Homeschool Advice from “Experts” and Others!

Updated 9/28/2022

If you’re new to homeschooling, you are probably eagerly soaking up all the information you can. There are authors, conference speakers, websites, homeschool catalogs, homeschool social media, and photos of decorated school rooms all seeking your attention.

It can be overwhelming.

With so many different opinions, they can’t all be right (at least not for your child), so select only what you think may work for you rather than get in a trap trying to homeschool perfectly according to one individual (who may not even have that much experience!).

Take all information under advisement and then put all of it together and make it your own, rather than seeking the only true way to homeschool (because it doesn’t exist!).

If you receive just one idea from a presentation or a book that resonates with you, that’s great – use it!  You have learned something that will help you homeschool your way.

Your best help might even come from the quiet parent at park day who has to be urged to share how they homeschool. They aren’t going to push their ideas on you, but when you ask some questions, you find that you share a common philosophy for homeschooling, and you like their choice of resources.  Perhaps they haven’t homeschooled long either, but they might be a big help to you.

New homeschoolers are also often bombarded with advice from relatives, neighbors, and even people on the street who have been homeschooling for many years. They are simply excited to share! You may not always be able to avoid these people if they are a part of your daily life. Just listen, thank them for input, and then do it your way.

If you come across someone who is enthusiastic that their way is the only way, that should be a red flag.  There is no one way that is perfect for every single child. Hey, one of the reasons many of us homeschool is to get away from that kind of one size fits all thinking! Don’t let these people cause you to doubt yourself.

Oh, and those decorated homeschool “schoolrooms” that replicate a classroom look pretty, but I always wonder how fun it is for the children, and how long they can keep it looking like a model school. And how many prospective homeschoolers might get discouraged because they can’t possibly do that?  If it’s convenient for your family, you might use a designated area, although the homes of most homeschoolers look just like a regular home, with the exception that they often have many more bookshelves! They may also be messier because the kids aren’t sent off to school every day, and there may be more projects happening.  It’s comfortable and real, and nurtures learning.

So, how do you homeschool the “right” way?

You do it by trusting yourself because there is no one right way. It’s not only ok to do things a bit differently than other homeschoolers, it’s a good thing!

Wherever your source of advice comes from, just remember that you are the expert of your child! That is what matters. Don’t let anyone take that from you.

Karen Taylor’s always homeschooled son attended a local community college after graduating from homeschooling. He transferred to UC Berkeley as a junior, and received a PhD in neuroscience from UCSF.  She shares homeschooling comments and links on Facebook, Pinterest, and this blog.