Every time I speak with parents to homeschool, it seems they are often questioning if they are doing enough. I find this question is asked whether the child is in preschool, high school, or anywhere in between. Parents who are new to homeschooling are often shocked by how quickly homeschooling goes throughout the day. Of course, that is typically because they are comparing their experience at home to a typical school day and public school. There are, however, many other things in public school that take time throughout the day. At home, the child has less distractions and can get through their work quicker.
On the other hand, though, some parents tend to push more work on to their child hoping to get through a pre-planned curriculum during a set amount of time. This can be counterproductive, though. This is much like public schools skipping recess then sending too much homework home with the child, making them lose their enthusiasm for learning.
One way to determine if you are doing well and homeschooling is if your child is able to pay attention long enough to learn what is being taught. If you force them to finish a curriculum they are not ready for, you will be robbing your child of a true education. Some families tried to mimic the same schedule public schools have in order to feel like their child is not missing out on necessary learning. This will often cheat the child of relationships that are nurturing, a love for learning, and valuable family time.
If you are beginning to homeschool after your child has been in public school, or if you have been pushing a schedule on your child too hard, your child may need to deschool before getting started. To do this, your child needs to have time to take a break from school work. Allow them to explore and gain back their enthusiasm for learning. Once you have set a little time aside for this, you can re-create your homeschooling day to make it more meaningful and not overwhelming.
It takes a lot of time and commitment from the parent to homeschool. Just remember, even if your day doesn’t look anything like the public schools, your child is learning and growing regardless of what you are doing. Try to relax a bit, and focus more on your relationship with your child than the history books.