Saturday, September 12, 2015

Starting My 20th Year Homeschooling...... Some Tips I've Learned

Our school picture for the 2015-2016 school year.  Notice we don't wear shoes.

I guess now that I'm starting my 20th year homeschooling, I'm probably considered a veteran homeschool mom or even a pro. But really, I don't feel like either of those.  I'm still learning how to do this correctly and I know I've made lots of mistakes.  So, that's my disclaimer and I'm very thankful for God's grace and His ability to take our shortcomings and use them for His glory.  
But for any new homeschool moms, here are a few tips that I've learned over the years:

  1. Start each school day with prayer and the Bible.  This doesn't have to be some fancy family devotional.  Most of the time we start with the Lord's prayer, our memory verses for the month and scripture reading.
  2. Have a schedule and a plan.  Don't just tell your kids to grab their school books, sit at the table and get going.  This approach with lead to you putting out fires all morning. If you have multiple children, you'll be running from one child to another to answer questions and help.  Have a set time to spend with each child and try to keep it uninterrupted.  This way you can go over all their work for the day and correct yesterday's work with them right there with you.  Each child will know that they have a certain time for you.
  3. Be sure to keep you mornings free.  Remember, to homeschool, you have to be home, right?  I rarely plan anything during our school hours.  Think of it as a job.  Maybe once a month I will plan a field trip but I have learned to say "no" to many seemingly great educational things for my kids to do.  If there is one thing I see now with homeschool moms, it's that their kids are involved in way to many activities, clubs, sports, arts, etc.  But that's really another post.
  4. Start as early as is practical for your family. Even though my husband and I get up early in the morning to exercise and to have our quiet times, we don't start school until about 9:15am.  We like to have our chores done, the kitchen clean and everyone dressed for the day. I'm not a fan of schooling in pajamas or even me in sweaty work-out clothes.  I think children perform better and are less lazy when they are dressed.  This encourages them to be serious about their school work and prepares them for adulthood.  
  5. Be OK with admitting when something is not working. Say the math curriculum you bought back at the homeschool conference that looked so awesome is bringing your child or even yourself to tears, well be OK with ditching it and getting something else.  Tweak your schedule if things aren't  running smoothly or change up history and science activities.  There is no homeschool police that's going to come to your home and check to see if your child filled in all those silly science workbook pages!
  6. Enlist the help of your husband, particularly with discipline and encouragement.  Also, don't be afraid to ask for help from tutors or other homeschool moms.  We are all in this together!
  7. And just lighten up!  I've really had to do this. Is it our goal to raise perfect little Christian robots who score amazing on the SAT?  Well, if it is, then it shouldn't be.  We are homeschooling because we feel that God has called us to, right?  And because we love to be with our kids.  So, let's let God do His work and leave the outcome to Him.  The most important thing is remaining in harmony with the Lord and with our kids. 


  1. Thank u for this.
    Entering my 3rd week of homeschooling kindergarten, and feeling overwhelmed.
    Thanks for laying it so straight and making me look at my priorities. I have been scheduling so much "extra curricular" stuff during my week that its really stressing me and my 3 little ones out.
    I need to realize that the word is HOMEschool, so thanks. I needed to know they won't "miss out" by being home. Also... On my way to read ur THM meal plans!!! Wish me luck! Thanks for ur inspiration and time <3

  2. These are great tips. This is our 22nd year to homeschool. Our 4 year old daughter has Down Syndrome as well. Our oldest two are grown and out of the house. This year we are doing Preschool, 1st grade, 7th grade and 9th grade.

  3. Bumped into your blog today. And I am so glad you seem like a another homeschool mom I can relate to. You are real and non-perfectionisty. We will have our 6th in December. Thank you for keeping it real :) Thank God for his help on this journey. God bless you and your family.

  4. Where are you?!? Miss your post! :)

  5. Hope you're doing fine and back to posting here soon!


Thanks so much for your comments! I love them and they keep me writing. I really do read each one.