Dear New Homeschooling Mom

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Dear new homeschooling Mom,

I’m so excited that you have taken the big leap!  Not because I hate public school or think private school is overrated, but because I know it takes a special kind of bravery to take hold of  your child’s education and put that burden on yourself.  It’s a huge responsibility, and definitely not a step you can take and be a wimp about it.

kidsI pray your husband and you chose this path because you love your children, and you want to redeem your time with them.  Because you envision something different for your children than what the rest of the world does.  I certainly pray it wasn’t under traumatic circumstances like bullying, an abusive teacher, or a learning disability that can’t be worked through.  These are problems you can only run from for so long.  Look instead at all you gain!  Fear is not the best motivator when times get rough.

I love seeing pictures of your new homeschool area!  I’m sure you were stoked to get those cute little desks from IKEA. I love the alphabet and math facts on the wall.  I frequently see all your efforts and questions to create a learning environment.  But can I interject?  Your homeschool area is… your home!  The rigidity of sitting in a desk 8 hours a day is one of the biggest downfalls of the school system.  Don’t be disappointed if that school desk collects a lot of dust while all the kid’s work is on the kitchen counter, the sofa, or his bed.  That’s a good thing!  Comfort is a perk of being home.

petsI also see all your questions about curriculum.  I have a few suggestions on that, but the shocking truth is: It’s not necessary.  There are hundreds of way to homeschool for free.  Between online sites like mathgames.com (completely free), a library card, and a child’s interest you would be surprised how much learning can take place.  I don’t want to discourage you from picking a curriculum, I just don’t want you to put all your hopes and dreams on it.  It will be great – for a season.  Then it will get difficult, and then you’ll love it again.  These rhythms of learning are normal.  So instead of beating your head into the wall when it fails, just set it aside; borrow a book on the subject, read it together, and try again later.  I promise you it will still be ok.tri

Please stop asking for permission to do what is right for your child.  If the question is, “Is it ok if we…?” The answer is, “You’re the mom.  You know best.”  Every child is different and what is good for Billy may not be good for Susy – and these two might be siblings!  Grab a cup of coffee, a good book (I recommend the Bible) and relax!  No matter how a schooling day goes, the household enjoys it more if YOU are enjoying it too.

The only thing I ask of you is that you take this amazing opportunity and become friends with your kids.  You can’t demand good character out of a hollow relationship.  They will be with you now for a long time, so prepare yourself to have little shadows in the ebbs of your life.  They will watch how you treat others, how you care for the home, and how you love your spouse (and vice versa!).  It’s waist deep in this lifestyle where children can really learn to be honest – the way mommy is honest – and patient, and kind… While they can re-learn math or reading at any point in their lives, growing up with integrity is kind of a one-shot deal!  They’ll Anakinonly be children once, and in the blink of an eye they’ll be off to college… And you’ll miss them terribly.

I am just now on week two of the school year.  We live in a one-bedroom apartment that is like a Little House in the Big Woods type of experience – only we are surrounded by a concrete forest in the middle of the city.  We eat, learn, play games, laugh, discipline, pray and cry in the same area.  And yet, it’s working!  Witnessing the growth is such a reward.  If it is working for me in these crazy circumstances I’ve been in, I’m sure it will work for you too.

true story

bri and me

14 thoughts on “Dear New Homeschooling Mom

  1. My husband is stay-home, homeschool daddy (I know, right!) while I work full-time as a Christian mental health therapist. This is the second year for our children and my heart overflows with their growth in knowledge and experiences on a day to day basis. They are learning that learning is fun! And they get to do it with daddy! I help when I can and supply support. It really has been beautiful to watch! Many blessings!

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    • Thank you! I guess I’m realizing now I kinda fell for a stereotype. My apologies! My husband was the stay at home dad for a few years. I should’ve titled this “Dear New Homeschooling Parent” but I guess I didn’t think a lot of dads read my blog! 😊

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  2. Yes!! What great reminders. We’ve been homeschooling for two years and have just started our third. Thanks for the math games suggestion! I was looking for something like that!

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    • I used to like Khan Academy and I still use it for math but sometimes their content in other subjects can be tricky. What I like about Math Games is that aside from working on skills I can measure, they have GAMES kids can play that puts those skills to practice. It’s a great supplement!

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  3. This is SO applicable to my life right now. Just beginning a preschool homeschool with my oldest. Nothing too formal yet but beginning to set some structure this year. I needed to hear this and I appreciate your insight! Thanks 🙂

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  4. Maria – Your heart is evident in this post. It is true that it is a brave soul that takes on the huge responsibility of homeschooling. I marvel that it is still legal in 2017 – what an honor and privilege we have!!!!c

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    • I love that side effect of being closer to your family. You never know what different directions you and your siblings can be split apart after adulthood. So it’s nice to build that close friendship when you can!

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    • I hear a lot from veteran moms that even 10 years ago homeschoolers got a lot of flack. It made you even braver than us! Thank you for encouraging ME!

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