We started talking about homeschooling when our first child was just two years old. What’s crazy to me is the fact that neither my husband nor I had been homeschooled. The entire process was foreign. But I felt God gently leading me. So I went into this journey with the attitude that we’d homeschool as long as it worked. Part of the beauty of homeschooling is the fact that children can enter (or re-enter) the public school system at any point if needed. That took SO much pressure off me. Now we’re on our seventh year of homeschooling and I still feel like a newbie some days. Perhaps the feeling never goes away completely but, today, I partnered with Dynacraft to share some tips for new homeschooling parents with you today.
10 Tips For New Homeschooling Parents
- Take A Deep Breath And Relax: If you’re pulling your children out of public school for any reason, be sure to take several weeks and get to know each other. Figure out what your children’s interests are. Start by writing a journal about your days, hopes, dreams, wants, etc. Then use what your kids tell you to plan what you’ll teach.
- Head To The Library And Pick Up A Bunch Of Documentaries: This IS school! Part of the beauty of homeschooling is the fact that it doesn’t have to be difficult. The library is a huge resource to many homeschool families. Assign a “library day” each week and take advantage of all they have to offer.
- Try Not To Get Overwhelmed By All The Box Curriculum Choices: There are tons of choices and every single family will give you a different answer for what they like best. Be sure to keep in mind the individual needs of each specific child. Even in one family, each child may be using a different set of books! Join a few homeschool b/s/t pages and pick up some gently used items to find what fits your family best.
- Pray For Your Homeschooling Journey: There will be hard days and there will be good days. Actually, there will be many great days too. However, praying for the journey and goals can really help bring peace and stability. Trust me, it helps! Matthew 6:33 “Seek first His kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be added.” He cares about academics too!
- Do Not Drop Hundreds Or Thousands Of Dollars On Curriculum: Yes, many families do choose to use a pre-planned curriculum, my family included. But I’ve also wasted SO much money over the years by over-buying. Seriously, re-read #2 again and take advantage of free resources to supplement the basics.
- Please IGNORE Any Comments About Socialization: They are usually completely untrue. Seriously, in my entire life, I’ve only met ONE family who needed some serious socialization. Our kids spend time with a variety of people throughout a week and typically have more play time and play dates than public schooled kids. If you’re concerned, join a Sunday School program, Youth Group, library activities, and other local events.
- Find A Local Homeschool Community: We have a large local homeschool group that offers a variety of co-ops, field trips, and events. Even sports, choir, and band! If you can’t find one, start one! Just put the word out on Facebook and at the local library and connections usually happen.
- Give Yourself A Break: Do NOT make a bunch of unreasonable expectations or commitments that you won’t be able to fulfill. Give yourself grace to make mistakes and step back from over-commitments.
- Set Expectations But Be Open To Change: I’ve found that it works best for our kids to get them up early and get the work done so they have lots of free time. Most days, we’re up at 6 and done with school by 8 or 9. But I’m okay with letting them sleep in if we’ve had a busy day or something else comes up.
Flexibility = Sanity!
- Nothing Goes As Planned: Even after seven years, our plans still go awry. It’s OKAY!
Beauty And Flexibility
I’ve found homeschooling to be a beautiful journey. It’s also hard, frustrating, and a million other things. But being flexible truly helps. (I’m a planner so a go-with-the-flow motto definitely stretches me.) However, some of our funnest and best learning days are when we let the small stuff go and I let the kids lead. If someone suggests a nature walk, grab a coat and go. Playdough and craft day today? Absolutely. And when the kids suggest heading out to ride bike, race around the shed, and create obstacle courses, I say YES! Who knew gym class could happen in your driveway, right!?
Dynacraft To The Rescue
Our five year old has been using an old bike that was a bit too small for him so when I saw the Power Rangers 16″ Bike, I knew it would be perfect. And, another great thing about homeschooling is the fact that any activity can become a learning experience. So Sam got a lesson in putting bikes together as he helped Dad get his bike up and ready to ride.
Assembly was fairly easy. It took these two under 10 minutes. Sam, even though he’s only 5, did a really good job helping. He removed the packaging, handed pieces, lined up the pedals to the correct sides, and more. He was so intent on being a big help that I had to call his name to get him to look up for this picture!
Once the bike was together, he couldn’t wait to check it all out. Featuring authentic Power Ranger design and graphics, this bike is definitely cooler than cool. Sam especially loves the Power Rangers power grip with lights and sounds on the right handle. Easy to work with a quick twist, he drives around pretending to get the bad guys.
The back pedal runs the brake for the back tire and the left handle bar features a hand brake for the front.
Featuring an enhanced paint finish on the deluxe BMX steel frame as well as this really awesome seat, Sam just can’t get enough of this bike! He is so proud of it and is constantly riding every chance he gets.
I know that some kids learn how to ride bike independently quite young but we haven’t quite mastered it yet. Since he recently turned 5, I’m not sweating it though. I know he’ll be zooming off on his own in no time. So for now, he’s happy that his Dynacraft Power Rangers 16″ Bike came with training wheels.
This fun handlebar shield really helps bring personality to this bike and rounds off the entire Power Rangers theme.
This bike would be perfect for any Power Rangers fan. Actually, it’s such a great bike you don’t even have to be a fan to love it! It’s a great bike to ride around the yard or hit the local trails with.
We here at Thrifty Nifty Mommy are HUGE Dynacraft fans and this bike is another home run with Sam giving it two enthusiastic thumbs up!