Homeschool Survival GuideValerie Mcclintick
The school year is not what you anticipated. You’ve never imagined yourself as a homeschool mom. Yet, here you are. Homeschooling was probably not your first choice, but it was the best choice given the circumstances. But, what now? How do you get through this and not lose your mind? You know it’s not the kids’ fault, but you really wish you could just send them back to school. Being a sudden and unexpected homeschooler is not easy. However, it is a special opportunity for your family, if you tap into the right resources and embrace the gift of homeschooling, even if it is only for a year. Here’s the homeschool survival guide you’ve been looking for.
How to Homeschool Your Children and Keep Your Sanity
There is already so much to process and deal with. Perhaps you are working from home and homeschooling. You probably wonder if you will lose your mind before the end of the year. Homeschooling is a lot of work, but doing homeschooling well should never come at the cost of your physical and mental health. YOU are the most important part of your homeschool. So, here are some ways to take care of yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually.
- Connect with other moms who understand through a homeschool group either virtually or in-person
- Make time to pray and read the Bible
- Enlist family and friends for added support (help with teaching, give you a break with childcare, just listen when you need someone to listen, etc)
- Set priorities and realize that they will not be the same as they were before. You may have to embrace some more mess now that the kids are home all the time. Have the top three things you need to accomplish each day, and let the rest go.
- Simplify your life! Keep things simple so you are less stressed
- Make sure you are eating, sleeping, and drinking plenty of water! Really!!
- Outsource work in your home or homeschool where you need it most.
- Be willing to let go of things that aren’t working. You didn’t fail, the resource just isn’t made for your family.
Homeschool Mom Support Network Essentials
Homeschool moms need support. You are working hard and need a network to help you through the rough patches. Support networks are also important for celebrating victories. But, how can you build a support network when you barely have time to shower? Here are some tips for finding the network you need:
- Start on social media. Search “homeschool” plus your area, town, or state. Groups will pop up for moms just like you. Join a few and see which ones meet your needs. Don’t be afraid to post if you need help, or leave if the group just isn’t for you.
- Join a co-op or local homeschool group. Even though there may be less activities going on, it’s a chance to connect with people in your area for virtual or in-person get togethers.
- Enlist tutors, online classes, or family members to teach subjects you don’t want to teach or you are struggling to teach to your child.
- Participate in a “moms night out” or plan your own. Scheduling regular breaks will give you a chance to decompress, have some fun, and fight off overwhelm.
Building a Positive Homeschool Mindset
A positive outlook is the first step to a positive outcome. It is understandable that you may be frustrated or even angry about having to homeschool. You could be grieving the loss of your vision for this school year. All of this is normal. However, if you are going to make it through successfully and with your sanity in tact, you need to look on the bright side. Try to accept that life is not what you planned. Look for ways that you can make this year special. What are the positives of your new situation? Make a list of them and keep it somewhere safe. Whenever you start to feel those negative feels, remind yourself of the positives, take a deep breath, and move on.
Benefits of Homeschooling
Homeschooling is about so much more than traditional education. It’s a lifestyle. This lifestyle takes some adjusting but it is a great opportunity for your family to grow in ways that weren’t possible during a traditional school schedule. Consider how you can incorporate some of these benefits into your day to make this year of unexpected homeschooling an adventure. Just another tool to add to your personal homeschool survival guide!
- Work on character development as a family
- Take more time to read, study, or memorize the Bible as a family
- Learn some life skills that will stick with your kids for decades to come
- Volunteer for a local charity or neighbor as a diversion from the daily school work
- Incorporate practical lessons and activities
- Develop or discover personal hobbies
- Visit family and friends more often
How to Keep Homeschool Kids Busy
You may be overwhelmed with just what to do with the kids all day long, every day! So, no homeschool survival guide for mom would be complete without a list of suggestions for keeping the kids busy when they are home all the time.
- Allow them to pursue personal hobbies
- Encourage child interest-led learning. Provide books, resources, and tools to learn about what their passions once the regular work is finished
- Take field trips—locally, long-distance, and virtually
- Spend more time in nature
- Find some good documentaries to enjoy together
- Adopt a school pet—from a goldfish to a new dog, get the kids engaged in caring for this new member of the family
- Let them get bored! They say necessity is the mother of all invention. So is boredom. If the kids have enough downtime, they will dream up new ways to entertain themselves.
- Organize project or fun days with other homeschoolers
- Join a local sports team, dance troop, or gym.