Start Homeschooling Today: 5 Things I'd Do to Succeed
I sometimes wonder what I’d do of I were to start homeschooling today, from scratch. Would I do anything differently? You better believe I would!
I don’t want to be hard on myself or regret what I’ve done. I’ve learnt so much! And that’s why I can share what I’ve learnt – I’ve been through it and come out the other side!
But if I could have a do-over, I’d make some changes. And if you’re reading this, deciding to start homeschooling today, I hope that this post will give you some ideas of what you should concentrate on, and what you can leave.
1. I'd Go Directly into Deschooling
When I started homeschooling, I’d never heard of deschooling. I actually stumbled on the concept by chance and my mind was blown! It sounded so strange and so foreign.
But I wish I’d started earlier because the beginning of our homeschool was tough! The boys were so resistant to any kind of structured learning. There was fighting and crying and frustration. But I could have avoided the whole period entirely.
My kiddos had an incredibly traumatic one year at public school. And they needed to shake it off. And I needed to open my eyes and my mind to see what they needed.
So if you want to start homeschooling today, I suggest that you:
- start immediately with something fun that your kids like to do,
- become used to the idea of taking time off from structured learning until you can see your kids are ready,
- get stocked up with lots of books and games and craft supplies,
- and get a nice big notebook where you can start taking notes about what your kids like to read and do, when they’re the most energetic, what excites and engages them and what times they like to eat.
This is probably going to be constant so be sure to also stock up on enough food!
2. I'd Find the Real Working Homeschool Moms of Social Media
I was so lonely when I started out as a working homeschool mom. Not to mention totally clueless! I was desperate from community and guidance.
I couldn’t find an IRL homeschooling community so I had to go online. This was totally fine. But I got sucked into a rabbit hole of ‘perfect’ homeschooling families who always looked happy and engaged, living in sprawling houses and surrounded by gorgeous resources and beautiful homeschool rooms.
I couldn’t find homeschoolers who had a similar life to mine. And it made me feel bad about myself. I was looking for working homeschool moms who lived in normal houses and who were homeschooling neurodiversity.
Luckily I managed to get out of this loop and have since found amazing women to fill my working homeschool community with. We’re definitely not all exactly the same but we similar ideas about what’s important.
- only follow homeschoolers who share the ups and downs of homeschooling,
- remind yourself that what you see on Instagram is often not reality,
- get inspiration from what you see but don’t try to copy unless you’re sure it’s right for you,
- or start your own groups if there’s nothing out there that speaks to you.
3. I'd Accept the Mess
Homeschooling can be messy in so many ways. Apart from the messiness that comes from learning and all the forms it can take, there’s also the physical mess that comes from people being at home all the time. And the constant eating!
I have to admit that I really struggled with accepting the mess when we started homeschooling. And it caused so many arguments! I consider myself an organized and tidy person, but I was quickly overwhelmed by it all. It made me so frustrated and angry for a long time.
I wish I’d let go of it earlier because it really wasn’t necessary. And the arguments and fights didn’t solve any issues at all. They just caused tension at home.
My house is definitely not perfect. And I would love my children to be more involved. But I do what I can and get help sometimes too. The most important thing is that we’re not constantly butting heads anymore. Worth it for that!
- lower your expectations way down (this actually applies to a lot of homeschooling),
- get the kids involved if you can because homeschooling is a great opportunity to teach them how to do chores,
- ask for help if you need it and you can manage it (there’s no shame in this),
- and find a schedule over time that’s realistic and sustainable.
4. I'd Stop Worrying about Schedules, Curricula and Socialization
I worried about everything when I started out. Some of my biggest worries were how to schedule work and homeschool, what curriculum we’d use, and how my kids would socialize.
I know now that a lot of this stress came from the expectations of others. I’d get asked (TBH I still get asked) about all these things and it seeped into my consciousness. It made me doubt my abilities and choices.
Worst of all, it took my attention away from what was important. I needed to focus on my kids and building a strong connection between us. The beginning of our homeschool was rocky because of everything I was expecting from them and myself.
Now that I’ve spoken to hundreds of homeschool moms and working homeschool moms, I know this is totally normal. But It doesn’t have to be! You can ease into homeschooling in a more positive way.
- disregard naysayers and remember why you’ve chosen to homeschool,
- concentrate on spending quality time with your kids so that you can build or rebuild a deep bond,
- and believe me when I tell you that you’ll figure it all out!
5. I'd Get Help!
Like I said, the beginning of homeschooling was pretty hard for us. And unfortunately I’m not someone who likes to ask for help!
But luckily, this is something that I’m learning to overcome. Because since asking for help, things have really started to happen for me!
I joined as Master Mind and my business has benefitted so much! I’ve taken classes from experts and it’s improved our homeschool. I’ve joined groups and my mindset has shifted so much!
- ask for help because you’ll thank yourself for it (I know this first hand),
- be okay with investing in yourself in terms of time and money,
- or come and join the WHM Collective and get all the help and support you need as you start out.
Start Homeschooling Today: My Final Thoughts
If you want to start homeschooling today, I say go for it! I bet you have a very powerful reason to start home educating your kiddo. And this is the most important thing!
Remember your why because it’s going to help you:
- figure it all out
- stay motivated
- make it through the hard days
- and give your child the most amazing learning expereince possible!