Are you in the trees with anxiety about starting to homeschool your children?
I’ve so been there.
Preparing for my first year of homeschooling was a special kind of nerve wracking.
I had no idea what I was doing and I knew it.
As you can tell…
I didn’t fail – and even started a blog to help others get started with homeschooling!
There is one huge homeschool tip that I think kept me from quitting.
The tip actually came from an unlikely source that didn’t even know I was listening!
Don’t Skim this Part!
I know you’re skimming through and just trying to find the tip – but trust me – how I got this homeschool tip is just as important as the tip itself.
I fell across this homeschool tip while I was at a friend’s house in a group of people and I overheard a woman talking about how she had just started homeschooling her three girls that year.
At the time, I had a 3 year old and an infant and homeschooling was not even on my radar.
When I heard her speak, it shocked me so much that I never forgot what she said.
I had no idea that I would carry this unintentional advice into my own homeschool and it would be the raft that would carry me through the first year!
What Did She Say?!?!
Here is what I overheard her say: “The first 6 months were rough, but we have really hit our stride now. We’ve figured it out.”
I was horrified.
It took her 6 months to figure this homeschooling thing out?!
And she didn’t give up?!
I was embarrassed for her, but also a little impressed with her grit and resolve.
That Doesn’t Sound Like a Homeschool Tip…
Hear me out.
What I learned from this woman (and what I carried into my first year of homeschooling) is that homeschooling is process.
And I have permission to not get it right on my first try.
That was a huge release of pressure for me!
I need time to figure out how my kids learn best.
I need to get comfortable with my own teaching style.
I will need to adjust to a new normal.
My kids will need to adjust to a new normal.
We will all need to find what works for us – mostly through trial and error.
And all of that will take time – maybe a lot of time.
And that is all okay.
It may be an uncomfortable stretching at times, but eventually we will find our own stride too.
How This Tip will Help You Survive Your First Year of Homeschooling
I think many people have a very black and white image of homeschooling when they are getting started.
I hear a lot of, “Well, we’re going to give it a try and see what happens.”
They think some people can hack it and others can’t – and they’ll just have to try homeschooling out to see what type of people they are.
I think that is the absolute wrong way to take on homeschooling.
That kind of attitude will have you filling out enrollment papers in a month.
The first time you hit a wall, you will throw up your hands and say, “Well, we tried. Guess it wasn’t for us.”
This homeschool tip prepares you for that wall.
You saw it coming.
You expected it.
You already have the mindset that you just need to start looking for the solution to help you climb over that wall!
How This Tip Played Out in Our Homeschool
Every homeschool is different and that is a fact.
I had completely different challenges than the woman I overheard talking that day.
I only had one child (not three) that I pulled from public school and had to teach.
I did have 2 younger kids though – ages 1 and 3.
My little 1st grader was a star student and I had very little trouble keeping her motivated and engaged.
My younger two kids…well that was a totally different story.
They were constantly interrupting, hanging on me, distracting my oldest child, whining, asking for snacks, wanting to watch TV, getting in arguments with each other, making messes, and every other kind of mischief.
They are what made me want to throw in the towel during the first week!
I actually remember sitting on my floor, surrounded by mess, and thinking, “Man, this is so hard!”
I also remembered that random woman though, and I thought, “She held on for 6 months and it was worth it.”
Instead of despairing and quitting, I started looking for solutions.
My attitude was always, “Well, that didn’t work. I’m gonna try something else.”
Through trial and error…
I figured out – How to Homeschool with Toddlers and Not Lose My Mind.
I also came up with a unique solution to another problem and you can read about that here – The Game Changer That Saved My Homeschool
As the months went by, I also started to have struggles with my little star student.
There were tears and we were both pretty frustrated.
I worked on rearranging our schedule, switching up our curriculum, and helping her reset her attitude on rough days.
I did not consider any of this to be signs of failure, but just part of the natural growing pains of “finding our stride.”
The work was tough, but it paid off in spades!
We have found our stride and our whole family has benefited from the decision to homeschool and stick to it.
Will it take you 6 months to find your homeschool stride?
I have no idea.
It may very well take less time, and it might take more.
It depends on you, your kids, and your family.
I can tell you that if you “get it right” the first time, it would be a first for homeschoolers everywhere.
And if you make a mistake, you would be joining a huge group of people who ended up becoming very successful homeschool moms 🙂
The point is that you can’t let the bumps in the road be seen as failures.
The bumps in the road are the signs that you need to start hunting for solutions and tailoring your homeschool to meet your family’s needs.
What if I don’t know how to do that?!
Trust me, I don’t write this blog because I have it all figured out.
I write this blog because I want to share the solutions I have come up with as I’ve run into all kinds of bumps in the road of homeschooling.
I love sharing what I’ve learned and what works for us!
The truth is that you know your kids the best.
You are the person who is best equipped to read them and figure out how to help them with what they’re struggling with.
No one is going to care more than you or want them to succeed more than you.
You have got this!
Will Every Day Be Miserable Till I “Find Our Stride??”
I am definitely not saying that every day will be miserable.
Homeschooling numbers would not be exploding the way they are if that were true!
I am saying that you will be challenged.
I am sure you love being a parent, but you would never describe it as easy.
There are days that make you want to pull your hair out!
You have to work, adjust, and experiment to figure out how to best parent your individual kids.
Homeschooling is exactly the same.
Homeschooling my kids gives me great joy, but I have to be engaged and working to make sure we stay on the right track to be successful.
It’s not easy, but it is worthwhile!
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