Are you a new homeschool family? Welcome to the club! You are part of a rapidly growing educational movement. Whether you are homeschooling because of poor local schools, health reasons, religious reasons, because you want to travel as a family, learning challenges, or a multitude of other reasons, the important thing is that we are all in this together.
I think you'll find the homeschooling community a big family in many instances. Most homeschool families are more than willing to share advice from lessons learned along the way. We have asked a group of 15 veteran homeschool moms to share their best tips for new homeschool families. No matter why you homeschool or what style of homeschooling you choose, you will find some wisdom here.
Expert Advice For The New Homeschool Family
Don't ask too many questions in the beginning. Try to trust yourself first before getting too much advice. I think sometimes new homeschool moms have information overload which makes them doubt everything that came naturally to them about their families. It's okay to go against the grain even in the homeschool world. Advice is good, but it can lower the volume of your own voice.
- Latonya at Joy in the Ordinary,
Go slow. Don't try to recreate school at home, work to incorporate school into home. And be patient with yourself!
- Jackie at One Redeemed Mom
Learning what curriculum is a fit for your family may take time. That's okay. Don't feel forced to stick with something that's not working for your family simply because others love it. The beauty of homeschooling is having the freedom to learn "outside the box".
- Leah at LeahNieman.com
Making decisions on which curriculum to use is like drinking from a fire hose. We have all felt the agony of trying to find the perfect fit. Be okay with making mistakes while you are trying to figure out how you teach and your kids learn. Remember the 6 months of discovering is not a waste of time in the journey of home education.
- Stacey at Layered Soul
If things take you on a rabbit trail and your lesson plans are cast aside, let it be. Flexibility is often the key to encouraging the lesson! You don't want to kill the joy of learning and discovery.
- Sara at Embracing Destiny Blog
Don't worry about what other homeschoolers are doing. Stay in your lane, focus on your family, and lead them well.
- Emily at Table Life Blog
Don't get so caught up with the academic part of homeschooling that you forget to connect and build up your relationship with your children.
- Jessica at Intentional Life
Set goals for your homeschool. They will help you choose curriculum and extra-curricular activities. When you're tempted to compare your children to others', especially later on in the high school years, your goals will remind you why you made the decisions you did and that your children are doing just fine.
- Michelle at Mid-Life Blogger
Homeschooling is not about replicating "school-at-home". It takes time to figure it out and break out of that "school-at-home" mindset.
- Kim at The South Caroline Homeschooling Connection
Don't worry about not meeting all of your daily or even weekly goals. Getting sidetracked and following rabbit trails to research incidental and curious info leads to some of the best learning that has happened in our 15 yrs of homeschooling.
- Chris at Campfires And Cleats
1)Write down your reasons for homeschooling so you remember why you're doing this. 2) It takes time to find your groove as a homeschool family. Give yourself grace as you figure it out!
- Lesli at This Crazy Homeschool Life
The things you worry about as a new mom (which spelling curriculum to use, what if you can't get it all done, how will I ever do a transcript) are really the easy parts of homeschooling. The hard part, the part that will make you want to quit, is the character-building and discipleship. The thing is, though, that the discipleship is the part that makes it worth it all. That's the part that will make you glad you did all this when your kids are all grown up
. - Hal & Melanie Young at Raising Real Men
Trust yourself. Focus on the main thing- raising confident, content, capable children. They won't always be 5. They won't always live with you. The days are short. Take the field trip. Read books together. Enjoy the time you've been given. Most of all, capture their hearts. Relationships above all else.
- Laurie at Successful Homemakers
You don't have to know all the answers before you start.
- Tiffany at Finish With Joy
Don't worry about all the people who seem to have it all together. Normal people clean up their homes before guests arrive and they clean up their lives before posting it on Facebook. It isn't a lie and it isn't "inauthentic." But it isn't the whole picture, either. You'll realize this the first time someone messages you about what an inspiration you are or how they marvel at how you keep it all together and you just sit there thinking, "Did they mean to send that to me?"
- Dana at Roscommon Acres