Homeschooling advice from veteran moms was invaluable to me as a new homeschooler. Even now, 2 decades homeschooling, I still love to hear what works for other homeschoolers. This time of years I know a lot of families will be considering homeschooling in the fall; and other families may be considering giving up all together. This post is for you! I asked my homeschooling friends to give me their BEST piece of advice for new or discouraged homeschoolers.
I hope you read all of them – everyone has a gem to share! If you are a homeschooler with advice to share, please leave a comment at the end of the post.
If you’re just getting started you’ll also want to check out my Homeschooling FAQs. I’ve answered the questions I get asked the most about homeschooling.
Homeschooling Advice From Veteran Moms
First some homeschooling advice from my fellow blogging friends:
I’d say the best piece of homeschooling is when you watch your child learn something with freedom, joy, and self-initiative; RELAX and enjoy the process.
Abigail Zieger – They Are Not Our Goats
The Best Piece of Homeschooling is that your kids can learn everything they need to know just by doing their chores. My best advice is to relax, get out of the books and learn by living your life. I’ve been homeschooling since 1993 and have five years left to go. I’ve graduated four if my six kids and rest assured that your worst day of homeschooling is like the best day in a public school.
Carol Alexander – Lessons from the Homestead
Teaching to the passion of each person. Everyone has to memorize the times tables but we have the freedom and flexibility to build the life’s work of each child. We have the time and space to make things happen that need to happen, when they need to happen. And we eat pancakes for dinner when the days go wrong to remember that you can always begin again.
Tessa Zundel – The Homestead Lady
Don’t get caught up in what other children, including siblings, are doing. Let each child be who they are, and allow them to find what their passion TRULY is. when it’s all said and done, knowing basic math facts and reading and writing are important…but beyond that, understanding the world around them, being able to respect others, care for nature and change the world is what is truly important.
Heather Harris – The Homesteading Hippy
Allow each child to study the stuff that makes them glow with passion. Forget the dictated learning outcomes. You can do them all in a few weeks, if necessary. Visit the library. Read real books not fluff. Read aloud. Ignore the textbooks except for math. You need to follow a method for math because it lays a foundation line upon line. Limit screen time. Cancel the cable TV. I have 3 homeschool grads.
Chris Dalziel – Joybilee Farms
Get your kids out in nature, as often as possible. Let them be involved in real, meaningful work that contributes to the family, like growing food, or cooking dinner. Take advantage of the homeschool schedule and read a chapter book together in the middle of the day, just because you can!
Teri Page – Homestead Honey
Learning is everywhere! Kids are making connections all the time, so even when you think there’s nothing going on, they are absorbing
Kathryn Robles – Farming My Backyard
a) Reading, writing, and math are important. Beyond that, explore the world around you. Do real hands on things and live your life. b) Check in with your kids often about how things are working and what things they would like to do. Their passions and preference for how to learn about things may be completely different three months from now. If there is one thing I’ve learned in almost 9 years of homeschooling, it’s that things ALWAYS change. Be okay with it. Relax. c) Do not assume that the way you want to learn/be taught is the way that works for all or any of your kids. Frustrating….but totally true.
Amy Dingmann – The Hmmm Schooling Mom
I love being to work with each child individually. Every teacher in school says they could do more if they were able to have smaller class sizes and give more individualized attention and that’s exactly what I’m able to do. The biggest breakthrough for me as a homeschooler was to tailor our routine around what works best for our family instead of feeling tied to an arbitrary sense of “what is right”?
Angela England – The Untrained Housewife
As a mom who has graduated three children and still has three at home I can honestly say the best thing I’ve done for my children is to them how to be self-learners and independent.
Angi Schneider – Schneider Peeps
More Homeschooling Advice from My Non-Blogging Friends
1. )Deschooling is vital
2.) Have a realistic goal in educating your children. So many parents are incredibly hard on themselves when they don’t think their kids are community college ready by 12. Understand that they do not have to have all the state capitols, the constitution and the bill of rights memorized, they just need to understand it. Your child doesn’t have to be well versed in advanced algebra and calculus by 17, they just have to be prepared for an entry level college math class and understand every day math concepts. They don’t have to have read War and Peace, being able to read and process any college level novel will do. They don’t have to write a thesis, but they do need to be able to string together a logical essay. It’s your job to deliver a human being into young adulthood with a childhood they don’t have to recover from. Nothing more or less than that.
Homeschooling is a long slow marathon it isn’t a sprint. Public school is more of a sprint where you have to cram certain things into a year but with homeschooling it is what do they know at the end of the run that counts.
Make it yours. It doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s, not even your homeschool role model! If you like structure, give it structure. If you like spontaneous, then be spontaneous. It’s yours and don’t give anyone else your newly claimed power.
Homeschooling is about more than academics, it’s about your child’s heart. It’s okay to put down the books and refocus.
Don’t compare yourselves to other homeschool families. You and each of your children are unique individuals with different ways of doing things. and yes you can use my name.
Live for an audience of One. When we compare ourselves to others, we will always see ourselves through a lens of potential “failure”. We need to keep our eyes focused on the right path, not everyone’s path.
Ok, I can’t leave without sharing a few pearls from my own years homeschooling. So here is my contribution to the homeschooling
Socialization – everyone will ask but you really don’t need to sweat it. I remember being told that we weren’t at school to social,
everyday of my public school life. Life offers plenty of opportunity to make friends, talk to people of all different ages, backgrounds, etc.
I hope all or at least some of our homeschooling advice is the BEST homeschooling advice you ever heard! Feel free to leave questions or advice in the comment section.