When making the choice to homeschool, it's best to consider all of your options and choose what is best for your child. Masking the choice to homeschool is a big decision and making that choice may be overwhelming at first. You may feel at a loss of not knowing the steps of starting the homeschooling process. There are many parents that homeschool their children and many of us have also felt overwhelmed. It will become easier once you know all of your options
Joining a homeschool group is important for support in any questions that you have and is also great for your child as many groups have social events for your child to join. Some groups have homeschooling classes on certain subjects, get together for holiday events and some also have fieldtrips for your child to enjoy while being around other children. When you first start homeschooling, you may start getting a feeling of guiltiness for taking your child away from friends. It is a normal feeling for a parent to feel that way. There are many new friends your child has an opportunity to meet. But it is very important to get your child involved in social settings with other children. There are many options available to you when choosing to join a group. There are religious homeschooling groups, parents who decided to start a group locally, just to list a few.You can find many groups on facebook and also on websites.
When choosing a group to join, keep in mind some may charge a yearly, monthly fee and some are free to join. If choosing a group that has fees, check to see if anything extra is included when you join. Some have discounts when going to the store for school supplies and some have cheaper rates for fieldtrips.
When buying workbooks, reading books and resource supplies, you can either buy a curriculum where you can buy everything you need at one time or buy everything you need through different companies for each subject. Keep in mind, if you do decide to buy a whole curriculum, it may get very expensive. Also, not all books in that one curriculum may be in your child's best interest. You have the choice to choose what will work best for your child.
Once you start buying school supplies, it will start sinking in that you will be the teacher for your child. You may get the homeschooling jitters and that is okay. Homeschooling is an opportunity to provide the best education for your child. Education is an important tool for a child growing up. Homeschooling is not just about school work but also for them to have hands on with each subject and teach all that there is to be learned. Spending quality time with your child is an advantage with homeschooling. You can concentrate on your child rather than teaching a classroom. You can also include household chores which will help your child get ready for everyday life experiences. This will also help you as you are trying to maintain a schedule and may feel that you are not able to get all things accomplished that you would like to get done. Do not forget to put some time aside for yourself to relax and enjoy.
For a special needs child, it is important to not have a lot of bright posters on the wall. Only put up items that you plan to work on at that moment in time, so they will not feel overstimulated. To having a calm work area is very important. What will also help is having a pecs schedule (a schedule showing pictures of the day planned) which will help for them to know what is planned throughout the day. If your child is overwhelmed,make a pecs book which is made smaller and can be put on the table instead of hanging on the wall. When first using a pecs schedule, try to do two to three pictures each week so your child will get used to the new schedule. Instead of expecting to be able to go through a whole day doing a days worth of pictures. When you see your child is comfortable with two to three pictures, add a couple more and see how well it goes. It may help if you make a couple break cards for when your child needs a break and cannot handle the work in that moment in time.
If you have a nonverbal child and you see that your child looks to be frustrated, have your child take the break card and hand it to you and say "break time". During break time, it will give your child time to relax and feel calm. If you push your child to keep going knowing it may cause a melt down will not make homeschooling enjoyable for you and your child. You may also use a token sheet which is a wonderful visual tool. When your child does well for each day, put a sticker on each box. When each box has a sticker, give your child a coupon for a special outing of their choice or a new toy.
Homeschooling your child will not only be rewarding for you but also for your child. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org