Curious if homeschooling is right for your family? In honor of Homeschool Awareness Month, we enlisted the help of former teacher-turned-homeschool mom Elle McClellen to answer some of your most pressing questions about homeschooling!
Find out what she loves most, her number one homeschooling hack, and her advice for parents just getting started.
Hi Elle! What made you decide to start homeschooling your children?
Elle: As a homeschool mom, I vividly remember the moment I realized I wanted to take on the role of homeschooling my son. At the time, I was a kindergarten teacher at the same school he was attending, pouring my heart into each and every lesson I taught. But despite my best efforts, I couldn't help but feel that my own child wasn't receiving the same quality of education as my students. I made the decision to start homeschooling because I wanted more for my family.
I wanted my child to have the opportunity to learn and grow without limitations. It was clear to me that my son wasn't being challenged enough in his academic setting, and as a mother and educator, I knew that he deserved better. Despite the financial investment that my family was making, I didn't feel like we were getting the high value we were promised. So I took matters into my own hands and became my child's teacher, determined to give him the gift of limitless growth and learning.
What do you love most about homeschooling and why?
Elle: One of the things I adore most about homeschooling is the precious time I get to spend with my children and the adventures we can go on together. Homeschooling has given us incredible opportunities to explore the world around us and witness amazing things that we wouldn't have been able to experience if they attended a traditional school. It warms my heart to know that I won't miss out on any of the special moments that we get to share as a family.
What do you least like about homeschooling and why?
Elle: One aspect of homeschooling that I find difficult is the negative stereotype associated with homeschooling families. Despite our choice to homeschool, our family is not fundamentally different from yours. I believe that if more people were educated about the advantages and benefits of homeschooling, they would be more inclined to consider it as an option for their children's education or at least be more open-minded about different options of education.
Do you use educational games in your homeschool?
Elle: To fulfill our educational requirements, my family utilizes SimplyFun's educational games. One of our favorites is Rooby's ABCs, which we use several times a week to aid my 3-year old daughter in her alphabet recognition learning process.
Do you have a homeschooling hack you can share with us?
Elle: Over time, I've learned a homeschooling hack which is to develop a daily schedule. This schedule should include set times for starting and finishing homeschool activities, breaks, and lunchtime. It's essential to use a planner or calendar to keep track of assignments, due dates, and lesson plans. Additionally, it's important to keep your homeschooling materials organized and easy to access to help you stay focused and save time.
What would you do differently in your homeschool if you had to start over?
Elle: If I were to begin homeschooling again, the one thing I would change is starting it earlier. Despite initiating it early on, I believe I missed out on the opportunity to explore and create memories during those crucial preschool years.
What advice would you offer parents who are just getting started in homeschooling?
Elle: Take your time and enjoy the process. Don't get too caught up in grading papers or meeting a strict curriculum. Instead, focus on making memories with your children. Embrace the fact that you have the opportunity to have your children right next to you, learning and growing together. Homeschooling requires dedication, patience, and a willingness to learn alongside your children. You will face challenges and obstacles, but you will also find joy and fulfillment in this journey. I believe in you, and I know that you can do this.
Thank you, Elle!
For more homeschooling resources from Elle McClellan:
5 Homeschool Tips for Beginners
Or visit her on Instagram @ellemcclellan
Read more about homeschooling on our blog: