Many homeschoolers worry that they won’t “get it all done” or that their children won’t be prepared for the real world. If you follow some basic principles or “habits” you can weather any wave of doubt that slips into your mind.
1. Love for kids – This may seem obvious, but we do need to remember that we home school because we love our children and want the best for them. When times get tough, if we remember how much we love them we can keep their best interest at heart and know that we are doing the right thing.
2. Commitment to relationship – Let’s face it, home schooling is about relationships. Homeschoolers need to commit to building their relationships with their children and keep the lines of communication open. For those who are Christians, they are also committed to their relationship with God and look to Him for guidance in their other relationships.
3. Desire for Success – If there is no underlying desire for success, then on those days when no one wants to do anything, the parent will allow it. If you want your children to be successful and if they want to be successful, they will need to commit to doing the work they need to do each day to succeed in the end.
4. Structure of environment – While playing games and having fun can definitely be a part of home schooling, structure is also needed. Students need to know what is expected of them not only with school work but also in maintaining the household.
5. Openness to different styles of learning – In schools teachers have to teach a certain way to keep order and also to make sure students perform well on tests so they can keep their jobs. In home schooling you can explore many different learning styles to find better ways to help your children learn and retain what they are learning. So if you have to have them hop up a step every time they get a math flashcard correct, then let them do it an enjoy the smile on their faces.
6. Commitment to Boundaries – Just as your day needs some structure and guidelines, your children need to know that if they aren’t pulling their own weight or are stepping out of the boundaries set for them, there will be consequences. You can lovingly enforce these knowing that you will help them be better adults in the long run.
7. Ability to have fun and laugh at yourself – Kids love to have fun and laugh. Don’t get too caught up in your to-do list and forget to enjoy your children. There should be lots of smiles and hi-fives flying around your house. Your children probably won’t remember many lessons they had, but they will remember the fun times and how you treated them.