Welcome! I'm so glad you're here. As a milspouse of nearly 30 years, and the mom of an active duty son, I write about all things military spouse and military family related, with a few side notes about homeschooling, running, and foodie life. Start here to learn more about me! 

Dear New Homeschool Mom, continued...

Dear New Homeschool Mom, continued...

I'm not sure what brought you to this place. Whether you always imagined yourself a homeschooling parent, fell into it quite by accident, or simply find yourself pulling your child out of school for reasons unique to your family, suddenly you find yourself...a homeschooling parent.

But I know how you feel, that panic, those questions.

Can I do this? Will it be enough for my child? How can I possibly do him justice? Wouldn't she be better off with a nicer/energetic/trained/you-fill-in-the-blank teacher?

Am I crazy??

And I am here to tell you that, yes, you probably are a little bit crazy, and yes, it will all be ok.

How do I even start?

One day at a time. One lesson at a time, and some days...one hour or even one minute at a time. But never fear! There are so many incredible resources to get you started. Click here for my list of tried-and-true suggestions for newbie homeschoolers. I've often heard it said by veteran homeschoolers that a library card, a math book, and the outdoors are enough to begin. And though it sounds simplistic, I have to agree!

Will I ever be alone again?

Um....probably not. Well, that may be an overstatement. But you will likely need to readjust your perspective on "me time" for a season if you choose to home educate. Aside from that, here are a few practical ideas:

  • Build in some rest time each day for every age. For us, it used to be right after lunch: naps for the babies, quiet time for toddlers, reading time for older kids. If you don't plan for some alone time for all, it likely won't happen.
  • Get involved with a co-op or homeschool group, and take advantage of Mom's night outs or playdates.
  • Trade off child watching with a friend.

What about socialization?

Hahahaha, you're funny....sorry, let me catch my breath. Between friends, music lessons, sports, co-ops, church activities, and just plain family time, I would be surprised if this was actually a problem for you.  We've often had to cut BACK on outside activities to allow enough time for educating. Though this is one of the most often mentioned concerns about homeschooling, it has truly been a non-issue for us.

How do I teach {insert tough subject} when I don't even like it or remember it?

You don't have to! Thanks to the interwebs, you've got instant access to online tutorials like Khan Academy for most any subject or full-fledged course offerings from curriculum providers. A quick Google search will give you more ideas than I could ever list here. Everything from business courses to AP History to algebra. This has helped our high schoolers more than I can say. It also helps transition the parent from such an active teaching role to more of an advisory/counseling role as the kids get older, which is a good thing, I promise!

Will you teach my kids? 

NO. Will you teach mine? Ha. In all seriousness, I've known friends who switched off teaching duties for subjects one of them loved, i.e. doing science experiments together with one mom while another mom tutors algebra. We've done versions of this. While living overseas, it made sense to buy dissection supplies in bulk due to shipping costs and do a few dissections together with our homeschool group. The girls' squeamishness at sheep's eyes rolling across the table (courtesy of the boys, big surprise) is a story for another day. Still, finding a supportive community and sharing resources and strengths is one of the most beautiful things about the homeschooling experience, in my opinion.

Will my kid turn out ok? 

Well, I hope so. I find that kids turning out well has less to do with educational choices and more to do with family dynamics and individual personalities. But that is not what you're asking, is it? What you're really asking is whether homeschooled  kids are well educated, prepared for college, or ready to deal with the real world. To that, I would answer a resounding yes. Of course, as kids grow up, I think it's important to broaden their experience with outside jobs, classes, sports, etc. and give them tools to deal with life in an environment that doesn't specifically cater to their learning styles or schedules.

We graduated our third homeschooler this year, with our last one in high school. The years of active parenting and homeschooling have flown by! But like so many things worth doing, homeschooling isn't easy, but it is relatively simple.

You've got this!

Have any advice for new homeschoolers? Leave a comment!

photo credit: rebecca lopez via photopincc

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