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.
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??