You wake up to a beautiful morning and your kids are still sleeping in the comfort of their bedrooms. You sit on your comfy chair enjoying the silence and lay back thinking about different adult matters.
Then a thought crosses your mind and a sense of nervousness sweeps over you. You remember that today you are starting homeschool.
You have prepped as much as you can since its all very new to you. But you still feel nervous. Mainly because you have no idea how the day will turn out with your kids.
As a fellow mama who has walked in your shoes before, my desire is to help ease your nerves for those days that feel overwhelming.
Schooling at home is no walk in the park. Its a lifestyle change from the first day.
The same way a new employee has a 90-day probation period to learn the ropes of a new job. You being new to homeschooling can give yourself some time to learn and adjust to the new job as well.
Now let’s continue reading the helpful tips on how to ease nervousness for homeschool beginner moms.
- Tip#1 Model learning by cultivating learning yourself
- Tip#2 Identify yours and your child’s learning style
- Tip#3 When all else fails Stick to the core 3 daily
- Tip#4 Start telling yourself that 3-4 hours of schooling is ok
- Tip #5 Avoid comparing yourself to a veteran homeschool mom
- In Summary
Tip#1 Model learning by cultivating learning yourself
Have you’ve heard the saying “A child will do what you do not what you say.” I’ve heard this mantra through the years at teacher meetings and Parent Conferences.
But what does it really mean?
By sharing my personal home observations I can answer this question.
When my child sees me reading a book. I’ve noticed that she will grab a book herself and start to read.
How about when my child sees me grabbing my phone? Guess what she will do? The same. She grabs her iPad since she doesn’t have a phone and starts scrolling.
What is going on here? Well, observational learning at its finest. The child is learning through watching the adult that is a constant in their life.
To put it differently, let’s say you ask your child to study a challenging subject. If the child sees you doing the same, they will be more prone to follow what you say since it matches what you are doing.
Investing in a helpful Homeschool Resource
Investing in a good homeschool resource book will help you model learning at home. When your child sees you taking on a new subject they will follow suit.
This will not only help you learn the jargon of homeschool but will also help us ease your nerves of the unknowns of homeschool.
If you are in need of any ideas of which homeschool books to start today the following post 3 starter books for homeschooling moms can give you some ideas. I am confident you will find it helpful and encouraging for your homeschool journey.
Tip#2 Identify yours and your child’s learning style
A veteran homeschool mama recommended a book to me a few years back and I was reminded of an important truth. She said and I quote
“It’s ok to go at the pace of your child and start right where they are at developmentally.”-Veteran Homeshool mama
One way you can learn to do this early is by having resources that help you understand your child’s learning style.
I will share an example of why I see this benefiting you and easing your nerves in homeschool.
So for years, my learning style has been both auditory and solitary. This means I learn best with calm music playing in the background. While at the same time studying, writing or reading a good book.
Well, guess what this mama did as a first-year homeschool mom? I approached my daughter’s homeschooling schedule and environment based on my comfortable learning style.
You might be wondering, how did that work for you? Well, definitely not as I planned. My daughter was bored and constantly being defiant during school time.
A favorable Learning style resource
If you are able to, consider having in your collection of homeschool books The Big what Now the book of Learning styles. Carol Barnier, the author, provides ideas on how to approach different learning styles and you are bound to find a solution within the ideas of this book to help your child.
Surprisingly I quickly learned that my daughter’s learning style was close to the complete opposite of my own. She is a social and logical learner who despises working alone.
In other words, she was a Social Kinesthetic learner, she liked working in a group setting. Also, she would rather be jumping while repeating her multiplication tables instead of flipping flashcards.
You can do the same and adapt your homeschool to your child’s learning style. It will be a game-changer in your home if you do.
And once you start doing this other mama’s will want to know your secret because your child will be more responsive and enjoy learning.
The next few tips will help you maintain a homeschool structure when life becomes hard and you struggle with giving up.
Tip#3 When all else fails Stick to the core 3 daily
Let me clarify first what I mean by the Core 3. It’s referring to 3 foundational subjects reading, writing, and math.
This means that when life becomes overwhelming but you still desire some structure at home. You have the option of just doing the core 3 daily until things settle down a bit.
A friend taught me this a few years ago. And she homeschooled and graduated several of her children with this principle in mind.
You will notice in different posts that I will refer back to the core 3 occasionally. There are a few reasons for this. The main one being that this will pave a firm foundation in your homeschool journey.
Tip#4 Start telling yourself that 3-4 hours of schooling is ok
When I first heard this I was shocked. I actually didn’t even listen to this advice right away.
I worked with teachers and administrators daily prior to being a homemaker and homeschool mama. It was ingrained in me that kids need to be in school from 8-3 pm.
It was good for them and they needed structure.
Then I started homeschooling. And one day I came across the following question…
How much learning time happens from 8:00 to 3:00 pm in public schools?
After a decade of being in the public school sector and fulfilling different roles. Here are some observations I gathered when I was faced with this question:
- Waiting time in line and transitioning to a different class takes away from learning time.
- The diverse learning styles in the classroom leads to teachers needing to be creative in the presentation in order to accommodate different learning levels for a classroom size of 18-30 students.
- If an advanced student is done early with the lesson then they need to wait. Why? well because the teacher needs to make her rounds and make sure the other kids catch up. That takes away from actual learning time for a few students.
- The average classroom size varies from 15-30 kids so if there is an assembly or fundraiser or birthday party. Learning will happen less on those days.
Productive homeschooling Schedule
If you’re interested I have created a fillable PDF daily schedule that I have been using for my elementary-aged child for quite some time now.
You can write your child’s name on top as well as fill in the different boxes with the assignments you are already doing in your homeschool.
This schedule has helped me stay within the 3-4 hours at home. You can do the same and make it easily accessible to your children. This way they know to reference the schedule when they forget what to do.
Morning Basket or Grab from the Basket
Now let me briefly explain the ‘morning basket’ or ‘Grab from the basket’ section of the schedule. You will see the phrase ‘Morning Basket’ roaming in the homeschool community. When you search it on Pinterest or google you will see examples of how other homeschool mamas use there basket.
The idea behind this basket is that you can fill it up with an extra curriculum that you would like your child to eventually learn. Since there are not enough hours in the day wit cover all the curriculum. The basket is a great alternative to slowly work your way through different topics.
If you would like your own copy of the ‘daily productive schedule’, as well as other homeschool freebies please subscribe to my newsletter to get these gifts into your inbox.
Tip #5 Avoid comparing yourself to a veteran homeschool mom
To sum up, please do not compare your first day of homeschooling to someone else’s thousand days of homeschooling. It will lead you to unnecessary nervousness and mental fatigue, to say the least.
I have been there and it’s no fun feeling like a failure all the time. You will reach a point in your homeschool journey where you will mold your own homeschool environment to best suit your family.
Now that I have 6 plus years of homeschooling under my belt I only use social platforms if it encourages my already foundation at home.
There’s a difference.
Ultimately, every home is different which naturally will make every homeschool experience look different. As a new mom, it’s hard to remember this simple truth.
Remember your first year of homeschooling is more than just schooling. It’s also managing the home life, spouse relationship and other moving pieces you will notice on this journey.
So be graceful with yourself and your children in this new season. And know it will get better and more enjoyable through time.
I would love to hear from you. Please comment below which tip was most eye-opening to you.