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Confessions of a Homeschool Mom

This month we are welcoming Tabulated Team Member, Hannah, as our guest blogger! Hannah is a homeschooling Mom and was happy to share tips to us “new” homeschooling Moms!

I think sometimes when people hear about families homeschooling they imagine it always being a perfectly organized scene where all children are sitting politely and hanging on every word. More often than not, when I tell people we homeschool, I hear phrases like “Oh, I couldn’t do that!” It’s as if there’s a feeling that homeschooling is for only those moms who possess superpowers. I personally think all moms have superpowers.

Confession #1: homeschooling isn’t easy.

Homeschooling isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and you know what? I get it (some days it’s not mine either). BUT, whether you are a seasoned homeschool family, you’re thinking about homeschooling, or you’ve recently been thrust into the world of homeschooling by a certain virus we won’t mention, I’m here to tell you, you CAN do it! It may not always be pretty, but that’s ok. 

I believe in being organized and what it can do in our lives, but I also believe in keeping it real. So, children always sitting perfectly and hanging on every word? That’s ideal but not always realistic. Life (meals, laundry, business calls, Dr. appts, younger siblings’ needs) still continues while we are trying to teach.

Confession #2: homeschooling at our house actually kind of looks like this:

Of course, different styles work for different families. Some are more rigid, some are more lax, and that is the beauty of homeschooling! BUT, whether you are watching the clock, or leisurely working through your days and hoping you checked all the boxes, here are a few tips for maintaining some sanity during the process of schooling at home:

  1. Identify your “why” for homeschooling 

On the hard days, there’s something powerful about being able to think back to the beginning and say “Oh yeah, THIS is why we chose to do this.”  

OR, if you find yourself being forced into this new role of teacher, you can remind yourself that you DIDN’T choose this, that it’s only temporary, and that it’s ok to be muddling through right now. You aren’t alone.

  1. Have realistic expectations   Remember that as much as you want to make your dining room into a schoolroom, you’re still at your house. Inevitably, the dog will bark or the baby will have a meltdown. It’s ok for your child to have a distraction and learn to work around it. One day they might have a job where someone named Kat wants to chit chat while they are working and they have to learn to process the task in front of them while life around them is still going. Life skills, people! 

  2. Use your space to your advantageDo you have a smart device that plays music? Do you have a cd player? Bonus points to you if you’re still rocking cassettes. However you play your music, do it! When your kids get antsy and too distracted to move on, break the monotony, have a dance party and call it recess or P.E.

  3. Keep organization simpleIn our house, each child gets a column of our cube organizer. The top cube is for textbooks. The second cube is for folders and readers. The Third cube is for a basket of educational items to keep them occupied while I’m working with one of the other children.  I love magazine file holders. Magazine file holders are your friend. I use them for the kids’ individual folders for different subjects. They’re easy to label, they’re tidy, and they help keep me sane.

  4. Patience, Patience, Patiencepatience[ pey-shuhns ]: steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity Be patient with your children. Be patient with yourself. It’s not easy to be all together for the majority of the time. It’s not ever going to be perfect. But if you can remind yourself to just keep on keepin’ on, you CAN do this.

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