It is easy to get discouraged when you homeschool. Especially when you first start. Everyone has their own opinion about it. Whether or not you should do it. How to do. How long. What curriculum to use. It goes on and on.
Don’t worry. This is not a post to tell you the nitty gritty of how to operate your homeschool. This is a post to help you enjoy homeschooing. I hope.
Do enjoy spending the time with your children. Don’t spend the day arguing, debating, bribing, etc. Choose your battles.
Do pick curriculum that you will enjoy teaching. Don’t be tempted to “do school at home”. The beauty of homeschooling is that you have more freedom over the curriculum. If you pulled your child out of public or private school because they were struggling with textbooks, for goodness sake, don’t try the same at home. Find a curriculum that caters to your child’s learning style. A curriculum is only as good as it is retained.
Do be flexible. Don’t stress. I know. This is easier said than done. Work with your seasons of life. I know when my girls were little, there was a period of time that my husband was working third shift. Do you know how hard it is to keep giggling little girls quiet while Daddy is trying to sleep?? Especially in a very small house. I adjusted everyone’s schedule to Daddy’s for a few months.
Do what you know is best for your family. Don’t compare yourself, or your kids, to other homeschoolers. I remember when I first started homeschooling, I subscribed to a few homeschooling magazines. They would come each month with a “perfect” family featured on the cover. I would read how the family was organized, how well the kids were learning, how the dad was involved, how they stuck to their budget, etc, etc. And instead of inspiring me, it made me discouraged! Then I started talking to homeschool families that I knew. Not every day is smooth for anyone. Of course, a featured family is only going to show the positive. I remember listening to a mom of fourteen speak at a homeschool conference. Before the workshop, I saw her kids around the conference. They did the buddy system. They were respectful to each other and any one that spoke to them. They even had perfect posture for Pete’s sake. Then I went to her workshop and she told all of the struggles that the family had faced. She was real.
Do remember why you started homeschooling. Give yourself a break if you need it. Sure, it might not be scheduled but it would be better to take a week off school, gather your wits, work on character training/discipline, change curriculum, whatever needs to be done, to put the joy back in your homeschool. Don’t give up. God will give you direction, strength, peace – whatever you have need of, He can and will supply it if you seek Him first in the direction of your homeschool.
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