When a family decides to homeschool their children, the thoughts almost immediately go to “What will the kids need?” But we often forget a large part of the homeschool equation- What does the new homeschool mom need?
Today I want to talk about that.
Depending on your circumstances, some moms plan to homeschool their kids before they are even born. Others find themselves pulling a child from public school mid-year and jumping in suddenly.
Regardless, it’s easy to focus on curriculums and co-ops, but we forget about ourselves as moms.
Here are six things that every new homeschool mom needs to keep her as sane and balanced as possible.
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You Need a Homeschool Why
I know this one is mentioned so often that you’re probably rolling your eyes right now, but hear me out.
Homeschooling is hard. Some days, it’s really hard.
On those days, you’re going to have to dig deep. Think about why on earth you’ve decided that homeschooling is best for your family, and especially for those kids in front of you.
It’s so easy to convince yourself that you are failing your kids and ruining them forever. Or that their life or yours would be so much better if they were in public school.
And it might be. Or this might just be a passing feeling.
But if you know your why, you can evaluate the situation.
You Need Community
Everyone needs community, but I think the new homeschool mom especially needs one.
Homeschooling is not the norm in our society, and going against the grain can feel very isolating.
Your community can come in a few different forms- other homeschoolers, your family, and people in your life.
You might be part of an established homeschool community and have friends that have been homeschooling for years.
Or you might be the only person you know of that is homeschooling their children.
Either way, you need to have other homeschoolers you can talk to for advice, to vent to, and just to have someone else that understands what you do every day.
I have a dear friend that has been homeschooling a year longer than I have. I know that I can always text her for encouragement when I feel like I’m not doing enough or that she’ll understand the crazy stories from my day.
If you don’t know any homeschoolers in “real life,” there are so many homeschool communities online! Join a Facebook group or two and ask your questions there.
I am incredibly fortunate that my family has been very supportive of our decision to homeschool.
Dillon believes in me and my ability to teach our girls. Our parents and siblings have all been encouraging and help out in whatever way they can. They often take the twins so I can have some time alone with Little Miss, or even take all three girls so I can just have some time to myself.
I know not all people are as lucky as I have been in this area.
If you don’t have family support as you begin your homeschool journey, look to others outside of your family. This is where members of the homeschool community (in real life or online) and/or other friends in your life will come in handy.
Lean on those encouraging people, mama.
And you can always reach out to me if you need someone in your corner.
People in Your Life
This group of people may be the easiest to find in the beginning.
It might just be one single person.
And that’s ok if it is.
Look to friends (even if they don’t homeschool), members of your local community, members of your church, mentors, or even your next-door neighbor to be part of your tribe.
These people might not be able to answer questions about curriculum or understand your frustration with fractions, but they can be a listening ear.
Sometimes you just need to talk it out, so look for the people that will listen.
You Need a Hobby
Homeschooling can be all-encompassing.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent hours upon hours on Pinterest researching anything homeschool related you can get your hands on. You’ve accumulated more books on homeschooling than you’ll ever be able to read.
When I first started thinking about homeschooling Little Miss, I went deep into research mode. I lived and breathed all things homeschool.
And there’s nothing wrong with that. When you decide to get off the beaten path and do something that not many others are doing, you want to make sure you get it right.
But not to the extent that you forget about yourself.
It’s tempting to put all of yourself into researching and planning that you don’t make any time for the “mom” in “homeschool mom.”
I’ve definitely been guilty of putting my needs and interests on the back-burner because I’m too focused on my family and my kids.
So my challenge to you, mama, is to find a hobby. Or resurrect one you forgot about.
Take a class. Join a gym. Start writing. Pull out that knitting project you put away years ago. Dust off that piano you haven’t touched in a decade and start playing again.
Whatever brings you joy and gets you out of “homeschool mom mode,” do it. That’s what led me to start this blog!
You might feel guilty when you take some time for yourself. I know I tend to feel that way.
But think about it this way. Aren’t we all trying to teach our kids to be adults who have lives they love and never stop learning? Are we modeling that for them?
You Need a Library Card
Oh, the good old library card. I’ve always loved the library, but I never used it as much as I do now that I’m homeschooling.
You’d think that I only use it to check out books for the girls, but you would be wrong.
The list of books I have on hold for myself rivals the one I have for Little Miss.
As I began researching homeschooling, that led to a couple of parenting books, which led me down some other rabbit trails. I had forgotten how much I love reading and learning!
Of course, the library card isn’t just for you, mom. Your library will also have so many resources that will come in handy as you homeschool your kids.
Our has specialized programs and storytimes, online resources, DVDs to check out, and audiobooks and ebooks that I can get on my phone or iPad. They even have a pretty fun exploration area that’s great for play dates with friends (and moms getting to chat).
Check out your local library and see what they have to offer.
You Need Amazon Prime
You might run into the problem of your library not carrying the homeschool books you’d like to read. I know I did several times.
That’s where my dear friend Amazon Prime comes in.
I use Amazon to read reviews of the books I’m considering before deciding if they’re something I want to purchase.
I have found so many books to help me in homeschooling between Amazon Prime and Kindle Unlimited.
Amazon Prime is also great for ordering those homeschool materials you forgot to grab the last time you were at the store.
(Or, if like me, there’s no way you’re dragging all of your kids into the store with you, so you’d rather have those materials on your doorstep in 2 days!)
Prime is most definitely a must-have for this homeschool mama!
You Need Faith
I’m mentioning this one last, but it is far from the least important item on this list. Every new homeschool mom needs faith.
For me, this means my Christian faith and leaning on God.
This also means faith in myself and knowing that I know my children better than anyone else, and I’m fully equipped to teach them.
I already knew that those two elements of faith were going to be very important as I began homeschooling. What I didn’t think about was that I need to have faith in my kids.
We, as humans, were created to learn. We do it automatically from the time we’re born. Why would that stop once a child hits school-age?
Spoiler alert: It doesn’t.
Have faith in your kids that they will learn in their time. Not everyone learns the same thing at the exact same age. I saw it in the classroom, and I see it all the time with my girls.
Nurture those babies with a loving, learning environment, and watch them grow!
So there you have the six things that every new homeschool mom needs. Do you agree or disagree? Have I left anything out?
Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear what YOU think every new homeschool mom needs!
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