Overview: New homeschoolers often feel overwhelmed and pressured to do ALL THE THINGS. I polled my readers to find out ONE PIECE OF ADVICE they would give to themselves if they could go back and start over again. Here’s what they said!
When people first begin homeschooling, they often put a lot of unnecessary expectations on themselves. New homeschooler have expectations for ourselves and our children which are unrealistic. And social media only compounds those feelings of inadequacy that we feel. Everyone else seems to be doing things better than we are!
I know when I first began homeschooling my sons, I put a lot of pressure on myself… and on them, frankly. All I knew was the type of education that I had received and I tried to give my sons those same types of lessons. I wanted them to have a world class education, to put God first, and to have a plethora of extracurricular opportunities.
I wanted homeschooling to be a blessing for them! I certainly didn’t ever want to think that I had held them back in any way.
Over time, I began to realize that my viewpoint was skewed. Homeschooling isn’t school at home. It’s different!
There is so much that I learned during our 17 years as homeschoolers. And yes, there are some regrets. If I could go back, here is some advice that I would give to my younger self. And here is the advice that my readers wanted to share with all of the new homeschoolers out there. I left these tips in their own words and I also left in repeat advice because I thought it would be more impactful for you if you could see how universal some of this advice is – and how many of us suffered from the same issues as newbies.
Here are 47 Tips From Experienced Homeschoolers to New Homeschoolers:
1 – Relationship first, education second.
2 – Do math every day!! Even for 15 mins
3 – Don’t buy a bunch of expensive kindergarten curriculum! – The one caveat to that is that it’s nice to have more of a guide when you’re just starting out. But yeah, after you have gained some confidence it’s great to be able to piece things together yourself.
4 – Start the scholarship hunt a year earlier. Start with university specific scholarships, and then look for any that relate to your kids – minority status, extracurricular interests, volunteer connections, etc.
5 – Find what works for you. Don’t go off on what others say or do. Find something that you love and your kids love.
6 – Do not try to run your home or homeschool like a brick and mortar school.
7 – Teaching the joy of learning is much more important than checking off the list of things they’ve memorized. Because once they get more independent, they’ll never stop wanting to learn. It took me 3 or 4 years of being out of public high school to find out that history isn’t a list of boring blurbs & dates like it was made out to be!
8 – Devote a lot of attention to the basics, the rest will come!😁
9 – Do the curriculum which is best for your child.
10 – They’ll learn when and how they want to. You’ll learn a lot, too.
11 – There is so more fun stuff you can try if workbooks and reading aren’t your kiddos idea of fun.
12 – Ditch the curriculum!
13 – Do it “your “way and not the “schools “way .
14 – Deschool first!!!!
15 – Teach how the children learn best, not how you wish you were taught….
16 – It’s okay to be flexible…..don’t listen to what others say (especially the public school teachers who want to berate you.) And everything will be okay.
17 – Finishing text books is the least important thing..no matter the grade. ❤️
18 – Be consistent, don’t cut corners/compromise.
19 – Trades all the way – university is too much money and really, why!? Relax and live and definitely not push university so much for my kids – but, these are things we learn as we grow.
20 – RELAX ! One day at a time.
21 – Relax
22 – Start sooner!!! Don’t be afraid.
23 – Let go of your idea of what learning looks like.
24 – Don’t worry about what the other moms, Facebook, Pinterest say/do in terms of homeschooling, whether that is curriculum, scheduling…just do what works for your family.
25 – Rest.. busy doesn’t mean “good mom”.. savor.. completing the to do list doesn’t mean ur valid.. you are a person that has needs and value.. you are not the “it”.. not the things u produce… or the lessons finished.. you are a soul with a body that need your care TOO.
26 – It’s okay if you don’t finish all of the curriculum.
27 – Don’t give up!
28 – RELAX
29 – Chill out and don’t sweat the small stuff. Stop buying curriculum.
30 – ᑕᕼᎥᒪᒪᒪᒪᒪ ᗝᑌ丅 ᗰᗩᑎ
31 – Don’t stress as much.
32 – Don’t compare yourself or your children to anyone else.
33 – Relax, don’t give up and do what feels right for your child!
34 – Don’t sweat the small stuff.
35 – Ask lots of questions and seek help when you or your kids need it!
36 – Relax
37 – Sometimes less is more, don’t try to do too much!
38 – Listen to seasoned Moms, trust your gut, make it simple!
39 – It’s a process, not an event. It’s okay to move slow in order to gain understanding. It’s better that a child understands the information just covered than to have a child that can’t tell you anything and a book finished. Also, don’t freak out if a new subject doesn’t click immediately. (Such as reading) every child has their moment when it clicks. I’m not saying to be negligent, but don’t stress and panic.
40 – Trust God!!! He fills in the gaps where I am weak. He led us here and will take care of us.
41 – Don’t give up/don’t feel inadequate.. Everyone learns differently. Most important thing is to stick with it and find a way to succeed.
42 – Have fun and stop stressing out. They get it when they are ready.
43 – Be a mom when your mom. Be teacher when you’re a teacher. Make sure your kids know when you’re each.
44 – If you or the children are having a bad day, it’s okay to take a break.
45 – Definitely, don’t sweat the small stuff. It will be okay.
46 – Every family is different. Every child is different.
47 – Slow down, stop running all over the place. Just enjoy it.
Well said. So much wisdom here! What is one piece of advice YOU would give to your younger self?