Newbie Encouragement of the Day:
You can’t mess your kidlet up any faster than the public schools would. Seriously. You’d have to set out to do it in order to actually manage to mess h** up. That you have this fear means you’ve already won the battle. Those of us who didn’t have the fear, marched on, thinking we had a great plan — albeit the completely wrong great plan.
Here’s my basic advice:
1) Listen to your kidlet. (Both spoken and unspoken things *he’s saying).
2) Have h** be part of all the decisions — don’t buy any curriculum without the two of your having your eyes and your hands on it, and him having “buy in.” You can purchase a lot of curriculum that’s a bad fit, and it will either make you miserable or sit on the shelf, collecting dust and judging you. You don’t need that in your life or your psyche — and you’re going to need that shelf space for things your truly love. Come to Convention in June, and bring h** with as an active participant. (I think every kid >10yo should be an active participant in choosing curriculum — your life will be easier and you’ll spend less on bad fits).
3) None of us knew what we were doing when we started. We just knew we wanted something better suited for our kidlets. We were all completely, totally, horrifyingly terrified. Anyone who says differently is a bold face liar or second generation. Decide to learn alongside your kidlet, and you’ll be amazed at where life and learning take you. You don’t have to know everything. You won’t. It’s okay.
You’re the nudge, the guide, the guru, the facilitator, the chauffeur, the cheerleader, the bottle washer. Help your kidlet learn how to learn, and everything’s going to be just fine.
4) Consider some de-schooling. Take some time to just be and do. Go, live, have fun, find a rhythm as you find each other. It’s a big adjustment moving from school to homeschooling — it’s great, but it’s a major change that takes time to adjust to.
5) When the homeschooling day sucks, pack up whatever you’re doing, and go outside, or to a museum, or go get ice cream. Your relationship is paramount. The math/science/spelling will be there tomorrow. You have 5,840 hours in the year to cover 1,000 hours of “school.” There’s plenty of time. Go. Be. Do.