Starting your homeschooling journey is an adventure. In every adventure though, there are exciting times, mundane times and downright cortisol-pumping times! 🙂 When starting homeschooling, questions, doubts, concerns and fears can easily become overwhelming and make you doubt your decision. But be encouraged— you don’t have to do this journey alone. There are many homeschooling moms who have walked a similar path and are cheering you on.
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We have been homeschooling for over 16 years. (Putting that in writing makes it seem like such a long time! Can I really be that old?) At the time of this writing, I have graduated two children and have 5 more in our homeschool. Even though I’ve been doing this awhile, I too sometimes question what I’m doing. Am I doing enough? Did I make the right choice? Is xyz curriculum what this child needs? And sometimes I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. All of this is normal. 🙂
The advantage I have as a veteran homeschool mom is perspective. I can look back at our homeschooling career and see the different seasons we’ve walked through and the outcomes— and that has given me confidence to keep going. I’ve homeschooled with a newborn, and toddlers— and my older kids still thrived. I’ve gone through seasons where I was totally on the ball with academics and other seasons where we did the bare minimum. I’ve seen curriculum trends come and go.
What I’ve learned is:
- Everyone’s homeschool journey is different. Your children have different temperaments, talents, gifts and struggles. Looking at Pinterest and Instgram might be helpful— but can also lead to comparison and feeling inadequate. Be the horse with the blinders on– focusing on your path ahead instead of getting distracted.
- Curricula is a tool to utilize in your homeschool. You control the tool. (Here are 5 Tips for Choosing Homeschool Curriculum)
- You are accountable to God for your children. He gave them to you to raise and nurture — not (insert anyone who questions your homeschooling decision.)
- You are more than equipped to do this. If you have grit, determination and a willingness to learn— you have all you need to get started.
- Focus on the foundation of your homeschool. For my family, our three main educational goals are: help my children walk with God, teach and model good character and stewardship, and teach them how to learn and to become independent learners.
Help I’m Homeschooling
Over the years I’ve had many homeschool mama friends encourage me along the way. One of these friends is Tricia Hodges. We met as bloggers and even got to hang out in Florida together one year. Several of our kids are around the same age, so many times I would hop on over to her blog to see what they were doing. She also shares such practical wisdom– especially with her routines or homeschool habits as she calls them.
She recently wrote a little book Help! I’m Homeschooling!: Helpful Habits for the Heart of Homeschooling If you ever wanted to peek into the life of a homeschooler– this is it.
I have found that with homeschooling, it’s not the curriculum, the books, the arts and crafts projects that make your homeschooling successful—- it’s the routines. I’ve always admired her for diligently establishing these habits because it truly does make your homeschool life flow better. Her habit of morning room time is genius! And we have incorporated her habit of one more thing after lunch.
And this is where I suggest you start with starting homeschooling. Build routines that will become the foundation of your homeschool.
I am here to tell you that a firm foundation and an arsenal of habits help hold things together and bless the whole family. There’s a sense of freedom and security with habits. Be encouraged my fellow homeschool mamas! You will see the fruits of your efforts and prayers. ~ Tricia Hodges
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