As a first-time homeschooling mom, it’s normal to feel anxious, fearful, and excited all at once! You have a gazillion thoughts and questions racing through your mind, and while I may not be able to answer all your questions. I can, however, share with you some things I knew when I first started homeschooling and some things I believe every homeschooling mom should know.
Here are 10 things every homeschooling mom should know.
What Every Homeschooling Mom Should Know
1. Don’t stress over what others are saying or doing
As a new homeschooling mom, you may feel overwhelmed with what other homeschooling parents who have been doing it for years are doing. Remember, your journey and season of life is completely different from theirs. And once upon a time, they felt exactly how you are feeling today.
With time they’ve grown to adapt to their kid’s learning style, and with trial and error, they’ve figured out what style of homeschooling is best suited for them and their kiddos. And with time, you will figure out the same.
On the other hand, you may encounter friends, family members, and strangers who may critique you for choosing to homeschool. As a homeschooling mom, I feel like judgment and critique when it comes to homeschooling at some point in time is inevitable.
I have learned to ignore the naysayers and instead reflect on my why for choosing to homeschool. (That’s why it’s so important to be clear on your big why for choosing to homeschool.)
As intimidating as it can be, I remember that as their mama, I know what’s best for my kids and that I have their best interests at heart.
There’s no need to prove to others that homeschooling is better than public or private school. You hold on to your belief and continue to serve your kids to the best of your abilities and let the naysayers hold on to their thoughts.
2. Homeschooling moms need to give themselves grace
“You can’t pour from an empty cup.” – Norm Kelly
Often as homeschooling moms, we are our biggest critics.
We criticize ourselves for everything! For not having a clean home, and not being able to control our kids when they are having a meltdown. Not being able to solve algebra questions, and the list goes on.
But, when do we stop and give ourselves a pat on our backs for the great work we’ve done?
As a busy homeschooling mom, you won’t be able to tick everything off your to-do list every single day because no two days of homeschooling are the same.
Some days are sunshine and unicorns. Other days are pure chaos. On these chaotic days, remember to give yourself grace.
Take a break!
Allow the kids to play or watch T.V. or even play their video games while you put your feet up and read a book or watch The Real Housewives.
Giving yourself grace and taking a break from your to-do list will allow you to fill your cup until it’s overflowing. Because it’s only when your cup is overflowing you can pour into others.
One thing every homeschooling mom should know is that taking care of herself first is not selfish. It’s self-love.
As a bonus, by taking care of yourself, as a mom, you will be influencing your kids to take care of themselves. A life skill that will boost their self-esteem.
3. You don’t need a fancy homeschooling room
If you want to have a fancy homeschooling room and you got the budget for it – then go for it! But, if you don’t have the budget for it – don’t sweat it!
The most important thing is to make your homeschooling environment as friendly and loving as possible for your kids. This may look like homeschooling from your family room, kitchen table, or even on the road.
There’s no need for all the bells and whistles when you are first starting off other than having your kids’ curriculum, stationeries, a printer, and maybe a bookshelf.
4. It’s okay to switch curriculums
Curriculums are often a BIG topic when it comes to homeschooling.
As a first-time homeschooling mom, you will ask others for advice on what curriculums you should be using. And while you will get amazing advice from other parents.
Here’s the thing.
Sometimes you may not have the same wonderful experience from a curriculum that others have. And if that’s the case, don’t be afraid to switch it up.
Yes, it is an expense. But would you rather save a few dollars and spend an entire year working on a curriculum that frustrates your kids, making your homeschooling experience a horrible one?
You gotta weigh your pros and cons when it comes to curriculums. And the reality is you will change curriculums while on your homeschooling journey. And it’s absolutely okay to switch curricula if it’s not working out for y’all.
5. Don’t worry about socialization
As a homeschooling mom, one of your biggest concerns will be socialization.
Questions will arise in your mind.
“How can I socialize my kids?”
“Will my kids grow up not knowing how to advocate for themselves?”
“I just want my child to have one close friend!”
These are all some thoughts we have as homeschooling moms, whether it’s our first year of homeschooling or our fifth year.
The truth is we are social beings, and there are so many avenues for your kids to develop their social skills as homeschoolers.
From homeschooling meet-ups to talking to the cashier at the grocery store to smiling at someone at the park.
We put extra pressure on ourselves because we have the notion that socialization is being around lots of people almost every day of our life. And if our kids are not around a lot of kids then they are not getting socialization.
So even if you’re not part of a homeschooling group or organization (as yet), don’t fear your child won’t get socialization. Because through everyday interactions, your child will be building on their social skills.
6. You don’t have to follow the school calendar year
When I first began homeschooling, I burned both ends of the candles because I imitated everything from the public school settings.
Ha! That’s one thing I will do differently if I were starting my homeschooling journey all over again.
As a homeschooling educator, you are in charge of your homeschooling schedule. This means you get to decide whether you want to have a 36-week school year, a 30-week school year, or 52 week school year. Taking breaks and time off as you see fit.
Personally, we homeschool all year round. Taking breaks whenever we want to! This means we can take two weeks off in September to travel, having to face less traffic, or maybe the entire month of December for the holidays.
You get to decide your school calendar year!
7. Have a homeschooling budget
Homeschooling can be as expensive or as inexpensive as you wish. But having a budget as to how much money you want to spend on curriculum, educational printables, activities, apps, and books each homeschooling year will allow you to plan accordingly, saving you from experiencing financial anxiety.
8. Start your day when the kids are asleep
At first, this may seem daunting. But waking before your kids and having some time for yourself – whether that’s having a warm bath, or enjoying your cup of morning tea/coffee without interruptions while you listen to your favorite podcast or read your favorite blog or book can have a massive impact on how the rest of your day goes.
Starting your day when the kids are asleep can result in
- Your mornings feel less chaotic and frantic.
- You will be able to attentively listen to your child when she’s asking you a question.
- You will feel empowered and organized.
- Your kids will feel less stressed and more relaxed to start their day.
- You will be creating a safe, mindful homeschooling environment.
All it takes is fifteen-thirty minutes of waking before your kids to enjoy these benefits.
9. Spend 10 minutes planning your week
Organization results in us being more productive.
Take 10 minutes every Sunday and plan your next week’s unit studies for your kids.
- What areas will you focus on for each subject?
- What goals do you have for the coming week?
- How can you effectively support each of your children?
- What do you need to do for yourself to ensure that your cup is overflowing for the week ahead?
- Take note of appointments, and meet-ups.
10. Have fun!
Homeschooling is not a race!
Have fun and enjoy the journey. Learn and grow with your kids through this and every season of your homeschooling journey.
Don’t stress about getting things right. The truth is, you won’t always get it right, and that’s a blessing in disguise because there’s a silver lining in every failure.
Homeschooling is a beautiful privilege you and your kids have been given.
At first, it can be so overwhlemed. I know it was for me.
Somedays, you will question everything you do.
You will feel like you are failing your kids most days. Unsure what is right from what is wrong.
Somedays, you will struggle to keep it all in.
You will have outbursts.
You will rant on every possible thing that enters your way.
Silently cry in the washroom as you scroll FB looking on at other homeschooling parents’ journey wishing it was your journey. Thoughts of returning to public school will entice your mind. And so much more!
As I end this post, I want you to know, my homeschooling mama friend, that you are not alone. Those feelings and thoughts have been felt by so many of us before. It’s normal.
On days like these, give yourself grace and remember your why for homeschooling. 😊
If you haven’t yet done so, I invite you to join our brand new FB group so we can support you on your homeschooling journey.
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