Starting out in your homeschool journey can be a little intimidating. What curriculum do you use? What schedule do you keep? Do you start at 8:30 am like all the schools do? Do you need all the things? What about a school room? How do you report to the state?
Then there are the doubts that rise up. Satan tries to get into your head. Can you really do this? You tell yourself you aren’t smart enough for it. What if you can’t teach well? How will you balance the meals and cleaning?
It can be a scary time if you let all of that worry bog you down.
I want to share with you my best tips for new homeschool mom today. Because I’ve been there and I’ve come out on the other side of that newbie worrying.
Tips for the New Homeschool Mom
This is my number one tip. Take a deep breath. It’s not as overwhelming as it feels at this very moment. You will get the hang of it all. You can do it!
This is going to be the most challenging aspect of homeschooling for you right now. It does get better, I promise. It’s the hardest thing right now because you need to decide what your teaching style is and what your little one’s learning style is. Once you do that you can begin to check out different curriculums for that style.
Ask yourself these questions:
- 1. Am I relaxed and carefree?
- 2. Do my kids learn better with hands on learning or visual?
- 3. Are you all crafty?
- 4. Do you prefer workbooks over hands on lessons?
- 5. Are you a combination of both?
Once you have those core concepts you can google either Charlotte Mason curriculum choices or traditional homeschool choices. Try not to look at every available option out there because it will add to your overwhelm. Check out my how to get started homeschooling to see more.
Remember you can curriculum later if what you pick doesn’t work well. No reason to stress about it!
Go with the flow.
Don’t try to change your whole families schedule just because you homeschool now. If your family doesn’t do mornings, don’t try to force school to start at 8:30 am. If your kids need time to play in between subjects let them play. If you have a new baby that naps well in the morning, take advantage and do school during that time. Does you husband teach math or science better? Great, let him do it when he gets home from work! If you want to take advantage of the nice weather in October, take a day off and go to the park or bring school with you and do it there! That is the beauty of homeschooling, you are the school master, not the schedule.
The quicker you let go of the idea of making a Pinterest schedule work for you, the happier your schooling will be.
You don’t need all the things!
Even though they seem tempting, you don’t need everything that may come as extras to your curriculum. You don’t need all manipulatives. Don’t buy extras if they overwhelm you. You can teach well and your child will learn without them. You’ll be amazed at what you can use from around your house as math manipulatives! Be creative!
You don’t need a school room.
If you don’t have a dedicated school room, don’t worry. You can still homeschool without it. Your kids don’t need their own desk. You can use your couch, kitchen table or floor for school work. Don’t let not having a school room stop you from experiencing the joys of homeschooling!
Reporting is not as hard as it seems.
Reporting your grades, your intent to homeschool and even your yearly plans aren’t too hard. It takes little work and once you get your paperwork in it’s over. Most school districts are lenient with when you can send in your grades, so no need to worry if you are behind. Bonus – most states don’t need you to report unit 1st grade!
Keeping your own records organized will help you when reporting to the state. If you record your grades in the same spot, you can send them in quicker. If you mark when you started the next quarter either in the teacher book or your lesson planner you can easily count how many days you’ve been in school. If you correct and record grades when they happen you will have an easier time of sending in your grades to the district.
Your organization doesn’t have to be elaborate but having some system in place will help your record keeping, reporting and grading much easier. Check out our lesson planner to keep yourself organized!
Yes, you will have a harder time fitting in your homemaking tasks. You will need to find a new groove. Maybe that means listening to your child read aloud while you fold laundry. Maybe it’s only having a 4 day school week so Friday’s can be housework day.
You will find a new groove! Each new year, that groove will change but you will find a new one. Trust me.
Friend, can I encourage you to enjoy the journey. It’s an amazing thing to homeschool. You will have a bond like no other. You can make so many memories with your little ones during the school year. You will have stressful days but you will be pouring your life into your children, raising them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. As your children grow your influence over them needs to grow as well. You won’t achieve that if you aren’t invested in their lives.
If God calls you to homeschooling, He will give you the strength and wisdom to do it. He isn’t going to leave you hanging. He will give you wisdom on what curriculum to choose, what schedule to use, how to fit in housework and what to let go. Homeschooling only seems scary and overwhelming right now because it’s new, but it will get easier and you will have fun along the way! You aren’t going to mess it up, the teacher’s manuals are your friend and believe in yourself.