Dear New Moms to Homeschooling,
Welcome to homeschooling. I want to congratulate you for your decision to homeschool. You are a mother of wisdom and courage. It takes wisdom to see that your children need homeschooling. It also takes courage to stand up and choose to do what your children need. This is especially, in our day when most children are sent to school. I want you to know that you can do this! I have been homeschooling for a long time. I have had a lot of experiences and benefited from the experiences of others. I want to share a few tips to navigate this journey.
Tip # 1: Pray
I suggest you pray and write down the guidance and impressions you receive. It is a great comfort to know God is guiding you. His vision is greater than our own. We know we can trust in Him.
Tip #2: Detox
Help your family detox from going to public or private school. This can take about 1 month per year they were in school including pre-school. They need time to re-orient themselves and develop a love of learning in a different way than in the school classroom.They are used to doing things a certain way, the way schools with a large student to classroom teacher ratio need to function. They are used to waiting to have permission to learn, waiting for instructions, and doing a lot of busy work as a classroom management device. They may mistaken the purpose of busy work is the essence of learning. They may even gravitate to workbooks and worksheets because it requires little of them and they have a paper trail.
Moms too need detox. The tendency is to try and recreate the classroom in the home and move through the motions of "playing school." Please consider taking time to detox your children and yourself.
Detox does not mean check out, suck into the screen an do nothing. It means to simplify routines and establish new ones that will support you homeschool journey.
Here are some things to consider adding to your routine:
- Quiet time. It can be used for naps, or doing quiet occupations such as reading, writing, puzzles, building drawing etc. While the household gets quiet time, this is a great time for mom to read and learn about how homeschool is different and can use different methods than the classroom.
- Read the Bible together as a family if you are not already doing so. They should be well acquainted with your standard of truth.
- Read Aloud Time. Enjoy great literature together and discuss what you read. take field trips!
Tip # 3 Simplify
Go through and streamline your home and routines. The family routines that worked when all the children were in school, may not work now. Pick a time for meals that supports homeschooling. Pick a bed time and rise time that works with homeschooling. Choose the time of day to learn and to work. Build appointments with this in mind. Consider tidying before bed and doing dinner prep for the next day, so you can wake ahead for the day.
Tip # 4 Family-work
I suggest you work together to do the general cleaning, meal prep and meal clean up. Fold laundry together. Be cheerful and patient. Listen to them as you work. While they work with you they learn valuable skills and develop good habits. There are lessons in the cleaning that go beyond vacuuming, cleaning a toilet, or polishing a mirror. The work in the home which is necessary, is but a canvas or stage where life lessons are taught and learned. When children work with you it helps develop their work ethic, quality of work, attention to detail, follow through, systematizing, initiative, a joyful heart in well doing, self control, the discipline of habit, finishing a task, and so much more. Dishes, laundry, picking up, making meals are the wrappings these cradle gifts come in. A cradle gift are the valuable lessons your child learns from living in your home. You probably never thought about chores being much more than something to get done. I invite you to look deeper and embrace
Tip # 5 Support
Our modern world has kind of separated women from each other, but throughout time, moms supported and encouraged each other. Women in the past gathered for quilting bees, the church bazaar, to help each other in childbirth, and in making charity baskets for the needy.
Consider having an open ended park day, no commitment, come if you can. What happens if no one shows up? Do not belabor the point, jump right in and play with your children, make park time something they look forward to, and let them know you still know how to have fun! What happens if families show up? Enjoy each other and be attentive to the children. This is not the time for a class or for moms to be so involved with mom time that they are not watching the children.
If moms need more time together, consider a once or twice a month support group in the evening, when children can be with their fathers. Find support in your community and online. If support is not available, consider posting a notice online or at the local stores and library, and then host a group. That is what I did! Gather to gather, learn from each other, learn together, be there for each other, and encourage eah other. This does not need to be a co-op and this does not need to be real formal. Meeting together can be once a month in the evening. I have also been in mom groups that meant once a week. It depends on what the moms need and logistics of children's needs during the time moms meet.
Lastly, you will find many resources in our catalog, ideas on the blog & newsletter, Free webinars, and mentoring through mentoring our own. All designed to assist moms in navigate this new world to them of homeschooling.