4 Tips to Ensure Homeschool Consistency: A Guide for New Working Homeschool Moms
Homeschool consistency is something that many new working homeschool moms want. And I totally agree! It’s something that I need in my homeschool – especially because I’m homeschooling neurodivergent children.
My children crave routine but are also resistant at the best of times. Consistency has been necessary but hard won for me. I have to say that my idea of what being consistent means has changed a lot since I started out in 2017 and this shift has helped me to get to the point we are now.
It might feel to you that staying consistent seems really hard. If you’re just starting out and you’re comparing it to public school consistency, it might seem impossible Or you might be feeling that you’re not quite managing it in your first three years of being a working homeschool mom.
In this post I want to share 4 tips that can help you ensure homeschool consistency.
1. Rethinking Homeschool Consistency
When you start out as a working homeschool mom, it’s very normal to base your educational expectations on what you experienced yourself. Most working homeschool moms I speak to, went to public school. And so did I.
So when you look at consistency through that lens, it looks like eight hours a day with school breaks during the year. The breaks are great but what about eight hours a day?! That seems like a lot, right?
If you work for eight hours a day and homeschool for eight hours a day, it leaves little time for anything else! So obviously this isn’t viable. But I have wonderful news for you. You do NOT have to homeschool for eight hours a day.
You can homeschool for just a couple of hours a day, at the most. But when you see the rest of the day as being full of learning opportunities, then your child is actually doing more than eight hours a day.
So with that in mind, consistency seems much easier and more natural, right?
2. How Does Your Child Learn Best?
The next important element in homeschool consistency, is a child that actually wants to learn. Resistance and reluctance to homeschooling are going to make regularity really hard.
So how do you avoid this? Well I have a lot of advice because my kids can be really resistant if not engaged in a way that suits them. 😄
- Firstly, you have to deschool your child and yourself. When you deschool, it means you move away from what is considered ‘right’ or ‘normal’ in education. And you move to a place where you’re open to all the wonderful ways that learning can happen. Because this is where you’re going to find the magic sauce that is going to open up your child’s love for learning.
- Secondly, you should lean into interest-led learning. Kids are naturally curious and most often they love to learn new things. If you can harness this, you’re going to have kids who are engaged. And once again, it’s going to make homeschool consistency much, much easier.
3. Homeschool Consistency is a Long Game
I used to think of consistency as doing something every day, come hell or high water. If you’re someone who loves a thirty day challenge, then you’re probably like me.
But I’ve learnt some valuable lessons when it comes to homeschool consistency.
- Trying to be consistent on the behalf of someone else can be frustrating and counterintuitive. Forcing your kids to do homeschooling every day when they’re not engaged or in the mood, rarely works out. This is a surefire recipe for resistance and reluctance. A short break and maybe a rethink are going to serve everyone much better than pushing through.
- Self love and acceptance are also needed. Feeling like your kiddo isn’t doing enough can easily cause you to beat yourself up. If you struggle with people pleasing and perfectionism (yip, it’s me), you’re going to feel bad when you believe your kids aren’t doing enough.
- Lastly, I’ve learnt that consistency is a long game. It means that when you look at learning as always happening and structured learning just being a part of the puzzle, then you’ll discover your homeschool consistency in a much easier way. So taking a day off here are there, is not going to make a huge difference in the general scheme of things.
4. Stay Consistent with Year-Round Homeschooling
The idea of year-round homeschooling might be totally overwhelming. Where are the vacations? Where’s the time off? I definitely felt the same when I first heard of the concept. But trust me when I tell you that it’s really worth considering!
Here’s why year-round homeschooling is such a great way to ensure homeschool consistency.
- When you homeschool year round, you are consistent. It means your kiddos are always going to know what is happening and it’s an easy way to make sure that structured learning happens regularly. It could bring them a sense of stability too. Like I said, my kids crave routine so it works really well for us.
- Year-round homeschooling actually gives you more flexibility. If you need to take some time off, you can. We regularly take days off here and there without losing the rhythm of homeschooling. When my boys are sick or when I’m really busy at work, we can take time off without worrying about a slide. And it’s much easier to get back to learning afterwards.
- Talking about slides, you avoid the dreaded summer slide. I’m sure you remember what it was like starting school after a long break. And your kids have probably had the same feeling during their education. It can take weeks to get back into a routine. And reluctance and resistance often resurface. But with year-round homeschooling, you avoid this entirely. Or at least it’s much easier getting back to homeschooling after a week than after three months!
Final Thoughts on Homeschool Consistency
Starting out as a new working homeschool mom can be tough. It’s often a radical shift from what your life was before. I know it was for me. So please be so very kind to yourself. It’s going to take some time to figure everything out. And you will work it out in the end.
If you’re committed and you’re open to all the possibilities, it’s impossible to fail. You’ll discover your own version of homeschool consistency. And it will be just right for you and your family.
And if you want to speed up the process, then be sure to reach out to me. I offer group coaching in the WHM Collective over on Patreon. I can walk along with you on your working homeschool mom journey. And I know from experience that it’s definitely better with friends.