My story: I started homeschooling about three years ago. I had no doubts that it was in our future. I was already a SAHM (working part time from home) and it just made sense for our family. Growing up, I had a friend who was homeschooled until high school. I was intrigued by the idea, even then. And from a young age, I had a dream of being a teacher. So years later, being the educator for two of the most important people in my life was the perfect opportunity.
If I could sit down with myself of three years ago and talk about homeschooling, this is the advice I’d give.
- Be patient with yourself and the process. You don’t have to figure it all out overnight.
- Don’t compare your education process and family life to anyone else’s. Stay off social media when you start to feel like you “just don’t add up.”
- Don’t listen to the naysayers. People are always going to offer you “well-meaning advice.” But you don’t have to take it to heart. You know what’s best for your family and that is that.
- Don’t force the learning experience and don’t start too early. If the kids want to wiggle, let them wiggle.
- Learn to be a tree. Seriously. Be flexible when life throws you a curveball (branches) and get your roots firmly planted in the ground so that the curveballs don’t knock you over. I love this analogy.
- Along the same lines – figure out your “Why.” Watch Simon Sinek’s “Find Your Why.”
- Understand that opportunities for learning are everywhere. When the kids ask questions, want to read or play a game with you, don’t shrug them off but engage with their curiosity. There is a lesson in everything.
- Get outside and play. Just go somewhere. Sometimes a change of scenery is all you need to change up a rough day.
- Take care of yourself. Read that again. Do whatever “self care” is for you. Feed your interests, get to that semi-rested and happy place so you can be the best version for yourself and your kiddos.
- As the teacher, you need to be engaged and like the curriculum, too. Otherwise, it’s not going to be fun for anyone. If it’s not working, it’s okay to not use it anymore.
What advice would you offer to someone just starting out on the homeschooling journey?