Dear New Homeschooling Mom,
(And those of you who have been homeschooling for a while and need a refresher.)
Here is some wisdom that I wish I had known when I was a new homeschooling mom 12 years ago.
There are so many resources available out there. But still it’s easy to second guess ourselves. Ever heard of buyer’s remorse? There's such a thing as homeschooler’s remorse. Maybe a month in when the honeymoon period starts to wear off, you might wonder if you made the right choice.
Whether you are homeschooling by choice this year and this was your plan all along, or whether you are homeschooling because you’ve brought your child home from public school, we are all homeschooling under duress. It’s not distance learning like we had to deal with during the quarantine, but we aren’t able to do all the same things as before.
- Develop a statement of “why” you choose to homeschool. You’re going to have days when you will need to remember why you chose to homeschool.
“You’re homeschooling for a reason. Stick with it. And all those really horrible days will be FAR outweighed by all the really wonderful memories you will make while homeschooling your kids.”
- You DO have what it takes to homeschool your kids!
Statistics show that kids who are homeschooled by a mom who didn’t even finish high school on average score higher on tests than public schooled peers
Plus...You’ve put in the 10,000 hours to be an expert on your kids! You know them better than anyone else.
And remember, you only have to be one lesson ahead of your kids in order to teach them!
All that, said it is really important as Christians to remember that we cannot operate on our own strength. When we are weak, God is strong! Rely on Him and don’t try to do it all in your own strength.
- Get support and help!
There are so many resources out there! Experienced moms love to share what they have learned. Seek out wisdom. Don’t be afraid to ask questions from
Flamingo Feathers and other resources. Please email me if you have a topic idea that you want discussed on the podcast!
- Messes will happen! Learning is messy.
“Please excuse the mess. My kids are learning.”
We personally just wait until school is over to do the clean up and then we reset the house. At dinner, I don’t like seeing school items (I need a mental break). So we clean in the late afternoon so it can be clean before my husband gets home. Find a cleaning routine that works for you.
- Feel free to toss a curriculum mid year if it isn’t working for you.
- Curriculum price is not necessarily an indication of quality.
Something expensive might fit your child really well, but it may not. Sometimes the inexpensive workbooks are the best fit. So don’t judge a curriculum by its price.
- You CAN’T do it all in a day!! You can’t teach everything.
This doesn’t even happen in public or private school. Give yourself some grace. Yes, follow the state standards and obey the laws. But inevitably, there will be some gaps. Your kids are going to be fine! You can’t cover it all. You can’t sing every song in preschool. You can’t do all the crafts.
The key to all of this is not to teach your kids the facts. Teach your kids how to learn!
That’s the key to all of this. In public school, they memorize facts and teach to the test. Give your kids the skills that they need to learn on their own. How to look up research. How to think critically. And then whatever gaps you’ve had in your homeschool….then guess what? They will be able to fill any of those gaps they have had in learning in school.
- Give yourself some grace!!!
- Follow a routine that works for you.
Find a routine that works for you. Do not try to recreate public school at home. It does not work!
If you have traditionally been the kind of person who likes to fly by the seat of your pants, I would encourage you to consider building in more routine into your day. If you have lots of doctors appointments and therapy appointments, learn to school in the car! Keep a bag of school supplies in the car (no crayons!)
Listen to lots of audio books in the car. Master the art of carschooling or doctor schooling if you have to be at lots of appointments.
Have a rhythm to your days at home. Figure out if your kids need breaks between subjects, or if your kids would rather just get it over with.
You aren’t married to your schedule. You can switch it around until you can find something that works for your family. Find your rhythm and own it. When you have a kid with sensory needs or cognitive delays, having a predictable day is super important. I recommend a schedule method called time blocking for large families or for families who homeschool. This method works really well when you need some flexibility!