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Follow these steps and be the best first-time homeschool mom you can be!
Being a first time homeschool mom is so scary! You’re taking on the responsibility for the schooling of your child, so the pressure can really weigh on you. It’s going to come from inside and also from outside. But as a sort of coping-and-thriving homeschool mom, I would like to tell you that you can easily be the best first time homeschool mom by following these steps:
1. Find your Homeschooling Groove as a Homeschool Mom
This is something that sounds simple, but which can be the make or break of your first time homeschool mom experience. You’ve probably agonized over getting to the point of choosing homeschooling. And now you want everything to be perfect and organized and effective. But my advice is to spend the time trying to find the rhythms and routines that suit you and your family. It’s also an idea to think outside of the box. You could homeschool for 3 days a week, for the whole year. Or you could work in the mornings and homeschool in the afternoons. Or you could be super flexible and go with the flow. Whatever you choose, your kids are going to be benefitting from so much more personal attention and so many more learning experiences anyway, that you can afford to homeschool for less hours.
2. Forget about Having a Pinnable Home
I can guarantee that when you see those pristine homeschool rooms, they have been tidied and styled. Having kids at home means that there is probably going to be a lot of mess for a large part of the day. Obviously, it’s a great opportunity to teach your kids some valuable life skills through household chores. But I think that being obsessive about cleaning and tidying is going to take away from allowing your kids to learn. It’s easier to accept that your house will be a place of learning for now. Your Pinterest-ready house can come later.
3. Don’t Stress about Having a Dedicated Homeschool Room
When I was a first time homeschool mom, I spent hours on Pinterest drooling over the huge, gorgeous homeschool rooms. They looked like places where fun and learning could easily happen. And I was worried that we wouldn’t have the same experience. But learning can happen everywhere and anywhere. And it IS possible to homeschool in a small house or apartment. The only thing you really need is a decent table, with good lighting. And some kind of storage that the kids can use to keep their homeschool stuff. There are four of us at home at one time. Two of us are working and two of us are homeschooling. What works for us is that each room doubles up as something else. The kids work at the dining room table, my husband works in our bedroom and I work in the kids’ room. And we also use the big wide world as a classroom as much as possible.
4. Find your Support Network
Lots of people still don’t understand homeschooling. Or they don’t believe that it works. People are going to question your motives and your abilities. And this can really bring you down when you first start out. But by finding your homeschooling tribe, you’re going to feel more confident about what you’re doing. Not to mention the advice and inspiration you can get from more experienced homeschoolers. There are lots of Facebook groups, Instagram accounts and blogs out there that can give support. And you could also look for local homeschooling groups.
5. Ditch the Curriculum
I know this sounds extreme, but I think it’s a vital part of transitioning into homeschooling. If you’re moving your kid from school to home, they’re going to need some time of ‘deschooling’. You’ve obviously left school for a reason, so trying to mimic school at home is not going to work for anybody. Give your kids a chance to relax and decompress. And they will let you know when they’re ready to get back to learning. Then you can choose the best way for your child to learn, be it a boxed curriculum or a more unschooling approach. If your kids are small, then let them enjoy being small. There is plenty of time for them to do calculus and French when they grow up. They will be learning so much through free play that you don’t have to worry that they aren’t taking anything in.
You’re doing such an amazing thing by choosing to homeschool your kids. It might seem so frightening at first but once you’ve found your rhythm, you’ll realise what a blessing it is to spend so much time with your children. And to have the chance to help them grow into wonderful human beings. Follow us on Instagram and Pinterest for homeschool encouragement, support, resources and ideas.