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Are you new to homeschooling? In this post you’ll find valuable advice from over 20 seasoned homeschooling moms! Whether your situation has just pushed you into the world of home education or you’ve dreamed of homeschooling your children from the beginning, you’ll love hearing what these moms have to say.
There are so many things to take into consideration when you’re just starting homeschooling: the legal requirements, the popular methods, curriculum choices, conferences, homeschool support groups and co-ops, making sure your child’s social needs will be met, your homeschool setup, schedule and organization… phew!
I know you want to find homeschooling success, but with so much to research and adjust to initially, you may feel like you could use a little guidance.
With this in mind, I recently asked over 20 seasoned homeschooling moms to share their number-one piece of advice to new homeschooling moms, and they were very generous to take the time to do so.
Some of these moms have begun homeschooling within the past few years, others have over 20 years behind them! All have valuable advice to pass along.
So grab a cup of coffee and consider this post your mom-to-mom coffee date where you can glean from their experience, perspective, and wisdom as you are beginning your own home education journey.
I hope you will find some encouragement and assurance as you read through.
Best Advice from Seasoned Homeschooling Moms
Don’t get too attached to any one curriculum or any one style. As you’re traveling down this homeschooling adventure, your methods will change and develop and grow just like your children will, and just like you will. Let go of expectations, relax, and learn to go with the flow. I promise whatever you decide on this year will be nothing but a memory a year or two from now.Charlene Hess, 10-year homeschooling mom of 7 children, ages 1-10
Make a plan. You don’t have to stick to it totally, but failing to plan is planning to fail. Have an idea of what you want to do each day, what you want to accomplish in the school year, and how you’re going to fit in the fun stuff, too. Some folks write down their plans ahead of time; others write down what they did at the end of each day. This planning and recording becomes more important in the high school years.Yvie Field, 8-year homeschooling mom of two children, ages 16 and 13
My best piece of advice is consistency. Just be consistent with doing some type of learning every single day. You will have fun easy days and you will have really hard days where you question your teaching ability and if your children are learning anything. Homeschooling is about being steady and not giving up. Your children are learning and you are capable of teaching them!Amanda, 12-year homeschooling mom of 4 children, ages 10-16
My best piece of advice is to make learning fun. That will look different for every child. Your goal should be to raise kids who love to learn, and when they graduate they will continue to seek out learning experiences. As a parent, you are the facilitator of learning, not a teacher.Patty, 26-year homeschooling mom of 5 children, ages 15-32
I would give the same advice that I received when I started: Don’t sweat the little stuff. Relax!! If you don’t make it all the way through your planned curriculum for the year (which you probably won’t and neither do the public schools) it’s ok. Also, (and this is my own advice) give yourself the freedom to homeschool in a way that works for you and your family. It may be different than other homeschool families and maybe it should be. Some like a lot of structure, others don’t and some fall somewhere in the middle. Don’t compare yourself to others. It’s great to share ideas and support each other but in the end you get to make the decisions on how you educate your kids. It’s a process to find what works best, and what works best for each child. If something isn’t working, it’s ok to change it…even in the middle of a school year. Relax!!!Angie W, 19-year homeschooling mom of 4 girls, now adults
You are going to learn so much about yourself and your children and you are much stronger than you think. Take everyone’s advice with a grain of salt, including mine. How you homeschool at the beginning will change and it will evolve over time. Remember that you can break the rules. You don’t have to love homeschooling every single day to be successful. Take care of yourself and enjoy the journey as much as you can.Tina von Hatten, 19-year homeschooling mom of 8 children, ages 6 months-19
My best advice is to not stress! Don’t stress over the curriculum that you pick. Kids will learn regardless if you focus on having fun and following their interests. Don’t stress about the perfect schedule because there isn’t one. Don’t stress about starting at the right time or taking a day off when you’re overwhelmed. Everything falls into place, and if your child is crying because he cannot get something, let it go for the day. No learning happens when they’re crying!Bethany Hayes, 5-year homeschooling mom of 4 children, ages 2-10
Search for older moms whose kids are amazing and learn from them! If you see fruit in their children, they are doing something right. Spend time with them and ask them tons of questions. When I was a young mom, there were a few older moms whose teens really impressed me. I spent time around their families whenever I could and asked lots of questions about homeschooling and parenting. You can glean much wisdom from moms who have gone before you!Tracy Blanton, 13-year homeschooling mom of 4 children, ages 8-17
One homeschool method/style does not fit all. I had one child who was a textbook learner, she learned best by reading textbooks and using worksheets. She is a homeschool graduate now. Now I have one child that is very hands on and one that is a digital learner. Don’t be afraid to mix it up in your homeschool!Jenny Morris, 15-year homeschooling mom of 4 children, ages 9-28
