The moment that I decided I was going to homeschool my first grader, my heart was beating fast and I was really nervous about the whole entire idea of it. I knew that my family was not quite ready yet for in-person school, but my daughter was going insane with virtual schooling, so I felt that I had no other option but to homeschool her. My first grader is a tough cookie. She is strong-willed, and not very easy to entertain and motivate when it comes to anything school-related. I knew I had my work cut out for me!
But guess what…
I am so thankful for the decision I made. It wasn’t that I didn’t like virtual school, our teachers are utterly amazing! I have huge respect for them. It just was not working for my daughter. By homeschooling my daughter, I am in control of what she learns, as well as her schedule. I chose the curriculum that was geared more towards doing worksheets and hands on work. Since I also have a toddler and I’m going to college full time, I needed a curriculum that was kind of like a box kit set. I don’t have to think too much about it, I just follow the plan that is already written out, which makes it very easy. So far we love it!
Tips for the new homeschooling mom
Even though homeschooling is great, I’ve learned to give myself grace! This is new for me and my daughter. If your child is struggling or you’re both getting overwhelmed, it is better to stop and start over tomorrow. Maybe watch some educational shows on YouTube that covers a lesson that you are working on, so they are at least getting something in that is educational. But the important thing is not to beat yourself up for not having a very productive homeschooling day.
The other lesson I have learned is to take some time and do field trips. We love looking at sea life at the aquarium and the beach, going to the local farms, and other fun places around Charleston. Almost every Friday I like to make it a point to take the kids out on a day trip adventure and combine it with learning! It makes the learning process so much fun. Sometimes I even print out worksheets that wrap in our field trip so, at the end of the trip, my daughter can reflect on what we’ve seen and learned.
Another tip I would suggest is following local moms on social media that are also homeschooling. I have been so inspired by all the other ideas and things they do during the day with their kiddos. From science projects to fun seasonal crafts and activities, it’s a great way to connect and learn at the same time!
Amidst the craziness, make sure you have time to breathe. Think about how you just added “school teacher” to your plate that is already filled with so many responsibilities. I’m still trying to learn to wake up before the kids so I can drink my coffee without having to reheat it about a million times, or simply take a shower in the morning instead of waiting until midnight. When I do get up before the kids, it helps me get my mind focused and ready to tackle the day. Maybe add in a little yoga too! Most importantly, don’t forget about you, you have needs too! I personally am a better mom when I have get to have time for myself.
Remember Mama, you got this! This won’t last forever! In the meantime, it sounds easier said than done, but try and savor these moments, they won’t last forever. There are so many resources to help you. Take full advantage of our city and explore it with your kids. Homeschooling is trial and error, so try and give yourself all the grace you can. You can do this!