Homeschooling can be challenging, frustrating and exhausting. But for some families, this unique (and ever-growing) choice is one that offers flexibility and possibilities not readily available in traditional schools.
The homeschool mom has made a huge commitment of her time, energy, money and space. Not only is she her children's everything, she is now their formal educator. This is a massive undertaking, but one that can be truly successful - if the homeschool mom just keeps a few solid eggs in her basket of tricks.
DON'T WORRY ABOUT THE GRADES
Grades are not the most important thing for the homeschool mom with children under the age of about 12. It's easy for some kids (and moms) to become too focused on the grades rather than on mastering the material. The homeschool mom, like any good school teacher, needs to understand that every child is different and will have different strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps science and math are not your child's forte. Let this be okay, let them feel confident in their progress - not the end result.
CREATE A SPECIFIC SCHOOL SPACE
Create a specific space in your home that is just for school time. As a homeschool mom, it can become easy to mix all worlds together, but children will thrive (and so will you) in an environment that is not used for anything but learning. You don't have to make it look like a traditional school either, but you'll want the fun stuff like desks and cubby spaces. Make it personal and let children help create their area of learning. Items like the Grow Book™, big comfortable chairs, musical instruments, globes and creative DIY spaces for school supplies are wonderful ways for the homeschool mom to keep her worlds separate...and sane!
FIND TIME FOR REAL LIFE LEARNING
A homeschool mom also has the advantage of unique, new and fun learning tools that traditional schools cannot afford in mass supply. Such as our Grow Book™ - the perfect tool to engage kids in real life learning. In collaboration with Life Labs, we've set up a wonderful curriculum for at home learning. By asking questions, making predictions, and recording observations, kids will be engaged in scientific practices and transform their homeschool setting, discovering that science isn’t something that just takes place at a school. A homeschool mom also has the advantage of unique, new and fun learning tools that traditional schools cannot afford in mass supply.
STAY AS ORGANIZED AS POSSIBLE
This applies to every area of a homeschool mom's life. From choosing one day a week to grocery shop and one day to meal prep, to keeping school supplies away from house supplies and scrubbing the bathrooms, it's important to stick to a schedule (even if your school curriculum is more loose). This will help the overextended homeschool mom from loosing her wits, and will help the children learn about delegation and service. Chore calendars work wonders for many families, as do list makers and label makers. Whatever works for you, stick to the plan and let your family thrive in the regimen.
KEEP YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR
We feel like this one goes for all parents, homeschool teachers or not, but always find time to laugh during the day. When things become too frustrating, go to the bathroom, take a deep breath and remember why you chose homeschool in the first place. We are all human, and homeschooling is a huge job. As is parenthood. The more positive an attitude your children see you take at life's annoyances and heartaches, the more positive they will be themselves. And when it's the children that are driving you up the wall, stop and change direction. Find the funny and you'll always be okay.