In the last blog we covered the major ‘don’ts’ of homeschooling. The things that you should try to avoid at all costs, if you want to be a successful homeschooling parent. If you haven’t already read it, you can find it here: 20 Don’ts of Homeschooling. Today we are covering The 20 Do’s of Homeschooling! Let’s jump right into the homeschool veteran approved, 20 Do’s of Homeschooling. With the goal to help you be a successful homeschool parent.
The 20 Do’s of Homeschooling
1. Do Take Care of Yourself First.
This is the number 1 ‘Do’ of The 20 Do’s of Homeschooling because it’s imperative that you take care of yourself, first. I get it. You think that’s selfish. But I can assure you that it’s not. Taking care of yourself before you take care of everyone and everything else is essential to the well-being of your family. And also the success of your homeschooling journey. A homeschool mom that cares for herself, is a happy, healthy mama. What are some ways that you can take care of yourself today?
Here are some quick and simple care tips for the busy mom:
- Carve out a chunk of time to read your favourite book.
- Enjoy a hot drink on the park bench as your kids play at the park.
- Wake up early (before everyone) and sit outside with the rising sun.
- Talk to someone that lifts you up.
- Take a walk.
2. Do Find Your People.
Have you found them yet? Your tribe? Your team of people that just get you, help you and guide you? Every mom needs an encouraging, supportive community. Finding those people that can be your cheerleaders, your encouragers, and even your advisors. Will benefit you and your family hugely. That doesn’t mean that you are seeking out the people that will constantly pour into you while you offer nothing in return. Rather you are looking for the people that will offer something special in your life, while you offer them your gifts in return. An equal friendship.
3. Do Eliminate Toxic Relationships.
Do you have someone in your life that is constantly dragging you down? Perhaps your old friends group is completely against your homeschooling decisions? Now every time you have a conversation with them, you feel like you’re a failure and a mess. You don’t need that kind of negativity. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you are eliminating them from your life completely.
Perhaps these friendships were once abundant and life giving. In this situation, instead of eliminating the friendship, you can put a pause on the relationship until you and the other person are in a better place to revisit the friendship. Your focus cannot be on negative interactions at this time. Because right now you need to focus on cultivating a healthy, wholesome, and positive education for your children.
4. Do Keep Things Simple.
Sometimes as homeschooling parents we can be our own worst enemy. Are you constantly assuming that you aren’t doing enough as a homeschooling parent? Do you have that ever present urge to add more curriculum? More practice sheets? And more structure? Unfortunately, sometimes as homeschooling moms we can become addicted to adding more to our homeschool. Do you want the cold, hard truth? All these extra events, lessons, and workbooks are actually doing absolutely nothing for your homeschool. In fact, they’re doing the opposite. When you are constantly adding in more, you are inevitably overwhelming your homeschool and causing a high level of unproductively.
5. Do Cut the Extras.
Number 5 of the 20 Do’s of Homeschooling goes along with number 4. Because maybe you’ve already added a bunch more to your homeschool? Maybe it’s way more than you actually need? Now you’re feeling the heavy weight of overwhelm? So, go ahead and cut out all the extras. Seriously, do it! Shave down your curriculum to the very basics, as least just for a time. Do less, but do it best. The truth is, less is more.
6. Do Read Aloud.
Reading to your children has many benefits. Some of them being that it improves concentration and vocabulary. While also building their self esteem. Reading to your child can also help them develop their own reading skills. But one of the best benefits of reading to your children? The fact that this simple act helps to build relationships. You can learn more about this here: 12 Reasons Why It’s Important to Read to Your Children – Caribu.
7. Do Snuggle and Hug Often.
Homeschooling grants the opportunity to connect with your children even more. Even just rubbing their back while they work through their math problems is such a gift. So, be sure to take advantage of all the extra hugs and special moments you can share.
8. Do Include Fun In Your Homeschool.
There’s nothing wrong with adding fun and games to your homeschool. Unfortunately there’s this misconception around education. And that is this idea that if your child is having fun, they clearly aren’t learning. While as of late, this twisted idea is phasing out. It’s important to take action and sprinkle fun into your homeschool. Take a break from books, and add in some fun games! Pinterest is flourishing with fun homeschool games that your kids will love. So go find some that your family loves and utilize them.
9. Do Be the Boss of Your Schedule.
Are you trapped in the mindset that your schedule must look like the public school’s calendar? Or that your schedule must appear like that of your super organized homeschool friends calendar? Snap out of it! Aim to have a daily routine that suits your family, not someone else’s. Check out these simple ways to establish a good homeschool routine: Establish a Good Homeschool Routine.
10. Do Take a Break From Homeschooling.
Homeschooling takes a huge mental effort. Due to that effort, it can lead to burn out quickly. So, aim to take scheduled breaks throughout the year. If you find yourself in between homeschool breaks, and you are tired and burnt out. Take a day or two off to reset. They’re called mental health days, and they’re always vital. Especially when you’re feeling like a train wreck. So, take a break and reset.
During this time your kids can play educational games, or watch educational shows. Actually the other day I saw a post in a homeschool group about a mom laying on the couch as she was so sick. And she said she had moved her homeschool to the living room. Her post gave the idea that she was still teaching, even though she was very ill. And while I have to admire her determination. I also want to point out that you as a homeschooling parent, are entitled to a day off. Especially if you’re sick. So, please do take a break from homeschooling should you need it.
