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10 Things I Would Tell a New Homeschool Mom

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This is going to be my 16th year of homeschooling. In many ways, it doesn’t feel like that long, but I have gained some wisdom and perspective over those years. These are 10 things I would tell a new homeschool mom (that I wish someone had told me when I was first starting out!).

What I Would Tell a New Homeschool Mom

1. Relax. I wish someone had told me this my first few years. In regular school, a teacher has one year to teach her students all they need to know for that year. In homeschool, a mom has 18 years to teach her kids all that they need to know. It doesn’t need to be done on the first day!

2. Relationship. Having all that time together with your kids gives you the opportunity to form a close relationship with each one of them, to get to know their learning styles, their personalities, and to make moments that will form memories. Focusing on the relationship makes learning easier for the kids too as it allows them to be able to relax.

3. Support Network. Meeting other homeschool moms, whether online or in person, is so critical. There is a strong chance that there will be naysayers to your decision to homeschool whether they be family, friends, or strangers and having a strong support network of likeminded moms will help cushion that for you. It will also allow you to ask questions, share resources and ideas, and vent frustrations.

4. Character. Focus less on academics and more on character. Very few adults remember math formulas or verb conjugation, but values, morals, and character are something that stays with you all of your life. Teaching character to your children is critical.

5. Fun. Of course it’s important for the kids to have fun, but it’s important for moms too. Take time, actually make time, to enjoy your kids. Inject fun activities into your homeschool, whether that be crafts or hands-on projects or field trips or impromptu learning on a nature hike.

6. Love of learning. I am a learner. I love to learn. I hope I never stop learning. I want that same thing for my kids. Making learning fun and not stressful will create a love of learning in your kids and will ensure that you as a homeschool teacher and mom won’t burn out as easily because you will also be consciously trying to relax yourself to create that environment.

7. Read. Read to the kids. Read yourself so that your kids see you enjoying books. Read to the kids some more. Read. One of the best gifts you can give your kids to take with them into the adult world is the imagination, knowledge, relaxation, understanding, and experience that books offer. Here are our top 10 read-alouds.

8. Pray. Homeschooling is hard at times. It is one of those oftentimes thankless jobs where a lot of the reward doesn’t show itself until years later. In addition to having the encouragement of other homeschool moms, especially those who are veterans, prayer and faith is essential. It can guide you when making decisions, encourage you in the hard moments, and help you remember some of the reasons you started homeschooling in the first place.

9. Hang in there. There will be days where you will wish you could go to the bank without the kids in tow.  There will be weeks that feel like they never end. There will be moments when you doubt if the kids are learning enough, if you are doing enough, if you are doing it “right”. Hang in there. It gets better.  One of the benefits of homeschooling is the flexibility. If something isn’t working, you can change it. That goes for everything from the method of homeschooling to curriculum to schedules.

10. It is worth it. I can say this with confidence now after fourteen years of homeschooling. It is so worth it. For some of the reasons that I can see that it’s worth it, you can read my 10 Reasons Why I Homeschool and the Top 10 Reasons My Kids Like Being Homeschooled.

If you are new to homeschooling, you might also be interested in reading my top 10 must-haves for homeschooling. If you are considering homeschooling and have questions, I am so happy to help in any way I can. You can leave questions in the comment section or e-mail me.

My Biggest Homeschool Mistake

Reflecting on my biggest homeschool mistake and what I do differently nowAdvice from Real Homeschool Moms

You can also follow me on Pinterest for ideas or subscribe to my updates for homeschool inspiration and encouragement.

 

Comments

  1. This is exactly what I would tell a new homeschooler too. Even though we’re not homeschooling anymore, they were five of the most special years of my life.

    Blessings!
    Deborah

  2. Great advice. You hit the nail on the head in what it takes to survive (lol)enjoy homeschooling. Thanks for sharing.

  3. 🙂 Thanks for sharing all your thoughts and resources. I especially love the read-aloud book list. You are the great temptress of homeschooling….making it look like I could actually consider this one day. Darn you and love you. Luckily, Miss E. is only 17-months, but with the rate we’re adding kiddos around here, who knows? It’s comforting to know you’re out there. Thanks again.

    • I’m glad that I’ve planted the homeschooling seed! Even if it’s not right for your family in the beginning, it’s always good to be open to the possibility down the road in case school isn’t working for them or for you or circumstances change, but I actually think you’d make a great homeschooler!!!

  4. Loved #1, it’s something I need to remember. And you are so right about the Character training it will matter way more than the knowledge they have attained. Great list!

  5. Your list hits the nail on the head. LOVE IT!
    Blessings, Dawn

  6. I appreciate your list because I am considering homeschooling our children but fearful for a lot of reasons. I especially like what you said about the importance of relationships because when we have a good relationship with our children they are more apt to listen and take in what we say. Great post!

  7. Courtney says:

    Thank you for this 🙂 I am just starting to Homeschool this year – I printed this and will refer back to it over and over , I am sure ! 🙂 Thank you

    • Courtney, I’m so glad it was an encouragement to you. I know there are times that homeschooling feels overwhelming or discouraging, but when that happens, remind yourself of the reasons you began to homeschool in the first place. You can do this!!!

  8. I am SERIOUSLY on the fence regarding homeschooling. My daughter will start 1st grade in August & my youngest will be 3 soon after. I have read books about homeschooling. I bought “well trained mind” and I’m still unsure. I know I am capable of doing it I fear I will burn out, kids will become bored, and etc. we are in a new town and it is nice but I don’t know! Fear is kicking my butt! However I do like your blog!

    • Nikki, I would be lying if I said that I never get homeschool burnout! At the end of every year or sometimes even in the middle, I start to feel burnt out. Sometimes it just takes getting a bit of a break and starting to plan for the next year so that I can get excited again but other times, I’ve had to really look at what we’re doing that’s working and what isn’t working and make some big changes to the way we do things to make it more manageable and to make it work for us. I certainly can’t advise you as to what to do because every person and circumstance is different but I can say that even though there may be days when I question the sanity of my decision to homeschool (!), I can honestly say that I’m so glad that I took the plunge. Let me know if there are any questions you have that I can help with!

  9. Thanks. We’ve been at this for two years now but for the first time I am not looking forward to starting school again. My 2yo is so busy now and we have a little baby and I just know I’m going to be overwhelmed and then I take it out on my daughter during school and I hate that! 🙁 I know I can do it, but I want it to be fun too, not just surviving, you know?

  10. Hi there. What an amazing list for new home schoolers! Would you mind if I shared your post on my blog I think it would be a great read for some I know who are worried and need the vote of confidence.

Trackbacks

  1. […] first time homeschooler I really enjoyed the info shared by Sharla from the Chaos and Clutter with 10 Things I Would Tell a New Homeschool Mom also be sure to check out her post on Using Pinterest in […]

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