You probably have not heard much about homeschooling from your fellow moms. Well, naturally, it is much more fun and cool to talk about parenting books, new recipes, and other Instagram mom things. But coming from 15 wonderful years of homeschooling, I realized that the best years I have had as a mom are the ones wherein I put the time into dedicating myself to become the best homeschool mom.
Know Your Kids’ Wisdom – Every child is unique in terms of their learning styles, abilities, and needs. So, a one- size fits all approach will not be effective in terms of homeschooling. Although you probably know your children better than anyone else, you might still be surprised by some quirks and habits that they have when they are studying. It’s very important to observe and analyze their behavior so you can tailor and change your teaching methods according to their needs. If you have a struggling learner, they honestly might just need a change of pace or materials. Some learn visually while some learn through practical examples.
Secure the Right Resources that Can Help You – One of the biggest misconceptions about homeschooling is that it’s going to make your home life a whole lot easier. Well, if that’s the reason you’re getting into homeschooling, I have to break it to you, it won’t. Being your kids’ teacher in every aspect of their life means that you would also have to invest in your personal skills and knowledge. While being their teacher gives you the unique chance to teach them everything that you know, without the diversity that a conventional school could give them, your weaknesses will also become their weaknesses. If you weren’t that good in math in high school, your kids might do even worse!
So, invest in resources to help you be the best version of yourself. You can get books, online resources, or materials that you and your kids can simultaneously learn from.
Plan Your Day and Stick to a Simple Routine – If you are like me, you thrive in organized environments and you work better with a routine. My home and my children are far from perfect, but I find that having a schedule really helps me visualize my day (and week) so much better. Now, I learned over the years that setting up a strict and rigid timeline that you can’t follow all the time is the perfect recipe… for disaster and disappointment so, I learned how to make my schedule flexible and my routine minimal so that there is some room for last minute plans and adjustments.
Try to focus on what you need to accomplish and the flow of tasks. Keep your hubby and older kids in the routine too! You’ll appreciate every extra hand on deck.
Know the Things that Can Ruin Your Day – I know that I have mentioned something about keeping a flexible schedule. However, don’t take it as a go signal for you to indulge on things that can negatively impact your homeschooling setup. Things like sleeping a bit later, scrolling on your phone in the morning, or binging on your social media feeds are fun and tempting, but acknowledge that they take up a lot of your precious and limited time. While it is very much okay to indulge in things that can help you destress, you must also learn how to set boundaries to keep yourself accountable. Oftentimes, the problem with being the boss is not having someone to remind you what you need to do and when you need to do it. So when you’re starting to get distracted, try to remember your priorities.
Identify the Problems that May Come Your Way – Each home has its problem. If you take the time to step back and prepare for these problems, you will find it easier to handle them and have a smoother homeschool. Some usual problems I encounter are hangry kids, temper tantrums, and attitudes. Once I noticed these recurring problems, I was able to prepare solutions and do things my way. I started preparing healthy breakfasts and some snacks to nibble on and it made our pre-lunch classes so much easier. For temper tantrums, I started teaching my younger kids the polite way to ask for their needs during the summer so they were already programmed to behave by the start of the school year.
I also removed things that I find to be a source of their distractions and installed a clock to time lessons and make sure that the kids are not overworked.
Remember that You’re a Mom – Homeschooling for a long time now, I realized that it’s easy to forget that you’re not just their teacher, you’re their mom. Being strict and firm can define a good teacher, but some days, we just need to be a mom. So to restore the balance, I started praising my kids more not just when they’re doing great with their lessons but also when they do household chores. You can even have a “teacher’s day out” where you can just spend a class day watching educational videos, exploring nature, or learning more practical stuff like baking!
Discover the Magic of Meal Prepping – Making meals and serving breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner every single day can be really exhausting. In fact, I find that most of the time I spend outside of homeschooling is spent in the kitchen. That’s when I started researching about meal prepping. It’s very similar to what I and you are probably already doing which involves planning grocery lists, shopping, and cooking. However, meal prepping is a rising trend wherein you shop, prep, and cook your meals in advance. Yes, doing all of this in one day does take a lot of time off my weekend, but it also frees up a lot of my weekday time.
These tips might sound basic, but you will quickly find that making smaller but more realistic changes makes a mountain of difference. If you have a trick up your sleeves that you think might help me and other moms, don’t hesitate to share them! Let’s continue making this community one that is supportive and encouraging.
Enjoy this video on the subject: