I spend a lot of time thinking about homeschooling, do you? I find myself mulling over what we have planned or what units we’ll be doing down the road or what didn’t get done or things we did do, but didn’t go as planned… and on and on! But here are some things I probably need to hear a bit more often!
- in yourself – You can do this!
- in your kids – They will learn amazing things on this homeschool journey!
- in your homeschool – Your homeschool will be unique and perfect for your family!
Take Care of Yourself: Give yourself permission…
- to connect with friends and family
- to take care of your health and take the time to exercise
- to get some space from the family/kids (whether physically or just mentally, it’s important to “get away”)
- to read a good book that is *not* connected with homeschooling
- to indulge in a hobby that fills your spirit
- to have a rest…
There are Seasons in Homeschooling:
- When you train for a big race, there are intense days when you sprint and go full-on, there are distance days when you go long, slow runs, AND there are rest days. Without those rest days, you would never reach your full potential. Those are the days that your body repairs itself and builds muscles. It’s on those rest days when you become stronger. The same goes for education.
- You need time to re-energize. You need time to plan & prepare. You need sick days and mental break days. Those are OKAY!
- There will be times when your homeschool is in the groove and science experiments are getting done and checklists are being accomplished. But there are other times when things slow down, when you are all delving deep into things and other subjects slip by the wayside. And finally, there will be days when “nothing” appears to get done.
- All of this is natural!
Remember Your “Why”:
- Every family has a unique list of reasons why they started homeschooling… and why they continue to homeschool. What is your WHY? Write down all the reasons you homeschool (or make a mental list). Find inspiring quotes that speak to you about education in general. Then, when you are having a hard day, pull out that list and read it over. It will help bring your motivation back up and will help you keep going on the hard days.
- We are social beings; we build our skills and become better educators by learning from others. There are some truly extraordinary, gifted educators out there who have different tools and tips that work well for them. It may be a fellow homeschooler or a teacher you know. It might be a podcaster you listen to regularly. It might be the author of a book you pick up or a blog you follow. These gifted individuals have a lot to offer us. They inspire us and motivate us!
- Here’s a post with several books I enjoyed: 3 Inspiring Books for Educators. I also really enjoyed Crash Course: The Life Lessons My Students Taught Me (affiliate link) by Kim Bearden. They’ve provided me with some great ideas and encouraged me to strive to be a better teacher & educator.
Don’t Compare Your Homeschool with Anyone Else’s:
- I had to follow the “learn from others” immediately with this one!! Everyone’s homeschool looks different. Kids all have different strengths and unique learning styles. And we as educators have unique strengths as well. For this reason, our homeschool experiences are all different.
- Be inspired by things you see on Pinterest or by the amazing things your homeschool friends are doing, but don’t take that on as something you are not doing or something your kids are missing out on.
- Not every art project or activity has to be squeezed in to make your homeschool a success. Connections (and learning in general) often takes place in unexpected and unanticipated ways… through a trip to a museum, a book the kids read, a video game, a show they watch, a chance conversation with a friend or relative or a whole myriad of other opportunities!
- Life is a series of choices. If your kids are playing soccer, they might not have time to play baseball or be on the swim team. If your child dances, they might not learn the clarinet. The same goes for homeschooling… If you cover the French Revolution in great depth, you might not ever have the time to cover the Russian Revolution. It may take “longer” for your child to truly understand fractions; that’s okay. Take the time they need. The education they receive will be unique; every bit as unique and precious as they are!
- Learning and life in general is not a race to see who finishes first. It’s a journey!
Recognize the Progress That Has Been Made:
- Nothing is more motivating than looking back to see just how far you’ve come!
- Take time along the way to take in the big picture. Find time with the kids to reminisce… Do you remember the time we built an Egyptian pyramid with a door to view the tomb inside? Do you remember when you couldn’t remember 8×3? Do you remember the time we…
- It’s amazing how motivating that can be because it gives everyone — both the kids AND you — a sense of progress.
Neutralize Negative Triggers in Your Homeschool:
- You can’t control the kids’ attitudes or moods, but you *can* control your reaction to them. Try to maintain a professional distance from their moods. Maintain a calm, collected attitude and figure out solutions together.
- Apologize when necessary.
- Maintain positive energy.
- Make optimism and enthusiasm part of your day.
- Be light.
- Talk it through. Keep the lines of communication open.
- Reach for How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk (affiliate link) — I *love* this book!! It has given me a LOT of tools for helping me *listen* rather than jumping in to the fray.
- Remember the quote: Who you are will always speak more loudly to your children than anything you say. So, set a good example in all you do.
- If you love what you’re doing, chances are your kids will catch your enthusiasm.
- Looking for some ways to shake things up? Here’s a post I did on some fun, meaningful teaching activities you could incorporate into your homeschool!
Happy Homeschooling and Terrific Teaching! ~Liesl
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.
Other posts in this series:
- Thoughts on Teaching: Meaningful Teaching Activities (more than 20 different activities you could incorporate into your homeschool or classroom — drama, simulations, interactive notebooks and much more!)
- Thoughts on Teaching: Creating a Power Morning
- Thoughts on Teaching: Getting Organized
- Thoughts on Teaching: The Wise Teacher and the Student
- Thoughts on Teaching: Life Happens
- Homeschooling is Like Coaching an Olympic Sport
If you are looking for more practical homeschooling tips, you might be interested in our Homeschool Planning Series with tips on Creating Your Homeschool Curriculum. We have the first two (of four) free resource guides available for K-1 and Grades 2-3.
This FREE 50-page Resource Guide has been created to answer some basic questions: What subjects should I cover? Where do I start? How do I know what to teach. It offers topics, units and hands-on activity ideas that might appeal to your kids.
Creating a Homeschool Curriculum Grades 2-3 FREE 30-page Resource Guide
This guide is a starting point for choosing the material you might want to cover in your homeschool. What subjects, units and topics should you cover in Grades 2 and 3? Where do I start? This resource guide will offer suggestions on what topics and hands-on activities might be engaging for your kids at this age.
Homeschool Science Checklist (K-8) – Free Printable. The science units and topics we hope to cover in Elementary and Middle School
Happy Homeschooling! ~Liesl