Care less about what other people think, and more about giving your kids a stellar education. Your kids are yours, not someone else’s. You know your children best. Have confidence in your decisions, despite what the Internet moms and homeschool group moms say you should be doing. Give yourself the freedom to change curriculum if it’s not working. You are in charge. Persevere. Don’t give up. “Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.” -Frederick BuechnerGina Munsey, second-generation 6-year homeschooling mom of two children, ages infant and 9
My number one piece of advice is to choose 1-3 goals for each child for the year. This really helps keep perspective on those hard days (or weeks??) when school is hard. When you feel like your child isn’t learning anything, you can look at the big picture and see that they really are making progress.Surya Chronister, 5-year homeschooling mom of three children, ages 3-7
Present information in whatever way your child best learns. Some kids are visual and do well with reading lots of books and watching videos. Some are more auditory and do better listening to audiobooks, podcasts, lectures, etc. Some are kinesthetic and do need more hands-on learning. No one way is better than the other! We’re all unique and God put us here for different reasons. Our job as homeschooling parents is to help our children to unlock how he or she learns best and to learn everything they can about what they are passionate about.Michelle Caskey, 17-year homeschooling mom of two children, ages 18 and 19
It’s really hard for me to pick one piece of advice! 😊. I would recommend attending a homeschool convention if possible to browse resources and get encouragement from others. When I was making the decision to homeschool, I attended Teach Them Diligently which made a huge impact on me!Sara Radginski, 3-year homeschooling mom of 4 children, ages 1-8
I homeschool to protect my children from the world’s standards and I know many of you homeschool for this very reason. So I’m going to just own it. I do shelter my children and try to protect them from the world’s standards. Don’t give in. Don’t allow others to have any say or control over your parenting decisions. Children are little for such a short while. No, we can’t shelter them their entire lives. We know they will one day grow up and be exposed to the onslaught of the world’s standards. But that attack will come after we have given them a firm foundation. So teach them diligently, moms and dads. Give them the emotional and spiritual tools and a strong foundation in your faith that they will need to go out into this vast chaotic and lost world.Trish Corlew, 11-year homeschooling mom of 3 boys, ages 16-adult
All you really need is flexibility. Get your curriculum and some basic supplies (we really only use pencils, white boards and markers, and crayons and blocks for the little ones, plus special “tools” as needed for math). Your journey and style of schooling will continually adapt as you get used to homeschooling and as your children grow and their needs change. Be prepared and open to adjusting your schedule, curriculum, and expectations as needed. How we homeschool right now looks nothing like it did a year ago, or two years ago or 5 years ago.Melissa Roy, 6-year homeschooling mom of 4 children, ages 4-11
Don’t sweat the small stuff, especially in the early days. Give yourself and your kids loads of grace. The first year is one big trial and probably full of many errors. It does get easier with [each] year that follows. Most importantly, enjoy your time, because it all comes to an end really very quickly.Kylie Rayner, 12-year homeschooling mom of 3 children, ages 11-18
My advice is to not give up when it’s hard. There will be hard days, hard weeks, and even hard years. It’s worth it in the end!! Don’t quit (and you are going to want to quit at some point). If there are things that you can let go of right now to make it easier, do that.Jenn, 18-year homeschooling mom of 6 children, ages 4-24
Don’t choose curriculum until you know your methodology. Curriculum is written to align with a particular methodology, and by selecting a particular method that aligns with your values and philosophy you immediately disqualify TONS of curriculum because you know it *doesn’t* match with your framework. Not only that, but by identifying a method that resonates with you you’ll also make a number of decisions much easier down the road.Alison Morrow, 10-year homeschooling mom of two children, ages 11 and 14
Remember more is “caught” than taught. This can be sobering, but it means that when you reach the end of your rope and don’t know what to do, you can sit your children down with you and pray together for guidance. They will learn that when they need help, they can pray, too. When you blow it with your kids, ask their forgiveness, they’ll eventually learn to do the same when they do wrong. If you aren’t the type who easily gets up in the morning before your kids do, remember it’s a good thing for them to see you reading your Bible & praying each day, and to see you do your workouts or have them exercise with you. Everything will take longer when you do things together, but it’s SO worthwhile!Eileen Hubler, 24-year homeschooling mom of 6 children, ages 12-24
If you are new to homeschooling, one last piece of advice I would add is to immerse your family in community with other like-minded homeschooling families. Don’t go at it alone!
What is your biggest takeaway after reading the advice offered? What are your tips for homeschooling success? I would love to know!
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well done! good list of advice! 🙂
Thank you, Annette!