Whether you’re just starting off on this journey of homeschooling and need a little guidance or have been at it a while and need a pep talk, sometimes it’s good to review the basics. What better way for a homeschooler to do that than in alphabetical order, ABC-style.
A is for Arithmetic
Nail down the basics of math, regardless of how long it takes each kid to master them.
B is for Books
Expose your kids to a variety of titles, encouraging them to try new genres and subjects without pressuring them to like the same ones you do and giving them freedom to enjoy ones you don’t.
C is for Creativity
Explore various forms of art, craft, and music through museums, concerts, exhibits, plays, books, video, and websites. Give your kids an opportunity to experiment with their own ability to create.
D is for Different
Seek out relationships with people who don’t homeschool because variety is the spice of life. We’re all better people when we don’t exclude from our lives those who live differently than we do.
E is for Exercise
Movement helps clear our heads for easier learning, regulates our emotions, and keeps our bodies healthy. Make exercise a priority by regularly doing some gentle stretching, going on bike rides, lifting weights, or whatever appeals to your family.
F is for Flexibility
Accept that school, just like the rest of life, won’t always go as planned. Make necessary adjustments, stay flexible, and keep moving forward.
G is for Guilt
Take responsibility for your choices, but don’t feel guilt for not meeting the expectations of people whose opinions don’t matter or your own unrealistic ones.
H is for Hug
Try to give your kids at least one hug, or other meaningful touch, each day.
I is for Individualize
If you have more than one kid, be willing and ready to change the way you approach education to accommodate each one’s strengths, weaknesses, interests, and skills.
J is for Judging
Don’t compare your homeschool life to another family’s, whether positively or negatively.
K is for Kinship
Develop relationships with other homeschooling families for encouragement when you’re overwhelmed, practical support when you’re feeling stuck, and the ability to do fun stuff together on weekdays.
L is for Live
Don’t get so consumed by school checklists that you fail to take advantage of the opportunities homeschooling provides for you to live a little.
M is for Mealtime
If reading a school book to your kids while they’re all in one place with hands and mouths occupied would be helpful, do it. If, on the other hand, you’d all benefit from a chance to chat about ordinary life, watch funny YouTube videos together, or just enjoy some silence, then do that instead.
N is for Nature
Get outside, whether to hike long trails, play at a local park, look for bugs in the back yard, or do math on the front steps.
O is for Options
There’s no one perfect way to educate all kids, which means there’s a plethora of options for every aspect of school. Figure out which options are best for your kid, family, and season of life, then move forward without apologies for your choice and plenty of acceptance of what other families choose.
P is for Pencils
Buy good ones and use an equally good pencil sharpener.
Q is for Quiet
Have a period of time each day that’s silent, naps for littles and down time for bigs. Your kids need to learn the value of rest and you need the break in your day.
R is for Reconsider
Take time to evaluate if the way you’re homeschooling is going the way you want it to. Continue with what’s working well or is important enough for you to struggle through, tweak the things that aren’t quite cutting it to make them work better, and ditch what has proven to be ineffective for your family.
S is for Structure
Figure out how much structure your family needs, both the individuals in it and the group as a whole, then manage your days accordingly.
T is for Typing
Make sure your kids can type proficiently on a computer keyboard.
U is for Unity
You can’t do everything, so be sure to include the whole family in taking care of home and school responsibilities. There’s strength in numbers.
V is for Victories
Acknowledge goals that were reached and efforts that were made, even if they were small.
W is for Write
Use daily journals, writing prompts, structured curriculum, or free writing. Just have everyone write something each day.
X is for XXIV
Teach your kids to read Roman numerals, then look for them in real life.
Y is for Yield
Be willing to set your own ideas aside in order to try your kid or spouse’s idea.
Z is for Zippers
Don’t use cool or wet weather as an excuse to stay inside. Zip up your coats and get some fresh air when everyone’s going stir crazy during the winter.
These ABC basics are all things I need to be reminded of on a regular basis. If you feel like you’re treading water as a homeschooler, just pick a couple things from this ABC list. Focus on them for the time being and give yourself the freedom to let the rest go until you’re ready to deal with them.
Curious to see what this type of home education might look like for your family? Go to SmoothCourse to explore your options.