10 Homeschooling Tips
Whether you have been homeschooling for awhile now or have just been thrown into homeschooling with COVID-19, I have put together 10 homeschooling tips that will hopefully bring more peace and joy to your homeschooling days.
Every family has a new normal right now with the current pandemic of COVID-19. I know a lot of moms may be experiencing fears about failing, being overwhelmed, and feeling lots of self doubt. You may be thinking, “What if I’m not cut out for this?” “What if I don’t have the patience?” “What if my child falls behind?” “What if I can’t balance work and homeschooling?” It’s totally normal to feel those things, but realize they don’t define you and what you are capable of. I had those same fears and self doubts too when we began homeschooling. Sometimes they still rear their ugly head. It wasn’t until I learned to quiet that voice inside my head, trust my gut, and dive heart first into this journey, that those fears quickly faded and a beautiful adventure began to unfold.
Even though this may not be the journey you chose and you are being forced into homeschooling, the best way to totally own your new normal is to fully embrace it and be in it 100%. Don’t doubt or second guess yourself, and dive deep! You’ve got this mama and you never know, a beautiful adventure may unfold and be the silver lining to these scary and unknown times.
1. Don’t Feel Like You Have to Duplicate a Classroom Setting
You can homeschool anywhere! Don’t feel like your homeschooling space has to resemble a traditional classroom setting. You can sit at the kitchen table and school over a snack, cozied up snuggling on the couch, or grab a blanket and school outside in the backyard. It is of course helpful to gather all of your supplies and have them handy and closeby, but don’t stress out about having a perfect set up.
2. The World is Our Classroom
So often we think of learning as a “classroom setting” or completing worksheets, but so much is learned in our daily lives. Cooking, baking, cleaning, and exploring nature are all learning activities.
3. Have A Daily Rhythm/Routine
Your schedule does not need to resemble the traditional school schedule. This is a great time to experience the flexibility that comes along with homeschooling. The beauty of homeschooling is that you can make your own schedule and do what works best for your child and family. But you should should establish a daily rhythm or routine. Having too much or too little structure or routine can be overwhelming. Have an outline of what you want your days to look like. Do you want slow mornings maybe watching a show or reading or books? Or do you want to jump right into schoolwork after breakfast? Find what best suits your family and child’s learning style.
4. Don’t Just Check Off Boxes
Don’t try to rush through the curriculum/workload just to get through it or check off boxes. It’s okay if you don’t get through everything you had planned or you fall behind a bit. This one can be hard for me, especially because I often don’t feel productive if I don’t accomplish everything I intended to, but I always remind myself that is not what is important. What is most important is that your child is enjoying and retaining what he or she is learning, rather than rushing through it.
5. Take Breaks Often
Take lots of breaks, especially with little ones. Let them run around, play outside for a bit, or have a snack. Also, if you or your child gets frustrated sometimes it’s better to take a break or move onto something new and circle back later rather than push through.
6. How You Teach Your Children Is Just As Important As What You Teach Them
If you are stressed, distant, and dreading it they will feel that way too. Same if you are at peace, present, and excited about the day. Children pick up on our energies. Try your best to not get stressed out or frustrated. It’s helpful to start the day with a morning meditation or prayer.
7. Engage Their Hearts Not Just Their Minds
Of course we want our children to be intelligent, but we also want to cultivate a beautiful heart and soul. If your child loves drawing or art, nurture that. If your child loves bugs and insects dive deep into that subject. Allow lots of free time for creativity. I’m amazed by the magic the boys find in their everyday, and the creativity it sparks.
8. Spend Alot of Time Out in Nature
No matter where you live, there is often nature around you. Even in a big city you can often find a park with a grassy area and trees. We are fortunate to have lots of nature trails within walking distance of us. Spend lots of time outdoors enjoying all nature and all of God’s beautiful creation. Take nature hikes, bring along a nature journal, garden, play in the dirt.
9. Allow Lots of Free Time
We allow lots and lots of free time for art, reading, building, creating, and to be out in nature exploring and playing! I love that the boys can enjoy childhood without being constrained to the structure of a traditional school schedule.
10. Be Gentle On Yourself
And lastly whether you have been homeschooling for awhile now or have just been thrown into homeschooling with COVID-19, be gentle on yourself and give yourself alot of grace. Some days are going to be downright hard and that’s okay. There is no perfect way to homeschool. There is no such thing as a perfect teacher. Don’t strive for perfection. Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone’s journey is different. You got this mama!
I hope these homeschooling tips have been helpful. We’d love to hear any others you may have. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out!