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5 Important Skills You Need to Develop as a Homeschool Parent

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Homeschooling? What homeschool parent skills do you need to develop? Alicia shares 5 crucial skills all homeschool parents need.

Written by Alicia Hutchinson of Learning Well Community.

Homeschooling has been possibly the hardest and most rewarding venture I’ve ever taken on. There’s no doubt that I am not the same person I was when we began 11 years ago. People tell me all the time reasons they could never homeschool.

“I don’t have the patience.”

“I’m not organized.”

“I don’t feel smart enough to homeschool.” 

5 Important Skills You Need to Develop as a Homeschool Parent

Guess what. There’s no magic Fairy of Patience delivering an unending supply to homeschooling parents. And there’s no Merry Maids team showing up daily to keep things neat and tidy and organized. Sorry.

Homeschool moms are amazing, but we’re not supernatural beings. We have to work at those skills and character traits constantly.

The following five skills are important for every homeschooling parent to develop. I don’t want to make homeschool parents feel “less than” or guilt. We have enough of those feelings all on our own. But it’s also wise to continuously search ourselves and be the best versions of ourselves we can be. As I’ve homeschooled through the years, I’ve realized some skills that have helped me be a better homeschool mom.

1. Develop your research skills

“I’m not smart enough to homeschool.”

There’s not a person alive that is brilliant enough to teach their kids ALL the things under the sun. It’s impossible. But we do our best. And we research. The amount that I’ve learned since we started homeschooling is astounding.

The fact of the matter is this: If you don’t know the answer, Google does.

We can find the answers! None of us are experts at every subject we teach our kids, but we can be experts at researching to find the information we need.

  • Use internet searches
  • Check out books from the library with your kids
  • Read books on your own without your kids present
  • Watch documentaries.
  • Purchase reference guides for certain subjects. [Example: I love Nitty-Gritty Grammar Guides for my kids’ tricky grammar questions.]

2. Know your limits.

“I could never homeschool.”

I’m not that homeschool parent that shouts from the rooftops that EVERYONE and their dog should be homeschooling. Homeschooling is a unique lifestyle, and it’s not for everyone. What I do think is this:

More people could homeschool if they’d just set their minds to it. 

We talk ourselves out of SO many things. We say things like I could never or I can’t do {blank} before we even let ourselves dream a little bit!

You’ve heard the saying, “what would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail,” right?

Well, what if!?

The secret is knowing your limits.

If math is challenging for you, find a tutor. If your home is unorganized and you feel like homeschooling would make that worse, hire a cleaner, or do a major purge and get rid of stuff. Or recruit your kids and let them know how important it is that they help out.

Know your limits and work around them. Take care of yourself, so you don’t get burned out. Ask for help!

3. Be confident in your decisions.

“I wouldn’t even know where to begin homeschooling.”

As a homeschooler, you will run across people who don’t support your decision. The naysayers are plentiful. Ignoring these people or not letting them bother you is a lot easier said than done sometimes. Their words can hurt!

But as the rebels that we are, choosing the path less taken, we need to be confident in our decision. Because if we’re not, who will be?

Count your wins in more than just ticks off the to-do list or test scores. Do like I’ve done in the past couple of years and start a daily record of what you do get done, instead of what you don’t. Count the small victories and keep track of them. They add up and build your confidence.

Seek out people who support you and won’t discourage your decision to homeschool. You need a cheerleader on days when you doubt yourself.

4. Flex your flexibility.

“I’m not structured enough to homeschool.”

Who cares if you’re not a structured person? Work with it! One of the reasons I wanted to homeschool was the flexibility of it. My oldest went to kindergarten (11 years ago! How times flies!!), and every single morning I would bundle him up and send him out the door on those cold winter days. I hated that we couldn’t just sit peacefully in front of the fire and read!

As homeschoolers, we have the freedom and flexibility to sit by the fire and read. We can be weird and unique, stay in our pajamas, do school at the library, read all day, take 14 days on a single math concept, bake cookies for math, and so much more! Exercise that freedom, my friend!

If we try to replicate school at home, we’ll always be disappointed. It’s going to look different because it is different. School at home should be flexible and flowing, just like people are.

5. Focus on engagement over the end result.

“My kids and I would just argue if we homeschooled.”

The relationships with our kids are more important than math facts, test scores, daily work, the to-do list – everything. Sometimes I get so caught up in get it all done, that I forget why I’m doing this – to be with my kids, give them a different childhood than kids in school, hone in on their unique talents, and teach them with those in mind.

My kids and I do argue sometimes. Our relationships aren’t perfect. We have to work through things. But the number one reason I decided to homeschool was that I wanted to be with my kids. I like them. A whole lot! And I just wanted to be around them. It’s not always easy to do, but I can’t let school get in the way of our relationships.

There’s a lot of reasons people don’t want to or choose not to homeschool. But developing these skills and working on these areas of our own lives will make our homeschool journeys so much richer.

What skills do you (or did you) need to develop as a homeschool parent?

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One Comment

  1. What a fantastic article. Spot on too. People dismiss being able to homeschool without even really considering it and the huge benefits their children would receive if they chose a better path in life. You can do it! I am new to homeschooling and we love it. Although I have a very difficult child there are ways around it as this article points out and they are protected from so much school life can bring. Thank you!

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