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The ABC’s of Homeschooling: Homeschool Advice {+Free Printable}

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Written by Adrienne Bolton of The Mommy Mess.

What’s the best homeschool advice you’ve ever received? My homeschooling approach has evolved over the years, but I’d like to think I’ve finally reached a point on this journey where I can breathe a little. After ten years on the job, here’s some of my best homeschooling advice!

Hopefully, you won’t wait as long as I did to catch your breath!

Abandon your expectations. Whatever you thought homeschooling would be like? I promise you, it will be different.

When we finally decided to homeschool, I was ready to jump in full speed ahead! I hung my whiteboard with pride, laminated our “class” calendar, and sharpened every pencil in the house. Then we sat down at the dining room table where everything fell apart.

Whatever you thought homeschooling would be like? I promise you, it will be different. #homeschooltruth Click to Tweet

Be a parent first. It’s going to be hard to juggle the hats of parent and educator. Be a parent first and foremost. The rest will fall into place.

Co-op is a place where homeschooling families meet for a common goal, usually classes and social activities. It’s just a weird homeschool word for a group. There are LOTS of different kinds of co-ops. If you’re thinking about joining one make sure to do your homework and find one that fits your family’s needs.

Don’t compare yourself to other homeschool moms (or dads). It’s natural in the homeschool community to ask around. You might talk to other parents about what programs they like, what curriculum works for their middle schooler, or what path they took for high school. Just remember, you have to do what works for YOUR family. Do your research and gather information, but don’t go crazy trying to emulate others.

Eat up! If you were to ask what my kids have loved most about the years we’ve been homeschooling, they will both likely say, “The food!” Homeschooling is weekend breakfast every day! #homeschoolperks

It’s also so fun to incorporate recipes from around the world into your study of history or geography. Plus, getting your kids in the kitchen touches on science, math, and more!

Find a few friends who get it. I don’t know what I’d do without love and support from friends who understand what this journey is like.  It’s important to have some people in your circle who don’t think you’re crazy for doing this.

Give yourself time to adjust. Especially, if you’re transitioning from public school to homeschool. It’s a lifestyle change, and you’re not going to morph into a new family overnight.

Hiding in the bathroom is encouraged. There will come a time. Probably during a math lesson. Just sayin’.

I recommend stocking your medicine cabinet with a good devotional and calming candle.

Hiding in the bathroom is encouraged. I recommend stocking your medicine cabinet with a good devotional and calming candle. #homeschooltruth Click to Tweet

Ignore the critics. Not everyone will get your decision. That is OK! Don’t take it personally. Be confident in your choice for your family and move on.

Just take a break if you need one. Your kids aren’t going to suffer if you take a few days off to catch your breath. Sometimes it’s necessary, and if you’re feeling this way, you can bet your kids are too.

Know you’re not alone. Homeschooling can be lonely at times. Your people are out there somewhere. Maybe they live in a Facebook group, on a blog, or they’ll be at the next place you go outside of your comfort zone. Reach out and find a support system!

Learn to adjust when needed. I like to think of Plan B as Plan Better. #homeschooling Click to Tweet

Mistakes happen. And you will make about a billion of them. Homeschooling has humbled me. You’re going to have bad days, but you’ll get to teach your kids grace and strength. Don’t beat yourself up.

No one finishes every lesson. We’ve been at this a while now and I have literally never completed a full year’s curriculum of anything. More importantly, that hasn’t screwed up my kids.

Options are endless. It is an exciting time for homeschooling families. There are so many resources available to families who are looking for alternative educational choices. Homeschooling doesn’t have to look a certain way.

Prayer changes stuff. Please don’t mistake my advice as coming from someone who has achieved an obedient prayer life. It’s a struggle for me daily, but I know without a doubt how beautifully prayer impacts our day when I have the discipline to start there.

Quit trying to force something that isn’t working. Maybe you need to switch your math curriculum or find a new way to cover grammar. Whatever it may be, you have the freedom to make changes.

Remember why you started. It can be hard to focus on the heart of your homeschool when you’re in the midst of chaos. Or math. Remind yourself daily why you’re doing this thing.

School can happen anywhere. Be sure to grab brochures, maps, and visitor information for places you visit during the school year. You’d be surprised how much field tripping you’ll have to show at the end of the year.

Take care of yourself. Make sure your mental, physical, and spiritual needs are being met. You have a huge responsibility to make sure you’re strong for your family. I know first hand how to be a miserable homeschool mom. Don’t make the same mistakes I did.

Used curriculum will save you a ton of money! Browsing eBay before you run and out and pay full price is always a wise idea.

Victories happen every day. Even when you’re banging your head against the wall over grammar or the math program you chose just isn’t working, there are positives each and every day. You have to pay attention though! They don’t always come from a book or a lesson. Which brings me to my next tip…

Watch closely. The best part of this crazy life we chose is getting to watch my kids grow in such an up close and personal way. Even with all the hard days, I still cherish the extra time we’ve had together.

eXpect trial and error. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve started new curriculum mid-year or tossed something that just wasn’t working. Every year. Every. single. year. Expect it and your life will be so much easier.

You can’t do it all. Your house will be dirty, your laundry pile will be high, and you’re going to forget to take the meat out of the freezer at least twice a week. Give yourself grace.

Give yourself grace. Your house will be dirty and your laundry pile will be high. #homeschooltruth #youcantdoitall Click to Tweet

Zeal for learning goes a long way. I’ve learned so much with my kids over the years. Be sure to incorporate ways to have fun and inspire your kids through your own enjoyment.

What homeschool advice would you add to list?

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One Comment

  1. Thank you so much for this! After dealing with public schools forever with my older child, I vowed that I would homeschool my youngest. It has been so hard, because I have dealt with a LOT of naysayers. Articles like this keep me going.

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