Are you a new homeschool mom? I know that recently many parents have found themselves unexpectedly homeschooling, and today I’m here to give you some encouragement.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on those links and purchase something, I may receive a commission. For further information, you can check out my disclosures page.
I’m relatively new to homeschooling, but I’m not new to education. I taught first and second grades for eight years before I decided to stay home with my kids and, ultimately, decided to homeschool.
As a new homeschool mom, the first picture that popped into my mind was a traditional school, but at home. That’s all I knew.
I pictured my girls sitting at individual desks, a whiteboard in the front of the room, and educational posters on the walls. That method may work for some people, but it’s not how we work in our home.
The more I’ve learned about homeschooling and thought about my personal views of education, my vision is now very different from the way it started.
I want to give you some encouragement today. You don’t have to replicate your child’s classroom in your home.
Where Can You Homeschool?
I understand that during a quarantine, your options are limited when it comes to location. But I also want to let you know that the whole “school day” doesn’t have to happen at a table or desk.
Curl up in a cozy chair and read. Have a picnic outside, and draw pictures of the things you find in nature. FaceTime a relative and let your children read a book to them or tell them a story.
The location of the learning doesn’t matter nearly as much as the learning itself.
Though we’ve only been homeschooling for a short time, I’ve discovered that learning can happen anywhere! It occurs on the couch, at the kitchen table, in the car, snuggled up in bed, and even in the bathtub!
Focus on Your Child
When your children look back on the year 2020 and the great pandemic, what do you want them to remember?
Do you want them to remember how your family slowed down, built relationships and memories while enduring the uncertainty together?
Or do you want them to think back on this time as one when they were miserable because mom focused more on being the teacher than their parent?
This time will only last for a little while, I promise. I know it might seem like it’s never going to end, but this too shall pass. Your relationship with your children, though, will last forever. Put the relationships first.
Take some time to become a student of your children and really get to know them as people and as learners. You won’t regret it.
You Make the Schedule
Adhering to a strict schedule has never been easy for me. Even when I was teaching.
Some people do really well with a detailed schedule and need to have their time mapped out. I’m more of a rhythms and routines girl myself.
The beauty of homeschooling is that you are in charge. You get to set the schedule (or rhythm) of your day. You know better than anyone else how and when your children learn best, and you can adapt your homeschool to that. Because you’re the teacher.
If the math concept your child is working on in her regular classroom is something she’s mastered already, you can move on to the next thing. If the spelling rule he’s learning is causing tears and frustration, skip it for the day and try again next week. You can do that. It’s allowed.
You might get into a conversation about the COVID-19 virus, and your kids want to learn more about the immune system. Dive in with them and learn all about it! And if that turns into a two week deep dive into the human body, go for it!
I can promise you, your kids will learn more and retain the information better if they’re actually interested in what they’re learning. Find what they’re interested in and learn about it together.
Don’t Doubt Yourself
I know so many of you are worried right now. You’re concerned that you’re going to mess up your child’s education.
Welcome to the world of being a new homeschool mom!
You worry because you care, which means you’re going to be just fine.
I’m sure I’ll get some pushback from my teacher friends, but I’m going to go ahead and say this. You don’t have to have a teaching degree to be a good teacher for your children.
You’ve been their teacher from Day 1. You’ve taught those kiddos their colors and shapes. They learned how to use a fork and brush their teeth and drink from a cup from you.
My teaching degree taught me how to manage a classroom full of kids and make lesson plans. (And yes, a lot more than that.) But it didn’t teach me how to know my students better than I know myself. Being a mom did that.
Today I really wanted to give some encouragement to you, New Homeschool Mom. I remember how scared I was to start, but now, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Just remember, focus on the relationships with your children. The learning will come naturally.
In the meantime, here are links to a few of my favorite homeschooling mentors:
- Julie Bogart of BraveWriter has a whole page of resources for those of you on COVID-19 quarantine
- Cait Curley of My Little Poppies shared book lists and ideas for gameschooling on her site to get you through the quarantine
- Kara Anderson just released a book (it’s fantastic), and she has also written about how to calm your anxiety during trying times
So how is homeschooling going for you? Do you love it? Hate it? How can I help you through this tricky time? Let me know in the comments below!