Your decision to homeschool your kids is a declaration that you are willing to do what is best for your children. You want to provide a loving, warm, encouraging home environment. You want to help them grow as students, individuals, and disciples.
You want the best for them.
Making the most of the homeschooling years is simple to do, but all too often we overcomplicate things. Here are five things that have helped me enjoy the children, make our house a home, and enjoy the homeschooling life like the blessing it is.
Using curriculum that fits your family
I bet one of the many reasons you have chosen to teach your children at home is that you’re not entirely happy with what is being taught in the local public school. We have the freedom to choose what is taught in our homes.
We homeschool moms prep, plan, and research curriculum like it’s a hobby. Is it a hobby? Hmmm. Anyway, one thing that has made an enormous impact on our homeschool days, is finally finding the right curriculum for us.
We found Sonlight about two years ago and I haven’t looked back! Our days run smoothly, and the kids enjoy school like they never have before. Finding the right curriculum can take time though. It took us six years to get it right! Which leads me to my next point . . .
Give yourself grace
Homeschooling is hard. If you’ve been at it any amount of time, you know that homeschooling the kids, taking care of the home, the hubby, the meals . . . it’s the hardest juggling act I know of. So give yourself grace, mama.
There will be days that you want to give up, and that’s fine. Give up. But start back up again tomorrow.
One area that I’ve really had to extend grace to myself is in the clothing department. I used to think they needed to be dressed, pressed and ready for the day before we could do school. I now know that that just isn’t the case. If we want to do school in PJs, that’s fine! My daughter isn’t going to learn any less because she’s wearing pajamas instead of something cool and fashionable from Nickis. Whatever.
The small things are exactly that, small things.
When I start getting upset about what’s happening, I ask myself, “Will this matter for eternity?” Most often the answer is no, which means I really have no real reason to be upset. Just let it go, mama, let it go. Can’t hold me back anymore. . . Ahem. Sorry.
Don’t push them, let the learning happen naturally
One of the many advantages of homeschooling is that you can work at your child’s pace. I had one child who read at five and another who read at seven. I know moms whose kids didn’t read until they were eight or nine.
Homeschooling gives you the opportunity to take the pressure off of kids and let them learn at their own speed. As long as you are consistently working with, they’ll get it – in their own time.
No amount of progress is worth the stress and tears of rushing a child to do something they just aren’t capable of doing yet. Give them grace and chock it up to God growing your patience. It can be hard when you’re in the thick of it but take a deep breath, this moment will pass.
Breaking the day up
Early in our homeschool, I thought school had to be done all at one time. I have since learned that breaking the day up makes things run much more smoothly. We have our read aloud time in the morning and our table time in the afternoon.
By making sure the children have breaks in their day, they don’t burn out. Plus we have an easier time keeping the house clean when we have a regular chore routine built into our school breaks.
Connecting with other homeschoolers
I cannot stress this enough. You need other homeschooling moms.
I run a local group of almost 100 homeschooling moms. We get together for monthly moms meetings and can I tell you this is something all of us look forward to?? We plan the food, if anyone will be speaking, what curriculum to bring to share or let others take a look at . . .
These moms meetings help us grow as homeschool moms, moms in general, and as women. We lean on each other. We laugh together. We cry together. Seriously, if you aren’t plugged in with your local homeschool community, do a quick search online. You’ll be so glad you did.
This also goes for the kids. They like having friends too, you know. We have been going to the library for a while now for their special reading times. Actually, we’ve been doing this every week for months. Several of my mom friends bring their kids to the reading time, too.
So by connecting with others, the kids get to hang out together at the library (and other various events), and I get to hang out with the moms. Everybody wins!
These are just a few simple ways to help make the most of the homeschooling years. What helps you make the most of this precious time?