How to fall in love with homeschooling


Written by Kara S. Anderson

We are wrapping up our homeschool year right now, and I am kind of done.

In fact, I might have just said the following to my husband:

“We’re so done with homeschooling. How long do we have left? A week? That’s not so bad.

You can do anything for a week. You can be on fire for a week.”

Now that statement taken on its own doesn’t really sound like someone who loves homeschooling.

But I am. Do you know why?

Because immediately after saying that, I quit.

There was no pomp, circumstance or fanfare. I simply told myself that I was done for while.

Because I’m the boss, applesauce.

(OK, really, I just put away the math book that was driving me nuts and told myself I’d take extra time Monday to work on laundry.)

Maybe we’ll do an inter-session. Maybe we’ll start back a week early.

But probably, we’ll just do what we’ve been doing for years now and make up our own rules. Everything seems to work out just fine when we do.

And THAT friends, doing it YOUR way – is the main key to falling head over heels in love with homeschooling.

Here are a couple of other tips:

Be a nerd

I’m a little bit of a dork, which comes in really handy when you’re homeschooling.

I’m all about literary vacations, and I love kid lit. My kids and I nerd-out together about history, or Harry Potter, and there’s kind of nothing that’s more fun to me than reading a book together and then watching the movie version while munching popcorn and yelling, “but that’s not how it was in the book!” at the screen.

But being a nerd means you have enthusiasm for what you are learning, and that means that homeschooling is fun.

Follow the waves

If you want everyone to be happy in your homeschool, make sure they have clean underwear.

This is a tip that will save you again and again.

Also, make sure that everyone is fed and rested.

These things seem really basic, right? But it’s funny how life can get really messy sometimes, and the next thing you know, you’re trying to teach a hungry youngster multiplication. (That never goes well.)

So another way to love homeschooling is to recognize the ebbs and flows of life and learning, and go with them.

Know that some days, the top priority should be the orthodontist appointment and that everything sort of has to work around that.

It’s OK. You have 18 YEARS.

Break up with guilt

Speaking of which, you need to can guilt like a peach. It does nothing for you. Nothing.

It just gets in your way and holds you back.

We all have bad days and weeks and even months. Don’t dwell. Dwelling doesn’t teach your kids anything, except how to dwell themselves.

And we don’t want to raise Eyeores if we can help it, right?

Tell your worries to sit on a tack

This is hard. I know it is. 

So maybe the better advice is to find a way to deal with your worries when they pop up. I like to track all the good things we are doing in my bullet journal.

Each day, I take a minute and write down everything learning-related we have done.

That practice helps me to remember that even if things didn’t go as planned, we still learned.

A wise friend of mine says that when the worries start to creep up, look into your kids’ eyes. For me this is a powerful reminder that worries take you away from your kids, and putting your focus back on them is a lot more productive than being stuck in your own head.

Stop comparing

Theodore Roosevelt said that “comparison is the thief of joy. “

I like to think that if he was alive today, he wouldn’t spend a lot of time on Instagram. Not that Instagram is a bad thing, but it can be really bad when you are feeling insecure.

As Melissa writes, “we compare everything we know about our own lives to the tiny little bits and pieces we can see of everyone else’s.”

That’s dangerous and just sets us up for misery.

I find it especially helpful to stay away from too much social media about 3 days a month. Ahem.

Make fun and connection your main priorities

When homeschooling starts to feel like drudgery here, I change the game. I plan a field trip. I come up with a new unit study.

But I try not to stay stuck.

And mostly, I remember the reasons we homeschool and I look for ways to connect with my kids and make learning fun and interesting again.

Sometimes, yes, that means I take a day to regroup and come up with something new. It helps.

Falling in love with homeschooling is simple, really. It’s about enjoying your kids and your time together. It’s about not using curriculum that makes anyone cry.

It’s about parenting, and making learning a part of everyday life.

It’s about worrying about spelling words second, and loving your kiddos first.

And I know you have that covered, mama.

What are the things you love most about homeschooling??

About Kara Anderson

Kara is a freelance writer and homeschooling mom, with a goal of encouraging fellow mamas in real-life homeschooling. She also’s the happy co-host of The Homeschool Sisters podcast.

Comments

  1. Kara I enjoyed this post beyond measure! Getting back to the basics is vital and looking into the eyes of the ones that count on us. Clean underwear….so true! My tip…teach them to do their own laundry so they realize how special having clean underwear can be in the nick of time! Reading with your kids is probably the best things we have done over the years and it has brought such bonding. And yes, we just experienced last week the book/movie thing. Next time I look at a can of peaches…I will smile!

  2. Thank you SO much for this post! This was our first year homeschooling and throughout this post I kept saying YES!!! That is me! This is what I needed to hear!

  3. Joanna Peterson says:

    Love this article! And I’m so glad to know I’m not the only TR geek! 😉

  4. Terri Torrez says:

    This was our first year and we loved it. We have about a week left of 8th Grade but it’s really up to my son. He has specific assignments left in his core classes. When they’re done, he’s done.

  5. “Falling in love with homeschooling is simple, really. It’s about enjoying your kids and your time together. It’s about not using curriculum that makes anyone cry.” Yes! I love that homeschooling (parenting too) helps me process what is working and what isn’t. I appreciate having to reflect on why we are doing something and that when something isn’t working, we can stop and find a better fit.
    Kelly Sage’s latest post: Summer Boredom | Create Space For Play

  6. That was such a fun read. You’re so witty! I feel like I had this kind of attitude when my kids were elementary age. It really feels different in middle school. It feels like we need to get down to work in a less go-with-the-flow kind of way. I’m still glad to be homeschooling, but it doesn’t feel very family-togetherness. It feels more like school these days.

  7. You are such a great writer, Kara! “Tell your worries to sit on a tack” – favorite line! I love seeing my kids always learning. I really always thought you needed school for kids to learn, but they really don’t! They try out equations just for fun, and we learn the order of operations (major refresher for me) just because it came up. And they love asking questions and finding the answers. It’s so fun to see how much comes up just by living life.
    June’s latest post: 8 Simple Phrases: Alternatives to Spanking

  8. Rebecca says:

    Much needed encouragement! We just wrapped up our sixth grade year, and honestly I’ve been stressing already about seventh grade in the Fall. Uggg. Loved the article and I feel like I wish I’d have known how fun Homeschooling could be but now with junior high looming on the cusp and omg is that high school right over that hill? My anxiety has crept up and is murdering all joy and excitement or CONFIDENCE that I can keep Homeschooling. Vulnerable here… I don’t particularly want to teach through high school or shoulder that massive responsibility. So just trying to come to a place a neutral where I can at least breathe for the summer.

  9. Thank you so much for this! It came into my inbox and it landed with about 600 other unopened emails. So as I sit here deleting away it caught my eye and I shared it with a friend who also was in need to read these words! Thank you again, keep writing!

  10. Kara definitely agreeing with you on “comparison is the thief of joy”. Sometimes my parents would suddenly regret every decision that they made for me back then and compare to my other siblings and it hurts sometimes. Anyways, thanks for sharing this wonderful article with us. Keep up the great work!
    Kathleen Calado’s latest post: Teaching Resilience to Kids

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