11. Do Look At the World Through Your Child’s Eyes.
It’s so important to value what your child values. When you pay close and careful attention to what matters to your child, they will begin to also pay close attention to what you share with them. It’s so important to remember that what is valuable to your child matters. Everything about your child is important. Their ideas, and creations, their work, their interests, their stories. They’re valuable. So, listen.
12. Do Celebrate All Accomplishments.
You should always focus on what your child is doing right. So much more than what they are doing wrong. When you focus on all the good that they do, they will continually aim to do greater. If your child writes a sight word, but spells it incorrectly. Don’t immediately correct their mistakes. Instead, comment on what an amazing job they did writing the letter ‘b’. Include the phrase “You did such a great job!” frequently. Doing so builds their self-esteem and helps them have enthusiasm to continually improve.
13. Do Remind Yourself That You Are Not Behind!
Homeschooling should run at your families own pace! It’s also important to remember that when you are working at your child’s own unique pace, it’s impossible to fall behind. Read that again. It can be so hard to stay out of the comparison trap and assume that your child is behind. But they aren’t. They are working at the pace that they need to. And you are doing an amazing job helping them with that.
14. Do Place Importance On Personal Growth.
Do your children see you constantly aiming to be a better version of yourself? Spending time in the morning reading, investing in personal development, or listening to positive affirmations? All of these are going to help you keep your head above water and own the person that you are meant to be.
Personal development is extremely important for you. And also just as important for your children. Including important lessons about mental health, and ways to take care of their mental health is so important in the younger years. Encourage your child to constantly work at taking care of their mental health just like they take care of their physical health.
Use The Emotional Health Management unit to help teach your children about their mental health, and ways to cope when things get tough.
15. Do Listen to Podcasts and Read Books.
Podcasts are just such an amazing part of our digital world, that so many people don’t even use! So many of my friends don’t even know how to listen to podcasts, but it’s so simple. Your phone should have a podcasting app on it. Like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Podcasts. All you have to do is open the app, then in the search box, look for podcasts that speak to you. Like ‘Parenting Podcasts’, ‘Homeschooling Podcasts’, ‘Genuine Mom Podcasts’, or ‘Personal Development Podcasts’. Listen to some episodes and then subscribe to the ones that you like the most. Then that amazing content will be added to your phone whenever they release a new podcast. And, it’s FREE!
Additionally, finding books to help you in every area of your life is essential. I really prefer podcasts because it’s so much easier for me to listen then it is for me to sit down and read. However, there are some amazing apps like Audible, available. Where you can purchase and download a book that will be read to you. You can make a list of books that you’d like to read, then one by one check them off the list when you’ve completed each one.
Pro tip: Subscribe to helpful blogs like The Schoolio Blog, to read amazing blogs like “The 20 Do’s of Homeschooling”.
16. Do Expect to Make Mistakes.
No one is immune to mistakes. Because perfection doesn’t exist. If you’ve chosen the wrong curriculum for your family, or you’ve neglected a certain area of study. Just know that we all make mistakes, and that’s OK. Don’t get stuck there.
17. Do Give Yourself Credit.
You are homeschooling your kids. What? Do you ever just think about that. Was this in your original life plan? No? But look! You’re doing it. You aren’t perfect, but you’re trying. And you’re doing such a great job. We often don’t give ourselves enough credit which is why it’s essential for you to give yourself credit for all that you’re doing right. Instead of always focusing on all that you’re doing wrong.
18. Do Make Goofy Memories.
I don’t want my kids to remember their time homeschooling as a time where their mom was constantly forcing them to answer math problems. Instead I want my kids to remember this time with fond memories. Are bad days going to happen? Absolutely. But my hope is that the good days are the ones implanted in their memories forever. The days when we painted the playhouse outside, or had a food fight at dinner. You’ve assumed the role of their educational teacher, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave fun mom on the curb. Bring fun mom with you, even when you’re doing Language Arts.
19. Do Understand That You Will Have Some Haters.
Homeschooling isn’t for everyone, just like traditional education isn’t for everyone. Will you have people constantly asking why your children aren’t in school? Yep. Will you have that one family member that is always telling you that your kids should be in school? You bet! Is someone going to constantly be asking your kids math questions to measure how behind they are? Probably. Despite the fact that homeschooling has become so much more mainstream in the last 5 years. It still is looked down on by so many. Because people often don’t like that which they cannot understand.
It’s not your job to make them love homeschooling. And it’s not your job to prove yourself to them. It is your job to love your kids, to educate your kids, and to give your kids a safe environment to learn and grow. Forget the haters.
20. Do Know That One Day You Will Be Thankful For This Sacrifice.
Homeschooling is a sacrifice. It’s a sacrifice of your time, your own freedom, and often your mental sanity. Not many people can do what you’re doing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought to myself or verbally stated to my husband that I should just put the kids in school. It seems so easy, watching the kids leave on the bus, and knowing that someone else is covering their academic lessons. Sometimes I think about how freeing it would be to just have whole days to myself to work and maybe clean the house. But then I remember that I’m doing this for them. I remember that my children need this extra one-on-one time with me. My children wouldn’t excel in a class with 30 other children crammed in desks and herded outside for recess. I have to remind myself that my children are receiving a wholesome education, that is tailored to their needs.
And while the sacrifice is great, the reward will be incredible. Not just for them, but for me also. Because I get to keep these memories forever.
We hope that you enjoyed the 20 Do’s of Homeschooling. Don’t forget to check out the 20 Don’ts of Homeschooling (linked above). What was your favourite ‘Do’ of the 20 Do’s of Homeschooling?