Three MORE Truths Every New Homeschool Mom Should Know

Last week, I told you about three Homeschool Truths I’ve learned in my six years of homeschooling. Now I want to share three more Homeschool Truths that, had I really known them at the time, would have helped me tremendously when I first started homeschooling:

Three more truths for homeschool moms. The encouragement in this article is amazing!

1) It’s important to offer grace liberally.

You’re going to be making a lot of changes. So will your kids and your husband. While this isn’t an excuse to allow tempers flare or to let the house become a continual state of chaos, it is a reason to extend grace as all of you learn to adjust to the new norm.

Don’t just stop at offering grace to those within your home, though. Chances are that friends and relatives are going to have a ton of questions and concerns about your decision to homeschool.

Answer their questions lovingly and with kindness, but if others won’t relent, simply state, “I understand that you want what’s best for my children. My husband and I want that as well.” Then change the subject and ask how they’re doing. If they still won’t ease up, politely end the conversation and walk away.

2) The first year of homeschooling will be one of your absolute hardest years.

I heard this advice before I started homeschooling. So I decided to start homeschooling when my oldest daughter was four because I assumed that preschool surely couldn’t be very difficult!

I’ve since learned the first year isn’t difficult because of the schoolwork itself. Not at all. For me, that first year was difficult because selfish behaviors I didn’t even realize I had were ripped right out from under me. I was left flailing around, desperately trying not to fall flat on my back.

I also had to work through deep fears that I was going to screw up my children, regardless of that fact that, statistically, homeschool kids consistently outperform their public-school peers academically, socially, and spiritually.

And I needed to learn how to schedule my time and manage my home while still teaching school (I failed miserably in this area; my house was a complete disaster for quite a while).

Encouragement for new homeschool moms - you will get the hang of this!

The good news is that it does get easier and you will find a groove as you become more confident, so don’t give up!

3) It’s important to find support!

If my father-in-law hadn’t given me a little pamphlet he’d seen about a local homeschool support group, I don’t know how I would have survived that first year.

I called the number listed and cried hard as I blubbered to the poor soul on the other end about how stressed out and overwhelmed I was.

I vaguely remember hearing something like, “Oh, she’s in preschool? It’ll be okay, I promise. You can do this. Why don’t you join us for an event next week?”

Bless that woman’s heart, she was so nice and gentle and didn’t tell me I was insane for sobbing over preschool work! I nervously drove to the activity and was immediately put at ease by the wonderful people of all ages who welcomed us into their hearts.

A few of my closest friends are also women I met at various homeschool events. We’ve bonded over stories of homeschool struggles and successes. That support from someone who understands has been invaluable and, as a wonderful bonus, our children have become best friends as well!

And now, beginning our sixth year of homeschooling? I love the fruit and I can’t imagine doing anything else.

“For whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” Galatians 6:7-8 (NKJV)

What would you add to this list of encouraging truths that every homeschool mom should know?

{PS Don’t forget to read three other Truths for new homeschool moms here.}

Davonne (6 Posts)

Davonne Parks is a married Christian homeschool mom who began teaching her children at home in 2009. She blogs about cultivating a heart for motherhood, as well as organization and simplicity, at DavonneParks.com. Davonne believes that some of life’s richest moments happen when we embrace the beauty of imperfection as we extend grace to ourselves and others. She’s written two eBooks, “101 Time-Saving Tips for Busy Moms” (free to her blog subscribers) and “28 Days to Timeliness: Tips and Confessions from a Semi-Reformed Late Person.”


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Three Truths Every New Homeschool Mom Should Know

This year is my sixth full year of homeschooling my children. Throughout these years, I’ve learned and grown so much. Here are three truths that, had I really known them at the time, would have helped me tremendously when I first started homeschooling:

Three encouraging truths that all homeschool moms need to know! I love the thoughts on # 3!

1) It’s possible to homeschool frugally.

The first year involves a lot of learning about what works for your family, including your teaching style and your children’s learning styles.

So, no matter how excited you are about the books you’re buying and the lessons you’re planning, whatever you’re using now probably will not be what you end up sticking with for the long-haul. And that’s okay!

There are so many free resources, like All In One Homeschool,” which is a complete, free online Christian homeschool curriculum. You can also browse the internet and visit your library for a plethora of information about every subject!

For visual learners (or on days when you just need a little extra ease), Youtube videos are great for science and Netflix can be utilized for educational purposes as well.

Or maybe, for your own peace of mind, you want to go with a relatively inexpensive box curriculum like a basic set from “My Father’s World.” That’s perfectly fine as well – just remember there’s no need to spend an exuberant amount of money homeschooling.

A great bonus to keeping costs down is that if something really isn’t working for your family, you can pitch it, guilt-free.

2) There is time to relax.

I used to think that I was too busy to relax, but the reality is that I have too much going on not to take time to refresh my spirit.

Give your kids a quiet activity each afternoon, set the timer, and take 30-60 minutes to refresh and relax. You could read a few chapters in a great book, take a warm bath, paint your nails, try a new hairstyle, take a catnap, or work on a hobby or fulfilling a dream (for me, that means writing as often as possible!).

A note of caution: If you’re new to quiet times, keep a pleasant attitude when you lay your children back down for the 15th time in 20 minutes. Eventually they’ll catch on and it’ll be worth your initial effort!

Relax

3) It’s okay to be imperfect!

As a recovering perfectionist, this was probably the hardest and most important lesson I’ve had to learn during my homeschool journey.

