.......when homeschooling your child. I have made every mistake that could possibly be made since I began home schooling my kids 7 years ago. Learn from my foibles....
1) Don't assume that how you begin is how you will finish.
I have changed so much since my 5th grader's kindergarten year. I was so rigid and structured when I started and now I am a little more relaxed. I have morphed into someone I would not have recognized lo that many years ago. I might even look into un-schooling one day. Nah! See there I did it again.
2) Don't let the terminology scare you.
What does that mean? Sometimes, in situations where we are extremely comfortable, we speak with the lingo that is used in that situation. For instance, I wait tables and I use terms like 86'ed and cut and code terms that we use frequently. In home schooling, there are terms like un-schooling, lap booking, note booking, and classic Charlotte Mason. They can be intimidating! Don't let them! Do what you like to do and your kids will like it, as well! They will see your passion and your heart and follow suit.
3) Don't compare yourself to everyone else! We rate ourselves against public schools, private and other home schools. Why do we do that? We just set ourselves up for failure and disappointment when we try to be like others. Our children are different and our families from others. We have different life experiences and expertise from which to draw. Use them to your advantage!
4) If you have multiple children, don't compare them to one another. This is where public schools fail our kids. They lump them all together and expect them to all perform the same. We all have our own talents and as parent/teachers, we should seek to bring out what strengths they have. That is the benefit of having 2, 3, or 4 kids versus 28-30. If your child likes to work with their hands, then let him play with Legos. If your child excels in art, then having them draw or paint while you read to them. The words will sink in more clearly.
5) Don't stress out when you need a mental health day! The rigors of being with your kids all day, everyday can get to you. Bake together or watch a movie. Let the older kids "school" the other ones and watch what happens.
6) Don't do things like public schools do! This is the reason you don't send them there! The way they are doing things does not work for you so why would you even want to do that? Let PS do what they do and you do what you do! For the love of Pete! So, you don't get 180 days or you don't go from 8-3. So what? Of course, check with your state to see what the regs are but relax a little!
These are just a few don'ts. Don't worry! I will be giving some "do"s next week but tomorrow I will tackle don'ts of a public school.