For many of us, the school year is halfway up, and so is our sanity. Whether you’re homeschooling a fresh-faced kindergartner or your very last highschooler, challenges are bound to show up.
Maybe you’ve come up on a hurdle with math comprehension, or a major life event has thrown a wrench in your lesson plans, or you just still haven’t quite fully recovered from the holiday break.
One of the beautiful things about homeschooling is that, contrary to that whole socialization myth, you are not alone. Many of other homeschooling families have gone on before you and learned incredible things about overcoming the difficulties that we sometimes encounter. And, lucky for you, many of them have blogged about it.
So, if you’re heading into the second half of the school year with a few more gray hairs than when you started, this list of the best sanity-saving ideas and encouragement from our favorite homeschooling bloggers is for you!
Don’t fight against your child’s unique learning style, work with it!
This is truly one of the best reasons to homeschool, especially for parents who have had to pull their struggling kids from public or private schools with set curricula. Take the Learning Style Quiz from Homeschool On! to get a better idea of your kid’s style, and run with it!
Come up with a balanced schedule.
If you’re naturally Type A and a bit of a hyper-planner, you may need to loosen up. If you’re constantly falling behind on reasonable goals, you may need to focus on planning just a tad more. It’s not as hard as it may seem to have a flexible homeschool plan that works for your family and satisfies any state requirements, you just need to find balance, and Cornerstone Confessions has some great tips to help you on your way.
Guide your children toward independence.
Who says homeschooling doesn’t prepare kids for the real world? If anything, you’ll do a better job of it if you guide your kids into the mastering discipline and doing a fair amount of their schoolwork independently. This is especially effective with interest-led learning, and The Well-Planned Gal is the expert on it!
Don’t leave out life skills!
Budgeting, grocery shopping, small repairs, entrepreneurship, and so much more, nearly everything you do now as an adult is something your kids can, and probably should, learn from you. Not only do these life skills help to fill requirements for basics like math and science, this is yet another area in which homeschooled kids can have a huge advantage and a leg-up into adulthood. Plus, many hands make light work. If your teens learn to cook breakfast for their smaller siblings, that’s a weight off your shoulders!
Need “me” time? Get up long before the kids do.
As you work on finding that balanced schedule that works for your family’s needs, don’t mistake yourself for a robot and neglect the quiet time we all need! For many homeschooling parents, the golden hour for “me time” is early in the morning before the kids are up. You’re wide awake, you can grab your coffee, get into the Word, and truly prepare yourself for the day ahead.
I won’t lie, homeschooling is not an effortless, self-maintaining lifestyle. It takes work, and a fair amount of it. But, if you find yourself trudging onward joylessly through the week, take a moment to breathe, re-evaluate, and look to the seasoned home-schooles out there for guidance.