Getting moving again after a homeschool conference is hard. My mind is exhausted. Good exhausted. It is a little like drinking straight from a fire hose. I just got back from Thrive!, our local NCHE conference in Winston Salem, NC.
And I am better for it.
if you want to be better, invest and educate time and resources into yourself and your family. I’m finding there is a connection between investing in myself and my success.
- I started running with my church. I just began running with my feet hitting the pavement for only 60 seconds to start. It wasn’t until I became better educated on running as I read and attended meetings and began hanging out with runners that I reaped the benefits of avoiding injuries, staying hydrated, and eating nutritiously and smart before a race.
- As an entrepreneur, I have been educating myself and my family about home based businesses and learning from those who are where I want to be. I am gaining wisdom of how to do things I never knew about before through reading, meeting people, and attending conferences.
- As a homeschool mom, it is the same. If you want to be a better mom, a better teacher to your kids, a better wife to your husband, and a better leader in your community, then invest in yourself.
So here you go…
6 Actions to Being a Better Home School Mom:
1-Most importantly, Pray intentionally
and ask God where he would have you spend your time and resources.
“Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you” (Psalm 25:4-5).
2-Take it seriously.
Even if you only plan on homeschooling a short time, give it your all. For those of you that are in it for the long haul, this is a must. So often we are not taken seriously as moms who teach our kids. I spoke with an official of a local public school system just this morning who pretty much said there is a point at which homeschool moms aren’t qualified to teach specialized subjects. Those weren’t his exact words but that was his sentiment. Prove them wrong! Find out your community’s resources and know and support them. See what success others are having.
2- Educate Yourself
and thereby educate your family.
I am investing time and money in myself, my homeschool, and my family. Consider it training.
Just like any other profession, there are always new classes, seminars, and certificates to maintain. Homeschooling is no less important. If you want to be a better mom, a better teacher to your kids, a better wife to your husband, and a better leader in your community, then
A-Go to homeschool conferences!
“Attending conferences should be a part of every leader’s personal growth plan.” Dan Black
Learning homeschool tips and strategies from people who have gone before you is not only beneficial to your homeschool and kids, it is smart. Often I have ended the year a bit discouraged and when I get back from hearing such encouragement, positivity, and even The Word from seasoned speakers, I come back with my game face. “Bring it On!”, I am ready for the fall. Hanging out and learning from mentors is a confidence maker and a game changer. Consider bringing your kids with you. They will learn too.
I am attending and speaking at a workshop at The Lifeschooling Conference in July. Learning different ways to homeschool opens your heart and mind to being a better educator. Go see for yourself. Take a friend!
B-Read, Read, Read….. Homeschool magazines and articles in print and online and listen to podcasts.
There are many homeschool resources to choose from. The Greenhouse is a local publication in North Carolina through NCHE and features local authors. There are excellent ideas to add to your curriculum, like Presidential Mock Elections during election time, effective ideas in training your children, and other useful bits of knowledge and encouragement. Read when waiting in line, at a Dr,’s office, or for a kid in class. Readers are leaders.
Podcasts are another great resource for learning new ideas and tips. Ask your kids what they would like to know and then learn together. You can order MP3’s of speakers to listen to when you run, drive, or work around the house. Time is no excuse.
Isn’t our greatest aim of homeschooling (after leading our children to God) to teach them HOW to learn? Show them how you do it!
3- Hang out with Leaders.
My husband has always said, “You are like the people you hang around.” Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”― Jim Rohn
Go to regional meetings, informational teas and coffee socials
even if especially if you are a veteran homeschool mom. Write, speak, and contribute what you know. Join online support groups or traditional homeschool support groups in your area. This is a wonderful way to meet people for co-ops, play groups, friendships, and mentors.
When at a conference or with leaders, take someone such as a speaker out to lunch or go to lunch with someone you admire or want to meet. There is power in community and so much we can learn from other moms.
4- If in NC, Join NCHE (North Carolinians for Home Education) or another state homeschool group.
NCHE encourages, supports, connects, and protects. NCHE offers annual conferences, scads of information on homeschooling from everything from state law, how to start, testing and Drivers Ed just to name a few. Poke around on the website. The information is priceless.
5- Stay up to date on the homeschool law
and support those who defend and support the right to homeschool. I don’t think many modern homeschoolers realize that homeschoolers have gone to jail for teaching their kids at home and we owe at least knowing the history of what many homeschool moms and dads sacrificed before us to those who went before us. Belonging to an organization whose primary goal is to keep up with protecting the laws are your best advocate. HSLDA is one such organization and your local state homeschool group such s NCHE is another.
6- Volunteer and serve others
My daughter volunteered as a photographer and in the recording area at the NCHE Thrive conference this weekend. She learned how to edit audio, start recordings for the speakers and is refining her photography skills for her own business. She also networked and met a variety of people.
I help plan Service Projects for a local homeschool support group. Several moms I met take their kids to Planned Parenthood through Cities4Life and minister to mothers thinking about aborting their babies. There is SO much you can do and there is power in serving outside your family not only in the blessings you give and receive but in the examples you set.
In conclusion, Homeschooling has changed so much. Everyone needs community. Especially homeschool families. No other profession I know where there is more self doubt, frustration, joy, and authenticity. Times have changed. There isn’t the white picket fence between neighbors like there used to be. And homeschooling is about relationships! It is not the anti-socialized community that we are so often accused. Sometimes to find community, you have to go where the homeschoolers are. Investing in yourself by putting yourself out there is paramount.
Dr. Steve Schneiber said this weekend, (paraphrased), “You decide to homeschool and wonder how the heck you are going to do it. School systems, in-laws, and concerned “others” tell you why you shouldn’t-why you can’t. And then you persist anyway. This is the stuff heroes are made of.”
How do you better yourself as a homeschool mom?