In this post, you’re going to learn about becoming a homeschooling mom.
The end of the year is nearing and I’ve been deep in thought about my current situation as a homeschooling mom.
And, while this post is called “How to become a homeschooling Mom”, I have a confession.
Here it goes…
When I claimed my role as a homeschooling mom, I didn’t feel ready.
Yep. I just admitted it. Now, don’t get me wrong, homeschooling didn’t just happen, it was an intentional decision but I had some concerns.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, concerned, afraid, or unready…here are my best tips for getting started.
TIPS FOR GETTING STARTED AS A HOMESCHOOLING MOM
Many parents choose to homeschool their children; in fact, at the time of writing this post, homeschooling is on the rise, especially in minority communities (source). This was the case before the pandemic and now the numbers are growing more.
It can be wonderful to have parents determined to be their child’s primary educators; however, the decision to homeschool should be made thoughtfully and intentionally, especially in the early years. According to the CDC, the early years, before the age of eight, is a time of rapid brain development and these years provide a foundation for future learning, health, and success in life (source).
This means choosing to become a homeschooling parent to a toddler isn’t a decision to make because it’s trending, it needs to be well thought out and well-researched.
Photo Credit: Twinster Photos
While you are doing your research, you’ll learn that each state has specific requirements for homeschooling parents. Pay attention to these requirements so that you stay in compliance with state laws.
Some of the things you’ll want to know about homeschooling in your state include:
- Is notification of your intent to homeschool required?
- Are there education requirements for the teacher/instructor (you)?
- Are there scheduling requirements?
- What subjects need to be part of your home study?
- Is standardized testing a requirement? If so, when and how often?
Spending time learning about what you need to get started homeschooling legally is a necessary part of the process. This may be one of the first ways you demonstrate your serious commitment to homeschooling.
Let’s be real: committing to the decision to homeschool doesn’t mean you are stuck being a homeschooling parent for the next two decades. It means that while you are homeschooling, giving your best effort is a must. Your commitment, engagement, and enthusiasm will likely set the tone for how your child views various subject matters and their role in the learning process.
One of the best ways I’ve found to stay committed is to have a detailed and meaningful reason for choosing to homeschool; some may call this your why power. Knowing your why and having resources and research to support you can prevent you from throwing in the towel when times get challenging. Notice I wrote “when times get challenging” and not “if times get challenging“. You will be tested while on this homeschooling journey.
I spent my early years in the US public school system and my college years in traditional college settings. This shaped my view of schooling.
As a homeschooling mama, it’s necessary to unlearn schooling and adopt a commitment to helping your child learn how they learn best.
At my house, learning is no longer limited to desks or tabletops. It’s time on the sofa reading a new book. It’s putting rocks in the tub and watching them sink, it’s baking in the kitchen with grandma’s old measuring spoons, it’s hiking through trails, and even a balloon toss in the living room.
My goal isn’t to school my kid; my goal is to encourage play, exploration, and sustain interest in lots of different topics. – Tiffany Green
You may be tempted to set up a homeschooling space that reminds you of a small school classroom (I did), but I quickly realized that setup is useful in some cases but not necessary.
Photo Credit: Jerry Want via Unsplash
MANAGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS
One of the main things I am learning is how to manage my expectations. Yes, I’m capable of presenting new knowledge to my kid but I cannot control how quickly she grasps a new concept. Managing expectations for me looks like:
- Being patient and allowing time for frequent repetition.
- Slowing down when necessary.
- Speeding up when a concept is grasped quickly.
- Reassessing what I can do differently to present information when my child isn’t comprehending a lesson – not what she needs to do differently.
Basically, it’s being responsive and flexible to support what my child needs while ignoring my ego.
The ego is “that aspect of the self that has the incessant need to see itself in a positive light.” – Scott Barry Kaufman
My ego wants to make my daughter’s learning about me when it’s not. I could write a full post on this revelation and perhaps I will but for now, I highly recommend reading this book to learn more about how to bring awareness to your ego in every area of your life. It’s life-changing.
Will each lesson end in giggles and tickles? No. However, learning can be enjoyable especially when it comes to young children.
Children are born ready to take in information and each experience is shaping their cognitive development. So. I step back from the need to be on a strictly scheduled curriculum and instead I encourage play, indulge in crafts, require time outdoors, and do what I can to make learning feel as organic as possible. If you are here you probably already know how much I love creating printables.
- That fun maze worksheet is great for problem-solving and pen control.
- The fruit matching cutouts are now a staple in the kitchen.
- The dice rolling was for gross motor skills and now they help with math.
I’m having fun being a homeschooling mom and hoping that it builds a love of learning in my tot.
If you are like me, you find it difficult to admit you need help sometimes. Well, parenting/motherhood and homeschooling helped me figure out that I don’t have to have all the answers and I don’t have to do it alone.
On your homeschooling journey, the support you accept may not help in teaching lessons, I’ll likely be emotional support at the times you need it most.
- You’ll need to hear, you’re doing a good job.
- You’ll need a time-out for self-love.
If you are offered this support from genuine people, make sure you are open and ready to accept it.
I started this post admitting I didn’t feel ready to be a homeschooling mom.
Here’s the thing…
I’m not here to convince you to become a homeschooling parent, to suggest that children in public or private schools are not being served well, or to diminish what teachers do. Nope. There is space for all types of learners, educators, and education settings.
I am here to let you know that I’m a homeschooling mom and although I didn’t feel ready I’m succeeding and you can too.
I taught my kid her alphabet, letter sounds, rhyming, blending, and sight words; we were intentional and now she is reading. In teaching her to read, I know that I gave her a priceless tool that will continue to bless her for years to come. And, that was just the beginning.
I want you to know that you don’t need to be ready, to accomplish great things. Sometimes, you just have to take action and have faith. You’ll realize that the journey is the great thing.
DIGITAL HOMESCHOOLING RESOURCES
Why are you considering homeschooling? What worries do you have? What do you want to accomplish?