The Beginner’s Guide to Homeschooling, Part Six
Expert Advice from 5 Experienced Homeschoolers
Here we are, at the end of The Beginner’s Guide to Homeschooling series. I hope that you have found lots of helpful information to get you started on your homeschooling journey! In case you missed any of the previous posts, I have included some quick links below:
- Part One – 9 Reasons to Homeschool
- Part Two – Planning Your Homeschool Environment
- Part Three – The Curriculum Conundrum
- Part Four – Creating Your Homeschool Schedule
- Part Five – Getting Involved with Homeschool Organizations
For this last post, I thought that you would find it beneficial to hear from other experienced homeschoolers. So I spoke with 5 of them and asked this question:
What is one piece of advice you always like to give people who are either considering homeschooling or are just beginning their homeschool journey?
Here’s what they had to say:
From Angie at Simple Healthy Mom:
You are enough. Feelings of inadequacy are normal for both new homeschooling moms, as well as veterans. Remember, nobody cares about your kids more than you do! You have the God-given responsibility to teach your children (Deuteronomy 6:5-7), and to raise them to be disciples of Christ. In order for you to be the main influencer in your children’s lives, they need to be with you a lot. Imparting godly wisdom to your children is of greater importance and benefit than anything that is taught in a school. (Psalm 119:98-100)
Prepare your mind to be able to fight the feelings of inadequacy that visit us all by collecting thoughts that encourage you in regards to homeschooling. I have an “Encouragement” section in my mom binder.
Here is a list of the things that I keep in there:
- My mission statement for our homeschool (the “why” behind our homeschool)
- Scripture verses that have spoken to me about homeschooling
- Encouraging quotes
- The definition of education (from tjed.org): “Education is the ability to think, independently and creatively, and the skill of applying one’s knowledge in dealing with people and situations in the real world.” (*Not the cramming of information into the brain!)
- A testimonial I asked my friend to write after her oldest child graduated from her homeschool
- My own thoughts about homeschooling that I wrote when I wasn’t feeling worried/overwhelmed/discouraged
- Encouraging correspondence that I had via email with Lee Giles (creator of Allinonehomeschool.com)
Read more about what Angie has to say in her post Encouragement for Homeschooling Moms: You are Enough!
About Angie: Angie Gunsauls is a Christian wife and the mom of 15-year-old triplets. She’s been homeschooling for 10 years. Check out her blog at Simple Healthy Mom where you’ll find encouragement for your faith, family and health journey!
From Faith at A Fresh Brewed Faith:
My advice is twofold:
- Establish your own reasons for choosing homeschooling! The best part of homeschooling is that you can make it YOURS. When I finally realized that homeschooling didn’t have to come from a negative viewpoint of other educational systems and that choosing homeschooling could joyfully be ours and ours alone, it really set me free. I felt fully able to think about my child’s education creatively and joyfully. Make your homeschool (and your reasons for homeschooling) yours!
- Even if you feel alone in the homeschooling world, don’t give up if you feel called to homeschool! And don’t give up on seeking out others who are homeschooling as well. We live in a very rural area with very few other homeschoolers. It IS possible to homeschool (and homeschool very successfully!) when you feel like the only homeschoolers around. Just keep doing your research on fun, free things for your kids that tie-in to their interests, learning styles, or curriculum – library storytimes, zoo days, children’s museums, local park events – and incorporate them generously into your homeschooling life. Join book clubs and sign up for art classes, enroll your kids in local recreation commission sports, or join an online support group for homeschooling parents. Pretty soon, you’ll have a bigger support system – whether made up of other homeschooling families or not! – than you ever realized was possible!
Read more about what Faith has to say in her post Homeschooling: Our Beginning.
About Faith: I’m a gluten-free, homeschooling, coffee-drinking, Jesus-loving mama loving life in the Midwest! Our family consists of me, Hubby, our four-year-old daughter, our son (on the way, due in 7 weeks!), and our fluffy friends, Kitty and Pup. I’m a public school teacher-turned homeschool mom, and am loving it! Baking, drinking coffee with friends, reading, yoga, music and gardening are my top hobbies. Check out A Fresh Brewed Faith for more about me and our homeschooling adventures!
Here are some things to consider as you begin:
- How do you wield freedom? Because there is so much in this lifestyle but it’s also a big responsibility.
- What’s your relationship with yourself? Because you’re about to see yourself in ways you may not have before you were this involved with your children.
- Are you looking to hone your conflict resolution skills?
- What do you want to impart to your children?
- Curriculum choosing is not a priority.
- Prepare yourself to answer the cliché question: “But what about socialization…?”
About Capturing the Charmed Life: Homeschooling mama to four kiddos, aged 16 to 8, in the secluded mountains of western Canada. In my spare time, we’re building a homestead, my husband manages the local emerg, and I’m learning to write a novel.
From Joanne at Our Unschooling Journey Through Life:
While everyone CAN homeschool, no two people will homeschool the same way and that’s OK! Homeschooling does not look the same for everyone. It is an individualized education that is centered around the family unit. No two families are the same so no two homeschools will be the same. Trust in yourself, you know your child best and have already taught them to walk, talk, dress themselves, etc. There will be an adjustment period where you figure out what will work for your family but you will figure it out.
Read more about what Joanne has to say in her post Help for New Homeschoolers.
About Joanne: Joanne Rawson is the author of the blog Our Unschooling Journey Through Life. Known around the web as Mother of 3, Joanne began her blog when she first started homeschooling her three boys in 2012. She lives in Connecticut with her family and enjoys reading, crafting, and travelling…all of which usually ends up on her blog.
From Katie at I Choose Brave:
My absolute best advice to new homeschoolers or those considering homeschooling is that it won’t be perfect. Ever. That truly is the most sound wisdom I have gleaned from my 7 years of homeschooling. Every lofty ideal and expectation I had in my head as I entered into this journey has found twists and turns and, sometimes, explosions along the way. But it is good. It is so good.
On the hard days when I feel like we are a mess, like we are behind or one child or another is struggling, my even-keeled husband reminds me – public school would come with complications. Private school has its downside. And our homeschool will never be perfect. But it is good. This is the path we have thought carefully and prayed earnestly about. It is not perfect, but it is good. And we will be faithful.
Once you set your mind and heart to it, once you establish this as the best route for your family, forgo the pursuit of perfection and charge on faithfully and it will be good.
About Katie: Katie Westenberg is a wife and homeschooling mother to four, who is passionate about fighting fear and living brave. She writes to inspire women to live their bravest lives at I Choose Brave. Married for 15 years, she lives in the Pacific Northwest, enjoying life outside the city limits and finding a little time to write and speak as well.
Let’s keep the encouragement and sharing going! Join me and other homeschoolers in my NEW Facebook Group, Savvy Schoolers.