Home > School and Learning > Homeschooling > Homeschooling Support > Adjusting to Homeschooling

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Adjusting to Homeschooling

Homeschooling Expert Advice from Isabel Shaw

Q: I want to homeschool my daughter, who will be entering the fifth grade. She has relatives who are homeschooled, and has been very interested in homeschooling herself. How will it affect her?

A: My first suggestion would be to read a few good books about homeschooling. The Homeschooling Book of Answers by Linda Dobson and The Homeschooling Handbook by Mary Griffith are gems that cover just about everything on homeschooling. Keep in mind that learning at home will be a big change for your daughter. Allow her ample time to make the adjustment. This can take anywhere from a few months to a year. In school, children are taught to do what they're told and basically have each day mapped out for them. It takes a while for the newly homeschooled child to discover their learning style and become a self-directed learner. Talk with your daughter and decide what your goals and objectives are for the coming year. Keep your expectations modest, but have three or four non-negotiable areas. For instance, math and spelling must be completed each morning. A daily journal must be kept or perhaps if she plays an instrument, an appropriate practice-time must be kept. We have a large dry-erase board with the date and a list of requirements and "optionals" for the day. My daughters know and understand they are required to do a certain amount of "formal" work, and when that's complete, they have the freedom to explore other activities on their own. Rarely do they do more than an hour or so of formal learning each day.

More on: Expert Advice

Isabel Shaw is a freelance writer and homeschooling mom of 15 years. She and her husband Ray homeschool their two daughters, Jessica and Amanda. Besides being a contributor to FamilyEducation.com, Shaw has written for Home Education Magazine, The Link, Homeschooling Horizons Magazine, The Homeschool Gazette, and other publications.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.


8 Epic Emoji-Themed Crafts, Activities & Recipes
Check out the best emoji crafts, activities, and recipes! They're perfect for an emoji-themed birthday party or anytime you need DIY (and screen-free!) summer activities for kids, tweens, and teens.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme!

10 Free Summer Learning Worksheets
Print these free printables for preschoolers and kindergarteners to help your child's mind stay sharp until September!

Ready for Kindergarten?
Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks