Hey there new homeschool mom.
I see you.
I’ve been there.
School isn’t exactly how you had planned it to be and overwhelm has taken a seat at your kitchen table.
There are almost as many unknowns as there are new things to learn and manage and if we are being really honest, our plates were already too full.
If you got a minute, this old homeschool mom has a few thoughts to share that will hopefully encourage you.
I’ll admit, even this experienced homeschool mom has been throw for a bit of a loop with recent events. Here are a few things I try to remember while homeschooling this year. I hope it can be a bit of encouragement and maybe even helpful to those of you who have suddenly found yourselves homeschooling.
The Kids Will Be Okay
Kids are naturally amazing learners and incredibly resilient. A large part of childhood outside of the classroom is spent naturally learning complex skills and vasts amount of information. Don’t forget most children master an entire language by age 5. Ask any kid about one of their favorite topics (Minecraft, anyone?) and you will quickly learn how kids can naturally process an impressive amount of information with relative ease.
One of the biggest fears I think we all have is that our kids are going to fall behind this year. This is a sneaky fear because it is based on a false comparison to how things used to be, not our current situation. While it is true that our kiddos might be on a different time line than before, “before” isn’t exactly on the table for anyone. Is the current situation ideal? No. But the added pressure isn’t helpful or even reasonable. What is on the table is a new opportunity. It is definitely challenging, but it can also have a lot of up sides to it.
How to Learn NOT a List of Facts
Some of the best advice I received as a new homeschooling mom years ago was to focus on teaching my daughter how to learn, not a bunch of facts for a test. One of the things I love about homeschooling is that you can naturally shift into a learning experience anywhere at anytime.
Ordering Groceries can help her learn how to use math to make sure we stay on budget while getting her favorite cereal. A hike in the woods can quickly turn into a science lesson to learn how to figure out the types of trees on the trail. A book about her favorite hobby can teach her the value of reading to learn, not just to pass a test.
Individualized Learning has Advantages
Once I got my footing as a homeschool mom, I stumbled upon a huge educational advantage of being in charge of the curriculum. Regardless of the tools I was using, I could still teach the skill, but adapt it to my daughter’s interests. A boring compare and contrast essay suddenly became interesting when it was comparing her favorite anime characters. An online civics course became immensely more fun when the towns and government projects were conducted on Minecraft. Her physics lab became incredibly more fun when she was allowed to use her art skills in the presentation. These fun moments of learning also have the added benefit of momentum to push through the not so fun subjects … I’m looking at you, Algebra.
Fun and Done
While tough subjects are a tough one, this homeschool mom is a firm believer in “Fun and Done vs. Tears and Struggle All Year”. Every kid (and homeschool teacher) has at least one subject that is NOT fun. In our house we try to overcome this by using the momentum of the fun subjects to spread out the not-so-fun subjects. However, if there is a day (or week) of some really difficult concepts, we take advantage of mom being in charge of the curriculum and slow things down, approach the curriculum differently if needed. My bottom line is no one in my house should be in tears over a math problem. Not the kiddo and not mom either ;). This is an area of homeschooling I will write more on in the future with specific strategies.
I hope these 5 things to keep in mind for the new homeschool mom were an encouragement to you. Do you have any advice for other homeschool moms? Share below!
I am the mama behind GOODEness Gracious and the owner of Cris Goode Solutions. Here at GOODEness Gracious, we like to keep it light and fun as we cook up family meals, share our super mommy secrets and chat it up about the GOODe life:) So come on in and sit a spell.
Nancy J. Peters says
I hadn’t looked this over until this morning and was so excited for my granddaughter. Altho she doesn’t live with me, I supply her with fun (I hope) things to do. I started a “free” school back in the 70’s with others htat was successful for some 30 years until the publics started their own alternatives. My youngers went to a family co-op school which was almost too free tolearn but they did. One daughter ran a successful family day care for 20 years and another has a thriving tamale business in Vermont of all places. So I shall pass this on to my daughter in law hoping it will excite her as it did me so many years ago..