I receive emails weekly from moms (and some dads) who are just too overwhelmed to know where to even begin homeschooling their children. I remember that feeling as I prepared for my first year of teaching our kids. Being overwhelmed meant that I over-complicated E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. I spent hours trolling Pinterest in an effort to figure out my way because I had no road map. I was lost.
I had to essentially re-create the wheel and create my own road map for success in homeschooling. It wasn’t until after learning from my mistakes that I realized how simple teaching my kids could be. It is organic – and it’s what we’ve been created for!
If you remember nothing else, remember this.
“Living Simply Means Living Free.” – Moi
No, I’m not talking about selling all you own and heading down the road in an RV to teach your kids (unless that makes you come alive). What I mean is that excess in any form can hold us back from what truly makes us come alive. You don’t need to rush to Amazon to purchase every tangible learning tool on the market. Simplicity can free you. For all of us it will mean different things.
Here are some of my tips to jump start your homeschooling adventures:
- Decide To Take the Plunge. Forget about your insecurities, your questions and your feelings of being overwhelmed. Decide to jump in to this journey with your child. You’ll be amazed at how fun life can be when you watch your children learn right in front of you. Make the decision and don’t look back.
- Prepare A Place. Not all of us have extra rooms in our home for a classroom. If you live in a smaller home, consider making a part of a room into your dedicated teaching space. If the climate is great where you live, think about learning al fresco. Also, think about unused space in your home. We converted our dining room into our dedicated classroom.
3. Find Your Team. Once you’ve made room, begin to look for a curriculum company that echos your heart in learning. Sure, some homeschooling parents create their own curriculum, and I know you don’t “need” a curriculum to teach your children, but there’s no sense in re-creating the wheel when you’re starting out. Besides, if I can be honest with you, homeschooling is a full-time job. I am a home school mom, an author working on my second book, a business woman who co-directs a business with my husband in the states, and a missions mom who is launching a global ministry focused on seeing families launched into God-sized dreams throughout the earth. Life is busy. But it doesn’t have to be debilitating. Your life is meant to be lived fully. But you can’t do that if you are constantly trying to do it all. My world changed when I found my team, Mother Goose Time Curriculum. Each month, they send me a box in the mail with everything I need for the month to teach my children. The crafts and lessons and about 90% of the supplies are all supplied! I can’t tell you how much time this saves me. I’m so thankful I found a team that made the process of starting out fun and freeing.
4. Start A Learning Journal. Even when your child is too young to know how to write, journals can help them learn to express who they are and what they are learning. Make a point to journal at least once per week and you will be amazed at the end of the year when you look back at your journey. Here are ours.
5. Utilize A Binder. Pinterest has many free printables online that you can use to teach your children at home. At the beginning of the year, I started a binder for each of my children to keep their projects and handwriting sheets in. This keeps me organized and helps me stay in a simplified routine without losing what we have worked on. Here are ours.
6. Above All Else, Don’t Try to Fit Yourself into Someone Else’s Box. It is so easy to compare ourselves with one another and try to imitate someone else’s formula for success. Most of the time, someone else’s formula will not work for us. Give yourself grace to learn just as you give your child grace as they are learning new things. You don’t have to figure it all out at once. Start with the basics, and watch how you grow. Utilize tips from others, but build your own style as you go.
Take a peek at some of our learning adventures this year:
Are you a homeschooling newbie that needs some encouragement? Join us on Facebook at The Davis Tribe~