When I first started homeschooling seven years ago, I wanted so badly to pick the minds of veteran homeschool moms. I wanted to know what to do, what I shouldn’t do, what to watch out for . . . the list went on and on.
Thankfully, I had a couple close friends who were already homeschooling so I had them to bounce things off of. This post is a simple list of things that the veteran homeschool moms I know now all mention as things they would like to do over or differently.
Don’t worry, we’re all going to make mistakes along the way, but as long as we learn from them and keep moving forward, it will all work out in the end. Keep giving yourself grace, mama.
5 Homeschooling Features Parents Say They’d Do Over
One of the best ways to grow and learn is to listen to others. So take these words of wisdom to heart and learn from other homeschool moms who have been where you are.
It’s easy to forget the importance of playing for kids. In fact, letting off energy and steam is vital for any child regardless of their age.
As parents who homeschool their children, we can’t forget that kids need play. They need free time. And in my opinion, they need much more than the nationally prescribed 30 minutes per day. Most of the veteran homeschool moms I’ve spoken to say they wish they had played more with the kids and that they allowed more play and had less focus on academia in the early years.
Pushing your children to the limits from an early age isn’t a wise move. Instead, mothers with experience in the situation say to look for a balance. If anything, you might want to put more emphasis on playing when the kids are young.
Because one of the main ideas of homeschooling is to give the kids more one on one attention, the thought of pooling resources is off-putting. What if the extra people in the class have a detrimental effect? What if there isn’t enough time for everyone? How will it work? Honestly, there is no way to tell without doing it first.
Taking the time and opportunity to socialize (yes, I said the S word) and interact with other people rather than being isolated can pay off huge dividends.
Some ways of doing this are library times, classes at the YMCA, homeschool co-ops, 4H . . . just doing a quick Google search will give you options for local homeschool events.
Seriously, don’t pass up the opportunity to hang out with other homeschool mothers, you need each other!
Be Aware Of The Home
Moms, to be teacher and mother is difficult, we all know this. Anyone who says otherwise is either lying or trying to make you feel better. Work out their play before tarring them with a brush.
Anyway, the point is the errands still need running and the food still needs cooking even when there are lessons to teach. And, with no one else at home, https://www.washingtonpost.com suggests it is your responsibility.
Any tactic you can use to keep the plates spinning is worth considering. (Hello, Walmart Grocery Pick Up!) However, mothers with experience have a word of warning: don’t be neglectful. Cleaning the house is a prime example. First, your home environment should be at least somewhat clean to encourage learning in a relaxed atmosphere. Otherwise, the kids might feel distracted and won’t be able to focus, just like you and me.
Second, there is a health issue. The website www.cleanhappens.com is taking off because it is a non-chemical alternative. Using industry-standard products may put your children’s health at risk if the compounds get into their bloodstream. Education is essential, but so are health and safety.
Drop The Guinea Pig Routine
For anyone that doesn’t know what the guinea pig routine is, it’s where you split the kids. Not literally of course because that is illegal. No, it’s where one kid, typically the oldest one, goes to a public school and the other(s) stay at home. It’s a form of hedging your bets. That way, if one fails, the other can still succeed. Right? WRONG! Why are so many parents homeschooling through middle school but then putting the child in public high school?
From a purely logical point of view, there is a scientific method to the madness. Sure, both options may tank but at least there’s a better probability by splitting them up. As we all know, being a parent isn’t logical whatsoever. As a result, moms who have used the guinea pig routine feel guilty.
They may like the fact that they don’t have to stay at home, but come on, you’ve invested so much in them this far, why stop now??
So, mom guilt.
As moms (and especially as homeschool moms), we tend to guilt ourselves over everything. Somethings like “But what about the learning gap??” just need to be dropped because there will always be gaps in learning no matter where your kid goes to school.
We all make mistakes, especially at the beginning of this journey. But as long as we all learn from our mistakes, repent and ask for our children’s forgiveness, then we need to forgive ourselves and get on with life!
Don’t let that yelling match that happened between you and your teen (or toddler) last week keep you down today! Admit you were wrong and move on, sister!