My job isn’t to be a perfect mom, to have perfect kids, or even to teach my children everything they need to know – my job is to love my children fully, to show them Jesus, and to help them to enjoy learning so they’ll willingly teach themselves anything they need to know as they grow older.

So while we should strive to do our best, we also need to be okay with the fact that our best isn’t perfect.

“And He said to me, ’My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me… For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NKJV)

I’m going to share three more truths next week, but for now feel free to chime in the comments and let us know:

Seasoned homeschoolers: What would you add to this list of encouraging truths that every new homeschool mom should know?

New homeschool moms: What areas do you feel that you need extra encouragement?

Davonne (6 Posts)

Davonne Parks is a married Christian homeschool mom who began teaching her children at home in 2009. She blogs about cultivating a heart for motherhood, as well as organization and simplicity, at DavonneParks.com. Davonne believes that some of life’s richest moments happen when we embrace the beauty of imperfection as we extend grace to ourselves and others. She’s written two eBooks, “101 Time-Saving Tips for Busy Moms” (free to her blog subscribers) and “28 Days to Timeliness: Tips and Confessions from a Semi-Reformed Late Person.”


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***ART PROJECTS curriculum –ages 10+ -fulfills high school fine arts credit 10% off + FREE SHIPPING in U.S. Code: STL Offer expires September 30th http://www.seethelightshine.com***

Socialization Starts at Home

Every once in a while that old question about socialization comes up:  How will your kids learn how to get along with others if they don’t go to school?

Because we all know that siblings come from the womb full of love and eternal patience for one another.  They never argue.  Never glare at one another.  Never annoy each other in any way.  We’re all just one happy family who are never challenged by each other.

{wink}Socialization Starts at Home @The Homeschool Post

From dictionary.com:

so·cial·i·za·tion

noun

  1. a continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behavior, and social skills appropriate to his or her social position.
  2. the act or process of making socialistic: the socialization of industry.

I think when most people talk about socialization, they are referring to the 1st definition.

Learning how to get along with other people is a part of being human.   It’s a part of learning to be a productive member of society, allowing  us to work, live, play, and have a fulfilling life.

Now, when I was in school, I did have to learn how to deal with other people.  Sometimes it was a matter of self-preservation.  It would have been impossible to avoid the society of others in a building with hundreds of other people.

But my children are also continually learning how to get along with other people.

It happens when the 14-year-old decides to avert his eyes while the 5-year-old attacks her PB&J in her preferred manner (from the top-down and inside-out) instead of sneering at her.

It happens when she decides to eat it the way that’s been modeled for her by her family.

It happens when the 10-year-old gently directs her younger siblings to knock on the door before bursting into her room when she’s changing, instead of screaming bloody murder.

It happens when the next time they actually do knock on the door.

Kids who live together, play together, and learn together also have daily practice in:

  • respecting the differences of others
  • respecting the privacy and personal space of others
  • conflict resolution
  • the consequences of conflict escalation (ahem)
  • compromise
  • repentance and asking for forgiveness.

I’m not saying that children who attend school don’t have the same opportunities, as they surely do.

But the stakes are higher at home.

Your family is a part of you.  Those knuckleheads at the local school may have a lasting impact on your child’s development, but I’ll tell you something—I’m in contact with exactly one person I went to elementary school with and a couple of people I knew in high school  and college (and only in the form of occasional FB comments).  I can choose not to deal with those people if I want.

But family relationships that don’t work out can leave a gaping wound in a person.  It may seem like you can get away right now, but eventually you may want to come back.

Family life is hard.

Extending grace to those who haven’t caught up to you developmentally stretches you.  In a way, homeschooled kids can be naive if they haven’t had to deal with some of the social ugliness that can happen at school…but in other ways, they can be more mature in their ability to accept other kids of different ages.

I won’t lie to you—sometimes they don’t get along at home.

It’s been a bit hairy at our house lately with the teenaged hormones flying around.  The heat and other stressors also come into play.  But in the real world, people sometimes have difficulty getting along.  This is another opportunity to learn.  As difficult as it is to see my kids fighting with each other, I know that we’re on the right track whenever I see them interacting with other people.

The other night we visited with some friends.  Six kids altogether and only four adults.  Yes, we were outnumbered.

But all the kids (ages 5 to 14) played together without incident for over 2 hours while the adults hung out and talked.  This wasn’t a case of the bigs watching the littles, but people being actively engaged with one another and enjoying one another’s company.  The only tiff happened at the very end when everyone was tired and we were getting ready to leave (and it was between two of my kids).

I see daily evidence of my children finding their place in the world.

I see it when they interact with other kids at the pool or park.

When they talk to the lady at the post office.

When they ask the librarian for help locating a book.

I see it when my oldest child leads his fellow Boy Scouts.

My kids are growing up in a safe home environment, not sheltered from dealing with the rest of the world, but supported in their growth.

How do you respond to questions about socialization?

 

Susan Anadale (6 Posts)

Susan is a wife, a mother, a Catholic, a teacher, a writer, a philosopher, a seamstress, a maker of things, an imaginer of worlds...I blog about our lifelong journey through learning at Homeschooling Hearts & Minds (my brain on the web).


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***ART PROJECTS curriculum –ages 10+ -fulfills high school fine arts credit 10% off + FREE SHIPPING in U.S. Code: STL Offer expires September 30th http://www.seethelightshine.com***