Homeschool Do’s and Don’ts

Last night this question was sent to a homeschooling list that I’m on, and since I was told my response was helpful am sharing it here.

>>I was hoping to find out some more information about how some of the veteran homeschooling parents have done things in the past, and if there is an umbrella program? My mother homeschooled my siter for a year using the Calvert School system. Is this a good route to take or is there something better? Just looking for some pointers and maybe some Dos and Don’ts. Also, are there any good resources / curriculums that are available for 1st grade and on?<<
There are loads of great curriculums out there – the question is which one is a good fit for you and your child. Something can work great for one family and be a disaster for another. Calvert is highly structured and school-like; if that’s the kind of thing you’re looking for, it might be a good fit for you. Programs like this tend to have a high burnout rate.

However, I’d encourage you to consider why you want to homeschool and what you want to achieve. It’s easy to fall into the automatic mode of doing things at home in a school-like manner, which tends to not work with the goals most parents have in homeschooling.

Do and don’ts:

Don’t: spend a lot of money on curriculum when you’re starting out – you’ll probably end up regretting most of them.
Don’t: use whatever program someone else you know is doing without taking time to evaluate it on its own merit.
Don’t: kill the joy of learning by pushing too hard, too soon.
Don’t: take yourself or homeschooling too seriously.

Do: take lots of time to read and reflect on what your goals are
Do: remember the joy is in the journey, and if you and your child are enjoying yourselves, you’re on the right track.
Do: realize that it doesn’t matter what everyone else does and what works for them – it only matters what is right for you and your child/ren.
Do: follow your child’s lead; support them in their interests.
Do: attend the fabulous homeschooling conference in June that will be a way to get all of these questions and lots more answered in person by veteran homeschool parents.


When I shared this it was off the top of my head, literally written in five minutes.  So it’s far from a comprehensive list.  Please share other do’s and don’ts that you’ve found valuable in your homeschooling journey!


6 thoughts on “Homeschool Do’s and Don’ts

  1. don’t feel locked in by your own plans- flexibility is the key. you have to be able to adjust as the circumstances change and evolve or you and your kids will be constantly stressed out. you have to be open to teachable moments when they present themselves and if you are too tied to some external timetable you will miss the best ones!

  2. Wonderful post! I’m so happy that I knew from the start I wanted to homeschool because I’ve spent a year listening to other (Jewish and non-Jewish) homeschoolers talk about their experiences.

    Can’t wait for the conference!

  3. and- especially as your kids get older- let your kids be part of the process, not just victims of your machinations

  4. May I add a question to the discussion?

    With all the curricula choices out there – ‘box curriculums’, math, English, science curriculums – what is the best way to go about sifting through them to even find one that might be a good fit? There are so many sites that offer descriptions and individual opinions …I often feel overwhelmed at all the choices and have a hard time choosing what might be a good fit. And, then if you choose something that is not a good fit and you want to change it, how do you introduce the new one to your child without feeling like you’re constantly changing expectations? Thanks !!

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