First year homeschooling? Oh man I remember those days, so sure and unsure at the same time. Here I am in my 24th year now, how crazy is that?
I really just wanted to share some very simple tips to help you feel confident as you go into your first year homeschooling. Not only will you and the kids survive…you’ll thrive!
First Year Homeschooling Tips
Getting worried about making it through your first year of homeschooling? Don’t worry, many of other moms (and dads) have been in your shoes. Some may tell you that the first year is the scariest, most difficult, or most overwhelming.
However, we all got through it! If you want to know how, read on for helpful tips to surviving your first year of homeschooling.
Be sure to see Transitioning from Public School to Homeschool and Homeschooling Advice from Veteran Moms.
Write a Homeschool Mission Statement
Your family’s mission statement for homeschooling should include the big “WHY?” Why are you choosing to homeschool? Why it is the most beneficial choice for your family? Sit down and create a list of why homeschooling is important to you. Also, consider a few different factors as you build the statement, including:
The mission statement helps guide your entire first year of homeschooling – plus it gives you something to reflect on when you are having those “Should I throw in the towel?” days!
Don’t forget to make Love of Learning part of your mission.
Worried about organization? Check out 3 Weeks to an Organized Homeschool.
Find a Curriculum that Fits Your Family
Not sure where to begin? Make sure to check out my article on Homeschooling Styles!
It is important that you do your research when choosing your first homeschool curriculum. You have tons of options out there, and your decision can be based on budget, grade level, learning styles, and teaching styles.
Note that there will be NO perfect curriculum out there as you begin your first year of homeschool. You will want to choose the one that seems to be the best for your children, but know that it is okay to tweak it as you go!
Plan Field Trips and Co-op Dates for Your Homeschool
I have an entire article dedicated to this, see Homeschool Enrichment with Co-ops!
Homeschooling doesn’t have to involve sitting at the kitchen table for a few hours each day. The flexibility of learning whenever and wherever you want is what most families love the most! You can plan on weekly field trips if you wish, and you can even through in a last-minute nature walk if the children need to burn off some energy.
Also, be sure to research homeschool co-ops in your area. These will promote socialization for your children and can be a great way to break up the monotony of being in the house every day.
When You Homeschool You Have to Be Okay with a Change in Plans
You want to avoid Homeschool Burnout at all cost!
It’s already been said, but flexibility is abundant in homeschooling. That may also mean that you, as the teacher, have to be flexible as well.
You may come across part of the curriculum you you don’t want to include in your child’s instruction. Learn that it’s okay to skip it! Remove it from the plans altogether, or add in your own activities that adapts the subject matter to your teaching style – or your child’s learning style.
Maybe your child doesn’t seem to be learning in the style you thought he would. Be ready to change it so he can grasp the concepts and still do well in school.
Change is inevitable in all aspects of life – and homeschool is no exception!
Get your Head in the (Homeschool) Game
You will want to expect criticism for your choice to homeschool throughout your first year. There will be other parents, family members, and friends that will remind you that public schooling is easier…frees up more time for you…teaches everything your kids need…etc.…etc.
However, if you make the choice to homeschool your children, don’t give in easily. Remind yourself that you are capable of teaching your kids. There will be difficult times, but you can get through them as a family. Befriend other homeschool moms, local and/or online, to get the positive support your need to make it through year 1 as a homeschooling mom!
Don’t Forget Time for Yourself Homeschool Mom
Check out my article on FREE Self Care!
Avoid letting homeschooling become the thing that defines you. Your first year may take some extra research and planning, and you may spend more hours a day than you would like teaching. While you may be the mom and teacher in the home, you still need time for yourself!
Be sure not to give up the hobbies and interests you had before you started homeschooling. Make time for lunch dates with friends or for a pedicure once a month. Carve out a few evening hours to read or exercise. Taking care of yourself allows you to give your children the best teacher they can have.
As you can see, surviving your first year of homeschooling isn’t impossible. In fact, many moms enjoy that first year and go on to homeschool for several more. The key is to plan things out the way you want them to be done…and then be flexible when you need to change those plans throughout the school year.
And remember, coffee and prayers covers a multitude of mistakes!!!