THREE GO-TO REMINDERS FOR HOMESCHOOLING


I am the second of five daughters and we were all homeschooled from pre-k through high school. Was it perfect? Of course not! But having the privilege of being a second-generation homeschooler has given me the confidence to take the best of what I was given and mold it into what works with my kids! My kiddos are 8, 5, and 3, so we are still in the early years of schooling and I’m sure our styles and rhythms will evolve as they get older.


For now, here are my greatest go-to reminders for homeschooling:


LOVE OF LEARNING

Homeschooled boy holding a book called The Beekeeper's Bible

My biggest goal in homeschooling has been to help my kids fall in love with learning. To keep negative connotations at bay and allow space for explorative learning of all subjects. One of the most productive ways to cultivate this has been to let my kids lead in their learning. This means that we do not follow a rigid, daily structure. Instead, I’ll ask my kids questions like, “what are we feeling, math or language arts?” and “would you rather me read to you or you read for yourself?” They can feel that they have some control while I maintain healthy parameters. We also only do school for 15- 20 minutes at a time. On tedious days, we set a timer so that they know they are about to be able to get their wiggles out. Most days, we just follow the clock and sometimes we forget about time altogether - these are the best school days!


THERE IS NO "GETTING BEHIND"


A Homeschooled Girl working on Math with a black cat

There is no getting behind, there is no keeping up - just be! Allowing my kids the freedom to learn at their own, individual paces is making a big difference in cultivating their love of learning and making progress without frustration. When we have hard mornings, we do not power through. We set the books aside and do some life-schooling, allowing everyday happenings to organically teach instead of forcing lessons. We do still set learning goals and we celebrate big when we meet them!


EMBRACE THE MESS


A nature loving boy holding two chickens

Embrace the mess. This is such a hard one, especially if you have any amount of anxiety, OCD, or neat-freak tendencies. But, allowing yourself the freedom to let it go can make all the difference in the trajectory of your student’s learning experience that day. Letting the Legos spread across the floor can lead to an architect in the making. Paints and papers strewn across tables can become a masterpiece hung on the fridge. We always tidy up at the end of the day, but during our schooling hours, my house usually looks like it threw up. And I am slowly becoming more and more okay with that.


I hope if nothing else, you smiled while reading this.

Remember that you are not alone in the struggles or the triumphs.

There are so many here to cry with you and to cheer you on!


Stephanie