Congratulations on being a new homeschooler! It’s an exciting time for you and your child. In this series, I’m offering up a bunch of encouragement for homeschoolers and today is just for new homeschoolers. If you haven’t read about The Real Phases of the Homeschool Year, make sure you do that and download the free printable to keep for the year! If you look at that chart, this post will make even more sense! Here are four things to remember. Know these in your heart and it will make your journey into homeschooling that much easier.
You Will Fail and Want to Quit Homeschooling
Let’s get this one out of the way right now. It’s true for every single person who homeschools. We all fail. We all want to quit. Even if we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are supposed to homeschool, we still will want to quit at times. (I’ll let you in on a secret. Every teacher wants to quit at least once a year. Working with little people is tough!)
So take the pressure off yourself from day one and know that no matter how excited you are today, you are going to come to a point this year when you want to quit. And that’s okay. It’s normal. Don’t let it shake the foundations of your world. Don’t let it undermine your confidence. It’s normal. For the vast majority of the homeschoolers, the feeling will pass.
Every Homeschool Year Will Be Different
After you make it through your first year and you think you’ve figured out this homeschool thing at least a little bit… I’m here to tell you that next year will be different. That trick you figured out this year for math? It probably won’t work next year. That writing curriculum everybody enjoyed? Next year it will be boring. That’s the reality of working with children who are constantly changing and growing.
Know right now that you are going to be making it up as you go every year. You aren’t teaching a third grader every year. You are teaching a kindergartener and then a first grader and then a second grader and then a third grader and so on. Children change a lot from year to year. During certain developmental phases they change a lot in just a few weeks! So know that every year will be different and that’s normal and totally okay. You are not a failure if the things that work great one year don’t carry over.
Homeschooling Will Get Easier
Homeschooling does get easier every year. One of the reasons is simply the fact that you get more comfortable in your own homeschool parent skin. Sometimes it takes a while to adjust to this new role. After you do it for a bit, it starts to feel more natural and second nature. Things you had to think about a lot will be a tiny blip on your radar.
It will also get easier because your family will find their own rhythm. This is especially true if you are pulling your kids out of a structured school environment. You’ve gone from someone else dictating pretty much your family’s every waking minute (school, homework, vacations, etc.) to making all those choices for yourself. It takes time to adjust. But once you adjust, it’s fantastic!
Homeschooling Is Not Radical, It Only Feels Like It
It’s easy to feel like homeschooling is one of the most radical choices you could ever make. It’s really not. Homeschooling has been a way of life for centuries. It’s only been the past 150 years that we’ve had schools like we have now. In the span of history, huge impersonal school systems are the radical approach, not homeschooling.
If you feel your choice is radical, then you’ll feel subtle pressure to defend it. You don’t want to always feel on the defensive about your educational choices. That’s a negative place to live and that’s not healthy. Homeschooling is a positive, normal choice. Remind yourself of that often.
Four Truths for New Homeschoolers
So there are four truths. Take them to heart. To help you remember, I’ve created a printable you can download and put in your homeschool planning binder. (They coordinate with my editable homeschool planners!) Hang it on the wall. Whatever you need to do to encourage yourself during your first exciting and exhausting year of homeschooling!
This is part of my 10 Days of Homeschool Encouragement series.