Are you a first time homeschool mom? You might think you need to know all about lesson planning, or curriculum choices. The things you really need to know about homeschooling are these simple. There are some simple things for new homeschool moms to consider when starting out.
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Simple Tips for First Time Homeschool Moms
Deciding to homeschool is a huge step to take. It is terrifying, it is exciting, it’s so much more. The first year is about finding your footing, finding what works for you. You are trying to figure out learning styles and teaching styles.
Tips for First Time Homeschooler Moms
Quality over quantity – you don’t need every textbook, curriculum, or teach every subject for a quality education.
Just take a breath – it is overwhelming, everything is coming at you. People are asking if you know what you are doing. Take a big breath, step back, and keep going. It’s ok to take a day off if you need it. In fact I highly recommend taking a day in the middle of the week to go to the library or just setting the curriculum aside.
Enjoy being with your kids – homeschooling is not all about lessons. You can learn easily with your kids while having fun and being with your kids. Science experiments and other hands-on learning opportunities that don’t feel like learning are where they learn the most.
Change things up if you or your child is struggling. You are not being forced to use a curriculum if it doesn’t work for you or your kids.
You can’t teach your kids every single thing that you’d like to teach them. I know that seems harsh, but it’s the truth, and it is okay to outsource that topic.
Homeschooling isn’t regular “public” school – you aren’t recreating school at home but more learning at home. You create an atmosphere and love of learning.
Stick to the basics. You don’t need to cover everything, worry about reading, writing, and math. Everything else will come.
They will read… someday, I promise. If might feel like you are failing to teach them when they aren’t reading at the same time as everyone else. Keep reading to them, keep books everywhere, and one day they’ll be reading. 20 years from now, no one will care when they started reading, just that they read.
School doesn’t take 8 hours. You and your kids don’t have to do school 8 hours a day. Lessons here take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the day, and what we are covering.
Your curriculum is there to help you. You are not a slave to it. Put it aside if you need a mental health day, or you feel your child needs more practice or is just plain bored.
Not every “perfect” curriculum is perfect for you. Are you looking for secular curriculum? Don’t settle for something that doesn’t meet your requirements. Even then, a curriculum might not be the right learning style for your child or might require too much for you.
Stick to the basics and don’t get too involved in the extras. You don’t have to join co-ops, and sign up for all the extra-curricular activities. It’s perfectly ok to enjoy your weekends together instead of running around to events.
Mix and match or even make up your own thing. You can 100% create your own curriculum if you can’t find, or afford, what you are looking for.
Do not compare your homeschool journey to others. You and your kids are not the same as Mary down the road. Even if you are at the same point in your journey with the same grades, your kids are different, as are you.
Let them be kids, let them play, a lot. Children need to play to learn. Lego is the perfect example og playing and learning. Hands-on learning is the best way to learn. They are engaged, they are involved, they aren’t being spoken to.
You are in it for the long haul, there will be many years to cover everything – you don’t need to do it all at once. Take your time and explore what works best for your family.
You can homeschool on a very tight budget. It is possible to homeschool on no budget, you don’t have to spend huge amounts of money on curriculum or all the extras.
You don’t need to do each subject each day. Pick one or two subjects a day to get you started. If you find that light, add another subject. We usually do math and language arts four days a week, science one day, history another, etc.
Your children will learn way more than you think in everyday play and life. Look into unschooling, it is amazing what you all will learn through this method.
Focus on the way they learn best. Visual learners?
You can homeschool multiple ages, without losing your mind. It takes time to get there, it takes juggling and maybe looking for a curriculum for multiple ages.
Be flexible. Everything is not going to go to plan. Use a pencil in your planner because things are going to change. Or use a digital planner that you can easily move things around.
You don’t need a homeschool room. Your kitchen/dining room table or couch will be perfect.
Something to remember for first time homeschool moms…
Your initial idea/plan may not be how things turn out in the end. That’s ok.
Let them sleep in. They’ll be better learners for it, one of the benefits of homeschooling is that your kids can be themselves, and get the sleep that their bodies require.
You can learn as you go. Not just how to homeschool and get through the days, but you will learn while you teach your children math, history, and other subjects.
There will be hard days, remember your reasoning for homeschooling. It can change. We started to homeschool because the school was lacking, and we have continued to homeschool because… the village isn’t raising my children.
You are the expert in your child’s life. Stay true to your choice. And yes, you can choose to put them in public or private school later if you want, if that’s the right choice for your family.