work out what you are wanting in your rhythm and week, write the resources needed on a list. You will feel organised just having the list started. And you can source things as you are able to. Deciding on a curriculum (if you choose to use one) is the biggest part of this. Give yourself a few weeks to ask around and research what feels right for you.
4. Plan your year. When you have a daily and weekly rhythm a lot of your planning is done. You can change things each season for little ones. The curriculum can be mapped out over the year so you know when you are starting and finishing each block. You can adjust according to your family holidays, birthdays and festivals. And then add related activities into parts of your rhythm. A plan doesn't have to be rigid, you can even plan some flexible Lee way time, but it is great to have, otherwise it is easy for the days, weeks and year to slip by without having done much schooling.
You can focus on each step for a month, or you could have a day to yourself and get through it. Or you could give yourself 6 months prior to starting homeschooling to cover these four steps. When I am coaching a client we can get through most of this planning in two hours and I type it all up for them with a blueprint checklist, rhythms and resource list.
A client wrote "When I read everything that you wrote, it felt so good. All the things I have wanted, but were outside my comfort zone. You gave me permission to feel like I knew what I was doing". Once you have done these steps, you will feel less overwhelmed, happier with your home and ready.
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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
The information on this website is of a general nature only and is not intended as personal or professional advice. This site merges and incorporates 'Homeschool Australia' and 'Unschool Australia'.
The Educating Parent acknowledges the Traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Owners, the Custodians of Australia, and pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people viewing this website.
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Beverley Paine, The Educating Parent
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