Resistance is futile– summer is coming to a close and a whole new year of homeschooling awaits us. In many ways, I’m actually excited to get back into the rhythm, and my kids are too.
Typically, for experienced homeschoolers, now is the time to gather last minute materials, do some goal setting, and get a “feel” for the year. However, if you’re a first time homeschool mama, the beginning can be a bit overwhelming. It’s common, when you start educating from home, to over purchase and overload. Wishful thinking can quickly cause burnouts, and you may find yourself wanting to throw in the towel- and it’s only November!
I’ve learned that there are a few guidelines that can help you prevent burnout, completing a successful school year with flying colors.
Here’s my list of 5 homeschooling tips- to keep your family homeschooling happily, without the burnout!
- Stay organized: This, to me, is the most important tip to remember. This includes your work area and your game plan. I keep a cabinet loaded with all of our materials for the year, including curriculum, notebooks, and schedules. I’ve found for our family, writing out a schedule helps us stay on target. It’s something I do once a week, and this year I purchased a very handy teacher planner, so half the work is done (no more printing schedules from the computer, just pencil it in!)! Think you need to plan the whole year in August? Remember this: you only need to stay one step ahead of them. So what if you’re making a schedule Monday morning before school? The point is, you make it and stick to it!
- Keep it fresh: Part of burnout is becoming bored with routine, or curriculum feeling stale. Keep if fresh by providing frequent outings, hands on activities, and/or creative outlets. During the school year, my kids get out at least once a week for a homeschool related activity, which helps all of us keep our sanity. We also do as many hands on projects surrounding the material as we can, so the kids are continuously moving forward, and not just stuck at the table with a notebook all day.
- When in doubt, throw it out (or better yet, sell it!): Now, I know it can be irritating if you spent butt-loads of money on materials, and they don’t seem to be “working” for the kids. However, this is the beauty of homeschooling, which is that you can provide a tailored education for your child. So if what you bought isn’t working, move on and find something different. It’s ok if it wasn’t the right fit. In fact, it just brings you one step closer to knowing what IS right for your child! There are plenty of outlets and opportunities to sell back your unused materials too- like online forums, consignment sales, or even moms from your local homeschool community!
- Keep your eyes on your own paper: It’s going to happen- one day, you’re going to wake up and feel like your “doing something wrong” or “so-and-so is doing this and I’m not.” Yes, even the professionals will admit to self doubt. I feel that it is important to mention though, that you shouldn’t compare yourself to other homeschool families, as this is putting yourself on the fast track to burnout and just quitting all together. The key to homeschooling is knowing in your heart that you are providing your child with the best education you can give them, and trust me honey, that is a whole lot better than most kids are getting sitting in a classroom with 35 plus students. At the end of the day, is your child loved? Is your child learning? Does your child love to learn? If that is a yes, yes, and YES, then you are successful! Each child is unique, with a different learning style than the next. So what if they aren’t doing the same thing as Bobby Joe- they are exactly where they need to be. Trust me, over time, you will see how much you really have given to your child by choosing to homeschool- and that means to stop comparing your journey to others (homeschoolers and public school children)!
- Be yourself: We hear it, but do we know how important that is? Each day, when you homeschool, remember to BE YOURSELF. Not strong in certain areas? It’s ok! Get materials to help you in those areas, or hire a tutor, but don’t beat yourself up for not being strong in every subject. Take what you know, and run with it- if you’re good at art, dive into anything and everything you know! Be the beautiful you, and set an example for your children to be who they are, and to be proud! We all have strengths and weaknesses, and when you start playing off your strengths, not only will your homeschool experience change, but your life will too.
Cheers to a new school year, new beginnings, and lots of love and learning!
Are there any tips you would recommend for successful homeschooling? Share in the comments below!
*Blessings & Love*
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