Homeschool Secrets For The Novice
I want to share these truths with you because as we went along our homeschool journey over the past 15 years, their wisdom spoke volumes. I call them secrets because they were discovered as we unwrapped homeschooling year after year. These are secrets I wish I had known when starting out as a novice.
In no particular order…..
- Adopt a flexible mind set.
- Adopt patience for people who don’t get “it”. For some reason everyone thinks homeschool moms have lots of free time. Be patient but firm about school hours and activities. Real patience, however, is God breathed. And when people admire your patience to homeschool, be sure to point up.
- Sometimes, character qualities will be more important than lesson plans. Be prepared to put down math and deal with these issues as they arise or they will continue to rear their ugly heads.
- Adopt the understanding that no curriculum is perfect. Some books may remain on your shelf never even opened. Others will result in tears. Remember curriculum choice is important, not only for the way your children learn but for the way you teach. This will take some trial and error. No guilt allowed!
- Adopt a place to do school. It is nice to be able to leave school wherever you stop instead of having to clean up everything in order to make dinner. We did school on the kitchen table for years and being able to leave it in a separate room and close the door made it easier. If you have the space, include works of art, maps, globes, scriptures, the alphabet, etc… If you do not have the space, a comfy chair or couch for reading is a must. Our most precious memories are made snuggling and learning on our couch.
- Adopt community. Find women with kids on a similar journey (with similar beliefs and educational goals.) We need each other.
- Avoid comparing. Most homeschool kids are average. And that is okay. There is this pressure that homeschool kids should be above average and high achieving. If your kids are genius, that is great! But if they are not, that’s okay too. My children learned to read in spite of me and even though I am a bit biased, they are average.
- Avoid losing hope. Don’t give up. There will be hard days but there will be equally rewarding ones too.
- Admit your faults, sins, and weaknesses to your kids as they happen in real time (use discernment, of course).
- Admit when you are wrong. Apologize. Let them see you on your knees. Pray together.
- Accept a messy house and imperfect days. I relate most to women whose homes are imperfect, messy, and in states of transition and growth. Want to make a friend feel at home? Let them see your messes. Your kids will remember that project on the dining room table more than they will a clean house. Trust me on this. Being allowed to create messes will enlarge your and your child’s creativity.
- Accept the fact that homeschool will not look like school at home. It isn’t supposed to and you will be glad it doesn’t.
- Accept help and ask for it too. Think family and friends. Do you have a mom who can sew? Or an uncle who is a photographer? Incorporate this into your child’s learning.
- Ask for and accept God’s strength in our weakness. Pray for wisdom!
- Appreciate this opportunity. You have been entrusted to raise disciples at home, intentionally. God loves you so much, He entrusted you with His beautiful children.
- Appreciate the dad (or mom) who provides so you can stay at home. Thank God for them.
- Appreciate the extraordinary in the ordinary: PJ’s till noon, backwards day (eat dessert first), educational movies, doing school outside, eating under the table pretending to be princes and princesses, nature walks….. you get the idea.
- Appreciate that this rewarding homeschooling journey will change you, stretch you, shape you, grow you, and better you. Seriously.