To Homeschool You Need…

Love

  • The most important ingredient of homeschooling is simply love. Homeschooling is about the relationships, not the curriculum we use.
  •  Some days will be wonderful, other days… not as noteworthy, but at the end of the day did we connect wit the kids, snuggle with the kids, help them find their own voice and strengths. I help motivate them and support them.
  • I try to keep in mind that at the end of this journey I hope the kids are self-confident, independent adults with the skills to tackle life beyond high school.
  • Have I fostered that love of learning?
  • Have we built strong, loving relationships that we can all rely upon?

To Believe in Ourselves

  • You will probably question yourself a lot when you homeschool.  I do, my homeschooling friends do, many homeschool bloggers do… It comes with the territory, but ultimately we know our children best.  We know the kids’ strengths and weaknesses and should trust our own instincts.
  • Every homeschool is unique. Blogs, books, magazines, pinterest, articles… they can give you inspiration, freebies, ideas but the journey we take is our own.

To Believe in Our Children

  •  If a child is balking at math or in a frenzy about writing don’t be afraid to admit that the curriculum doesn’t work. Don’t be afraid to scrap it and try something new.
  • Children will learn from everything… provide rich opportunities that aren’t necessarily “school like” in appearance — a nature walk, a long afternoon reading, an afternoon of the Magic School Bus.

To Find the Routine that Works for your Family

  • Do you greet the morning with a smile? Find that the kids are freshest in the morning? Or is your family like ours where we stagger out of bed at different times? Do you all start together or start separately and then re-group?  Do you school in the afternoon when your youngest is napping? Does your family work best on the carpet? at a table? on the couch? outside? There’s no right answer, but find a routine and schedule that works well for your family.

Commitment

  • Homeschooling can take a lot of effort.  I spend a lot of time talking with my homeschooling friends about what we’re covering, what they’re covering, what worked and didn’t work, good resources… and as a consequence I find myself thinking about homeschooling a lot. I really, really enjoy planning and preparing… and find myself often staying up too late!  Sometimes I need to remind myself to give myself a bit more of a mental break and to focus on myself and my own interests (outside of homeschooling).

To Ease into It

  • If you’re starting a new school year (or if you’re reading this later and are just starting to homeschool mid-year), don’t feel like you have to jump in full-force. It’s important to let homeschooling become a natural part of your family life.

Give Yourself Permission to Take Time Off

  • If you’re feeling burned out or if the kids aren’t responding well, it’s okay to take a break from homeschooling. Honest — it’s better than plodding on like weary travelers. I need to write this down (and highlight it) because when we’re in the groove of homeschool it can be difficult for me not to keep at it — even on days when we’re really not at our peak.

A Good Sense of Humor

  • We’re with our kids all day. Things happen. ‘Nuff said, right?!!

Patience

  • Um, we’re with our kids all day!

Organization

  • It’s great to find a method to help you organize your homeschool materials. We found that “workboxes” work well for us. We have them labeled with the subjects the kids are working on and I always remind the kids to put their work away when they’re done.

Knowledge

  • about the laws of your state. Homeschooling is legal in every state in the U.S., but laws and requirements vary from state to state.
  • At the same time, don’t worry about knowing everything your child will learn. You can/will learn alongside your child. You can also find alternatives… a tutor, a co-op, an online class, a community college, etc.

The Ability to Block Things Out

  • There will always be jobs that need to be done around the house, but it’s important to learn to block out the mess, dishes, laundry, Facebook, looking for the perfect activity to supplement your unit (or whatever pulls at you) to get to the job at hand… focusing on homeschool.
  • Turn off the phone… don’t let others dictate the rhythm of your homeschool

To Connect to Other Homeschoolers

To Take Care of Yourself and Find a Way to Pursue Your Own Interests

 

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