1.Don’t try to do it all. What I mean is when starting out you really should limit the number of activities and subjects that you try to cover. Where we live we have a certain number of subjects that are required. It does not mean that we have to do all subjects at once and everyday. We cover the basic 4 everyday and the others once a week or switch it up every couple of months. This year we started with a few and added one or two a week until we have all the subjects we intend to cover during that part of the year.
2. Be confident in your choices for curriculum. Not every curriculum works for everyone. Only parts work for some while online works for others. Only you know what works best for your kids and your family. Other people can make suggestions but only you can make the finally decision. You are doing the best you can and that’s all you can do.
3. Have Fun! Seriously. If you are not having fun homeschooling your children than maybe you should change something. I remember being so miserable at some point because all we did was book work. Once I focused more on having some fun and everyone being happy we all began to enjoy school much more.
4. It does get better. What seems hard now can get better. With prayer and good advice you can find some good solutions to problems you might be having. We have struggled a lot with discipline for example. Where do you draw the line between Mom and Teacher as far as disciplining them properly? What I figured out was I had to set rules for them to follow during school and only have one type of punishment. If they break the rules the younger ones will sit in time out for at least 5 mins and the older ones must write the broken rule at least 20 times.
5. Don’t buy it all. As excited as you may be buying everything homeschool related is not nessicery. You will probably come across a lot of really great things that you could use. Just remember you really should only buy the things you know you will use. If you aren’t sure how you will put it to use than you don’t really need it.
6. You don’t have to follow the lesson plan exactly. Lesson plans are merely suggestions of what you can do. Sometimes the work load suggested can be too much or not enough. It may suggest you use certain books. You do not need it all or to do it all. I tried to have my girls do all that was suggested and it was just too much or wasn’t what I wanted to accomplish during school. If you do use the curriculum lesson plan do it at your child’s pace. I create my own lesson plan as we go. It’s just less stressful for me that way.
7. Get organized now. Create a Mom binder to keep track of all the important stuff like attendance, field trips, and supply list. Start a portfolio for each kid so that even if/when you decide to put them in public school or you need to provide it for the State Board of Education. If you don’t need it for that it’s always fun to look back and see how much your children how learned and grown.
8, Make time for yourself. Yep, it’s important. It’s hard for us moms to think of much other than our family but for once think of yourself. Go to lunch with a friend, take a walk, or read a book. As long as you take a break from the busy life of a homeschool mom from time to time you can reenergize yourself to be ready for the next day, week, or month.