5 Tips For New Homeschooling Moms
Hey, mamas! Are you new to homeschooling like I am? Maybe you’re a seasoned home school mom and you can offer advice! Perhaps you’ve been homeschooling for a couple of years and don’t consider yourself new or old to the program. Whatever your status, please keep reading.
After reflecting on the past two weeks of homeschooling our kiddos, I have come up with some tips for those of you just beginning. Remember, I’m a novice. I don’t claim to know it all, nor will I ever. All I can offer is what we have going on in our world. My kids are different from yours. I fully understand that. However, the tips I’m including could still apply to most children in a home school environment.
1- Get To Know Your Student
I know I said student. You’re thinking you know your child. Of course you do! Do you know how to target your child’s strengths? Every child learns in different ways. Some children learn visually, auditorily, through reading and writing, or lastly, kinesthetically (hands-on). It will benefit you greatly to learn how your child best learns. My 4-year-old learns best through visuals and kinesthetics. It could be his age that is guiding his learning styles right now. My 8-year-old daughter is an auditory learner. She’s good at listening and retaining that information. She also is learning that note taking is important, and is practicing that skill. Because my two are very different, it’s important that I teach to their strengths. I want them to feel successful, not stressed out or bombarded by new information that they can’t keep straight.
2- Create A Climate Conducive To Learning
I’ve been reading a lot of homeschooling blogs. I’m also a part of several Facebook groups. If I’m being honest, I’ve been both encouraged and discouraged by people posting what their learning spaces look like. I have seen entire rooms dedicated to a learning area, dining rooms converted into a learning space, and a simple bookshelf to host supplies and materials. I sometimes wish we had an entire room to devote to learning space, but we don’t. Guess what? It is okay! No matter what amount of space you have to work with, it will be perfect! We have a little corner devoted to our ‘school’. It has a small bookshelf, a table, 2 stools, and 1 chair. We have decorated a wall with topics we’re learning about, crafts the kiddos have made, as well as sticker incentive charts (my kids love the incentive piece).
Of course, we’re also flexible. I don’t force the littles to sit at the table all day to do their work. The boy likes the couch, and the girl prefers the floor and a pillow. I’m completely fine with their choices, as long as they’re doing their work! Why should we limit them? This isn’t a public school setting full of rules and teaching standards. I’ve been there. I know. I taught for 12 years. It doesn’t work for all students, and mine are no different.
3- Take Time
Get to know your state’s educational standards for your child’s grade level. Know what they’re expected to learn by the year’s end. Begin covering the material, and take the time to get it right. Don’t rush the learning process. Quite simply, don’t move on from a topic if your child hasn’t mastered the skill. Allow them some time to get the hang of a concept before adding another new skill. You’ll both benefit from this. You won’t be as frustrated, and they won’t feel rushed. Win-win! Along with taking your time, don’t forget to review previously learned material. Let a few days pass and review material again. It’s a great way to keep the new topics from escaping their little minds.
4- Mix Things Up
If you choose to do the same topics day after day and your kiddos are enjoying that, cool! Keep it up! If your kids are like mine, they like structure in the morning, and in the afternoon, they like a variety. No way is the wrong way! The girl has work from two online platforms that we’re working through. She also loves to work out of workbooks, so I incorporate those as well. The boy, who is learning to read and write, would rather work on apps and through some online learning sites. Of course, his day is less educationally structured. He gets more time to play due to his age. In the afternoon, they both get free time to spend however and wherever they like.
5- Make Things Fun
The great thing about being at home is we can also throw in spontaneous cooking lessons in the kitchen! Whenever we want cookies, we make some! Also, I took the littles shopping last week. We went to the Dollar Tree and I allowed them to choose some items they would like to ‘earn’ at home. We put all their choices in our prize box. They agreed that if they earned stickers for their work and filled up their sticker chart, they could choose a prize from the box. (You should have seen them yesterday trying to earn as many stickers as possible to get their first prize!) I love to see them so motivated… and learning, too! We have impromptu dance parties when we need a break. Sometimes we don’t even have music playing. We just get up and dance for 45 seconds or so to get the wiggles out. I try to keep them on their toes and not on any particular activity for too long.
I know you’re probably thinking that we’re only two weeks in and that topics will change when a proper routine is established. I’m focusing on changing topics up for them on a regular basis, so that very scenario doesn’t happen. I don’t want them to get too comfortable. I don’t want to get too comfortable. Learning should be fun and exciting for all of us. Sure, it’s new, and therefore, exciting right now. It would be great to keep this momentum rolling. It’s a priority for this mama. My family is in this together. We’re succeeding together. I’m finding indescribable value in that.
Making Ends Meet
It’s true. Our household is learning how to live on one income, my husband’s teaching salary. I’m working some outside the home, and the kiddos are allowed to tag along. That’s been a blessing. However, it’s only seasonal work, and that will be dying down soon. I don’t know how other families do life on one income, but we’re learning to make it work. I have quite a bit of anxiety, actually. I’m looking fo
r ways to add to our income, though! If you’d like to learn more, please read this post. You can also learn more about it from reading my other blog posts.
I would love nothing more than for you to leave a comment below with a tip or two about your own homeschooling experience. I would like to hear how your family is making it work in your favor! Please take a second and comment. If you have any questions about anything, please ask. I’d love to try to answer! Happy Homeschooling!
Ciao For Now
Happier At Home