“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9 NIV)
Homeschooling is an incredible blessing. But it is a blessing that can feel overwhelming at times. I’m not really a homeschooling veteran, but I’m not so new at it any more either. This is our fourth year homeschooling. This is the first year where I’m feeling more confident, connected, and more organized with what we are doing. With that, I wanted to share some encouragement for other moms out there. Whether you’re new at this or a seasoned homeschooling mom, there are times where we all need a little encouragement.
Set goals, but keep it simple.
This is a guideline that is very important in our household. Goals are important to achieve and can be a good source of motivation. On the other hand, if we set our expectations too high, it can set us up to fail. Be realistic with the level your child is at. Remember, the beauty of homeschooling is that they can learn at their own pace. Also, keep your family’s schedule in mind. Don’t overwhelm yourself with so many things that you’re completely drained and losing your passion.
Reach out for support.
This is one that I have recently come to embrace. The first couple of years we were doing this, I was pretty stubborn and didn’t want to ask for help or ideas. Over the last year or so, we’ve slowly more involved with our local homeschool group. This is a great way to meet other homeschool families and connect with other moms. Maybe you have different methods of homeschooling, but the solidarity is important to have.
Another way I’ve found support is online. There are many homeschool groups on Facebook on both regional and national levels. I really enjoy learning about new resources this way. I’ve gotten a lot of tips from other families to help my struggling reader. It helped us find the perfect curriculum for him that finally made everything “click”!
I also watch a few YouTube channels where homeschooling moms share their daily lives, homeschooling routines, organization ideas, and more. This is another great way to realize that you’re not alone!
Find ways to become inspired.
I am a mom who can get big into elective subjects in our homeschool. I love to go beyond the basics. But let me tell you, I am not a teacher by nature, so I struggle coming up with ideas. This is where I am thankful to have more resources online.
My life is FAR from Pinterest perfect. Not even close! We’re over here riding the hot mess express. But I do get on there to look for project ideas, unit study ideas, and crafts for my little ones. I actually vividly remember a Medieval Times unit I did in grade school. Drawing from what I remember, we’re going to do a couple of the projects I did and tie in some of our own ideas. It’ll be a great new subject for my kids to broach, especially since I have two kids getting into the higher grades.
Keep it real and take breaks!
I think it’s really important that when things get hard and overwhelming, it’s important to take a step back. Maybe that curriculum isn’t working as well as you’d hoped. Perhaps you child needs less worksheets and more hands on learning. With homeschooling, it’s all right to take a couple of days off and see what needs to be changed.
One YouTuber who I’ve recently found and come to love is Andrea Mills
, who is a homeschooling mom of eight. She recently shared in one of her videos about how she felt like was just too chaotic. Her mind was all over the place during their first week of school, so decided to cancel extra activities and just stick to the basics. She used that time to box up any clutter to go through as time allowed and to get more organized. Now she feels more at peace.
That is definitely a feeling I can share. We just closed a fairly rough chapter of our lives. As we’ve transitioned into this new chapter, we all came down with a horrible respiratory illness that has kept our household limited for the last 2-3 weeks. This past week, I was down with it and had to push through.
We had a day trip planned to the zoo in Des Moines, but my husband and I decided that with everything else going on, we’re going to visit a zoo more local to us this year. This may be disappointing to the kids, but we’re in a season of life where our focus needs to be more at home. We have other educational trips planned in the near future that I’m sure they’ll love just as much or even more.
When it comes down to it, sometimes we have to realize that we just can’t do it all. It’s better to take a break and come back to the extras when we’re able.
Spend time with your family.
Homeschooling is great and it’s sometimes meant to create a close bond in families. When we don’t take the time to bond with our children, that connection can be lost in the shuffle of day to day life. ParentsNeed.com has some great suggestions on spending time with your family. Whether your family goes on a new adventure or plays a favorite family game, quality family time is something you should put into your schedule.
How are you doing this homeschool year? Do you have any tips to add? What helps you stay sane as a homeschool parent?