Homeschooling calls for a parent to perform at the top of his or her game. There are some habits that enhance the ease and effectiveness of homeschooling. If you feel as though you’re slogging along this homeschool journey, add some of these practices to make for a smoother experience.
Homeschool parents don’t get a lot of “me time” in their days. From the moment they wake up until the time they go to bed, they’re knee-deep in it all.
The solution? Wake up first. Experienced homeschoolers understand that carving out even 10 minutes a day to be alone with your thoughts is invaluable.
Even if you’re not a morning person, program your coffee the night before and allow yourself some time to slowly wake up by yourself. Relish time alone in the morning to gather your thoughts and just be.
Do this each morning and you’ll find it refreshes you and allows you a buffer between serving the needs of your family and nurturing your own needs. Once you get used to the new schedule, you may even find yourself wanting to get up even earlier to allow for more time alone. It can be a game changer.
Whatever your approach to homeschool, I recommend planning more than enough for each of your children. When life gets hectic or you’re just tired, you’ll have robust plans to fall back on and keep things moving forward.
The key to overplanning is to be completely OK with never getting to all that you’ve planned. Know going in that you’ll never do all of these things, but you’ll do the ones that work well for your family.
Feel free to have days when you follow no plan at all. Maybe even most of your days will feel that way.
At other times, though, life will get in the way, emergencies will pop up, or you’ll simply feel very tired; then you’ll be glad you’ve done the work ahead of time to keep you and your kids moving forward.
Your checklist says that you have to get through math, history, and science before the end of the day but your kids are still busy building their Lego city, reading, drawing, or digging in the garden.
Let them be.
It’s really important to recognize the educational value of joyful activities such as these and not fall under a checklist’s potentially tyrannical influence.
Step back, pour a second cup of coffee or tea, and watch and listen to the joy your children are experiencing in their homeschool. Pay attention to clues to interests that need further fostering. Better yet, get down next to them and contribute your own Lego creation. They’ll be overjoyed.
Allow your children to have input into their education. Ask for ideas, get feedback, and involve your children in the preparation and execution of their homeschool experience. As they get older, do this more and more.
If there’s one thing for certain in homeschool, it’s that it won’t stay the same. What works one year might not the next. Your children’s interests and aptitudes will vary widely across the spans of their childhoods.
Be ready to toss a curriculum that isn’t working, rethink your whole approach to subjects, adjust your schedule and routines many times, and pivot to meet the needs of your children.
These aren’t robots you’re programming, but beautiful souls you’re cultivating, so keep your approach soft, loving, open, and flexible.