There are so many things about motherhood that are "learn as you go" and "trial and error." There is also so much to learn about each child as they grow and adapt to their new personalities over the years. I don’t have homeschooling perfectly figured out (who really does?) But I want to share with you as I am going along.
Added to the normal parenting tasks, we mommas sometimes become their teachers as well. It can be a challenge—but it can also be so, so fantastic! I’ve put together some thoughts on homeschooling that I hope will encourage you as you teach your kiddos or as you begin to think about homeschooling as your kids reach school age. You truly are the best teacher already!
1. Become more observant. Notice what your kids are telling you. More than that, notice what each child is showing you through their behavior and quiet interests and the way they take on each task. This is one of my biggest homeschooling tips because it allows you to cater learning to your child’s interests and learning styles, and unique problem-solving skills. Knowing how they approach and solve problems will help you address different topics and areas of study.
2. Keep track of your ideas. I like to keep it simple: I jot down notes and little thoughts in my phone as I think of them throughout the day. If something inspires you, make note of it. If you notice something that is not working with a curriculum or lesson, make note of it. That way, you won’t be stewing over all these thoughts while trying to fall asleep at night. Set aside an hour on Sunday to go through your notes and take action as you can. It is also a great way to have a big-picture overview at the end of the school year.
3. Read! Read all the things. Non-fiction. Fiction. Picture books. Articles on your phone. Blog posts. Read whatever you can, whenever you can. I keep a book in my purse, I keep a magazine by the nursery chair, and I keep an audiobook cued up for walks to the park.
I’ve got a list of my favorite books on Amazon that have been so encouraging the helpful as I have taken on the life of a homeschool mom.
4. Review your day. I like to take inventory once a week and make note of what worked and what didn't. I think about what I want to do differently going forward and how I am going to do it. Get your kids involved in their schooling too: talk about the week together and ask them what was working for them, and maybe what they would like to include in the next week or a special interest they have. A great time to do this is Saturday night. Have an easy dinner, a game, and then a family meeting where you can chat about what is coming up next week. Everyone gets to participate and my kids really look forward to it.
5. Make a plan. I have a general plan and routine for each week which is written down and known by each kid. If we’re starting something new, I make sure we have a plan set out for it, which also means having the supplies and items needed. Being prepared can help us do the best we can in any area of life, and teaching at home is no different! Get started by downloading a free copy of my weekly calendar template.
Looking for more homeschooling tips or ideas for teaching at home? Check out my blog on how to navigate working from home and homeschooling.
I’ve also put together a list of a few of my favorite products to help make homeschooling easier! Check it out right here. I hope you find some of these helpful as well.
What are your tips for being your kids’ best teacher? Let me know in the comments!