Friday, March 13, 2020

6 tips for new homeschooling mamas

in light of the schooling changes many are experiencing lately, i thought i'd offer some encouragement for new homeschooling families. here are six things i've learned in 11 years of homeschooling experience:

1 // you are fully capable. remember, you were your child's first teacher and you are your child's best teacher. you were appointed by God to be your child's parent, and parenting is A LOT of teaching from day 1. you don't have to have a teaching degree, or any special training or education to homeschool your kids. teaching academics might not come naturally to you, but don't underestimate yourself and your ability to teach your children. all textbooks and curricula include teaching guides and answer keys. you don't have to know it all. 

2 // your home is probably already well equipped. you don't need to remodel a room, buy tons of supplies, or set up a "classroom" in your home. in fact, i DO NOT recommend trying to replicate a classroom setting at home - it's not natural. if you have a kitchen table, books, paper, and pencils, you're good to go. homeschooling is best, in my experience, when it's set up as a way of life. learning happens everywhere and all the time. it's not confined to a desk, a classroom, or a time of day.

3 // your homeschool experience will be unique. remember this. no two families homeschool the same. your child's abilities and learning style is unique, and might change from year to year. please do yourself a favor and do not compare your homeschool experience to anyone else's, or to the public school experience.

4 // take your time. ease into it. give yourself - and your kids - grace and PATIENCE as you begin to homeschool. diving in full speed ahead can quickly lead to overwhelm, stress, and burnout. homeschooling is not a race. a stressed out home is not conducive to learning. take your time and enjoy the journey.

5 // be flexible. stay ready to adapt. you might start out using one math book and after a week or so realize it's not a good fit for your child. that's okay! or, you might think starting school work at 9am is a good idea but then find out your child is more attentive later in the day. that's okay! it's a process and a lot of it is trial and error. (another reason not to stock up on supplies or rearrange a bedroom- it might not be what your child needs!) in the meantime, you are going to discover your child's learning styles and get to watch them learn new things -- that was one of my favorite parts about homeschooling!

6 // make the most of it. whether you're planning to homeschool for two weeks, two years, or indefinitely, make the most of it! teach your child a new language, let your child do her school work outside, take a day off when you need to, listen to audiobooks, have fun! take advantage of the opportunities you have to be first-hand involved in your child's learning. go into it with the mindset and heart for your children to look back on this time and remember it with a smile. don't do it begrudgingly.

wherever you are, whatever your circumstances, welcome to the wonderful world of homeschooling! it's a sacrifice and a big responsibility, yes, but it's so incredibly sweet and so wonderfully worth it. 

ps: if you want to know more about our curriculum choices and homeschool schedules, i shared regular updates from 2008 through 2016 here and here. feel free to email me or find me on instagram if you have any homeschool questions! you got this! xo

"And we know that God causes everything to work together 
for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." 
-Romans 8:28