05 Sep 10 Tips to Help You Survive Your First Year of Homeschooling
First Year Homeschooling
We are coming up on our second year of homeschooling, so I am in no way claiming to be an expert who has this homeschooling thing figured out. But I can share with you some things I’ve learned in my first year of homeschooling that I think might be helpful.
Let’s jump right in:
1. Pray: I’m not just saying this because my blog is titled “Consuming Faith”. But when I tell you that prayer makes a difference in our homeschool days, that’s an understatement. During my first year of homeschooling, God sent me an angel who prayed with me as often as I needed her to. And I can honestly say that if she and I had not remained prayerful, my kids would have been registered for school this year. Prayer truly does make a difference in setting the tone for our day.
2. Plan ahead: This may seem like a no brainer, but I didn’t have a curriculum for my first year of homeschooling. And at times, I didn’t have money to make copies of materials I found online. Towards the end of the year, I realized I needed more workbooks and things that were already printed. When we did have ink or the means to make copies, I had to plan for those pages I’d actually need to print versus things I wouldn’t use that would be a waste of paper. This leads me to tip number three.
3. Use a two-sided dry erase practice board and reusable dry erase pockets for any repetitive work: Nowadays there’s no real reason to print more than a few copies of the same sheet if you know it will be used for multiple assignments. I recommend making no more than three copies of each sheet of paper. I say three just in case you want to track progress. One to be completed initially, one to be used with the reusable dry erase pockets, and one to be completed at the end of a semester (season, lesson, etc.).
4. Be ok with taking days off: There will be days when school just isn’t going to fit in for whatever reason (behaviors, schedule, unforeseen circumstances). DO NOT FORCE SCHOOL TIME! Just because your neighbor is homeschooling every day and the lady in your co-op hasn’t missed a day in her five years of homeschooling doesn’t mean that this will be your story. Be ok with your journey. This leads me to numbers five and six.
5. DON’T GET CAUGHT IN THE COMPARISON TRAP! I think this is self-explanatory. I can probably do an entire post on this subject.
6. Leave room for divine interruptions: Ok, so in number two I mentioned planning ahead, which is important. But it’s equally important to be flexible. If you plan every second of your day, chances are you aren’t leaving room for the Holy Spirit to guide. You’d be surprise what He will do when you allow time for Him to move. Some of our best lessons have happened because of the movement of the Holy Spirit.
7. Allow time for breaks: This is essential when homeschooling younger kiddos (those with a lot of energy and a limited attention span).
8. Give grace and mercy: This goes for you, your spouse, and your children. Give yourself grace and mercy, and extend it to those around you.
9. Have daily quiet time: If you aren’t already having daily quiet time, start today! If you are already having a daily quiet time, please don’t stop! Spending time with the Lord, getting His guidance, and learning what He desires to teach me, has helped me to become a better student, teacher, and mommy. This probably should have been tip number one.
10. And last but not least, HAVE FUN: Remember, you aren’t simply schooling at home, you are homeschooling! Enjoy your children. Every opportunity is a teaching opportunity. Life is too short for every moment to be taken so seriously. Having fun is good for your heart!
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. ~Proverbs 17:22