Homeschooling can be a journey that benefits your family and your relationship with your kids too! As a new homeschooler you probably have a billion questions and it all seems overwhelming! Not to worry, we all have been there and we all have felt overwhelmed when we first started.
Actually, all homeschooling parents might still feel a bit overwhelmed at the start of every homeschool year when trying to research and choose a new curriculum! It seems as if it is the nature of homeschooling moms to feel a bit nervous and a bit overwhelmed as we try and research every possible curriculum out there LOL 😉
So don’t worry! Feeling overwhelmed is normal! There are so many resources that will help you with the process of setting up your homeschool – just see ‘Everything You Need To Start Homeschooling’ over at Fun With A Message.
Tips for Flexible Homeschooling that Keeps You From Burnout
One of the major areas of frustration for homeschooling families is burnout. Homeschooling parents, especially moms, have a lot to do just in terms of taking care of our homes and families. We have our regular mom duties like home maintenance, cleaning, preparing meals, shopping, taking care of the kids, laundry and a million other things.
All of these things, plus trying to keep our spending within the family budget can be overwhelming in itself! – If you need help in these areas, I can help! With the right tools, it can be easy to get organized if your planner reminds you of weekly and monthly tasks -see more about that here.
Adding Homeschool to Your Busy Schedule
Adding homeschooling to your already overflowing responsibilities as a mom can be overwhelming. As I always say, homeschooling hasn’t been easy but it is the most wonderful thing I have ever done for my kids! Why? While it hasn’t been easy, it has really helped our family relationship and our kids have flourished.
Flexible Homeschooling Mindset
How do you homeschool and keep your home afloat? The best way I found is to keep a flexible homeschooling mindset. If your homeschool plan is flexible it keeps you from burnout and it allows you to change curriculum if/when you need to.
When you step into that homeschooling with a mind that understands flexibility, things will run smoother when you face bumps in the road. They’ll be there! But flexibility of schedule allows for room to grow and try new things!
The main perspective of the flexible homeschool mindset is knowing that it’s okay to make changes throughout the school year if things are not working. For example, if there are tears, or refusal to do certain subjects, there definitely needs to be a change. And change is ok.
Flexible Homeschool Curriculum
One huge area we need to be flexible on is regarding curriculum. If it’s not working, change it! This step is very hard for us moms if we feel we have failed when the curriculum we spent our hard earned money on is not working. However, if our kids learn better with a different curriculum, the change will be worth it!
We had to put our boxed curriculum away all together because my kids are visual and auditory learners and reading textbooks was just not cutting it. It was hard for me to let go. But I realized, I had to make a change for their sake.
In fact, since I couldn’t find a fun, visual, interactive curriculum that fitted us, we developed interactive unit studies . Since then, the rhythm of our homeschool has changed drastically and my kids have fun learning.
I also recommend downloading samples of any curriculum before you buy it so that you can see if it works for your family.
Flexible Homeschool Schedules
If your homeschool plan is flexible, you will be able to take days off when needed without the year’s homeschool plan going haywire. These days off can be pre-planned or they can be spontaneous. Plus we also have to allow for sick days. As we all know, kids will get sick 🙁 and there will be no schooling done on those days.
However, most of us (and especially as homeschooling moms) forget or don’t even realize that we can take a mental health day. We actually NEED those mental health days throughout the year to do better at homeschooling. Everyone does!
Even large corporate companies schedule these days in as part of employee benefits because it is so important. So remember to allow yourself to take a needed break – just as you would at work. Take a mental health day.
The beauty of a flexible homeschool schedule is that you can take those days off when needed – just make sure that you allot time in your yearly plan for those days plus the unexpected days. I add at least three weeks to every year so that we have a cushion if anything does come up – it works best if you use a flexible planning system so you can switch plans anytime.
The main thing to remember is that homeschool is not the same as public school. It doesn’t have to look the same nor follow the same schedule. For instance, you don’t have to start homeschooling at 8 a.m. unless it works out best for your family. Some homeschool families start at 6 a.m. some of us start at 11 a.m. – the beauty of homeschooling is that is tailored to what works for your family!
Flexible Homeschool Teaching
Trying new curriculum is not necessarily the only option you can make to improve your homeschool when things are not going as planned. It’s not the old way or the highway. Learning does not always happen by using textbooks.Some children learn best by exploration, some by projects, some by videos, and some by listening to audiobooks. This is an excellent avenue for kids to learn independently while you are tending to a baby or while working from home. Changing my mindset to allow games and videos as a valid part of school was a hard one for me. I was brought up to believe you can only learn by reading from textbooks. The truth is today there are amazing videos and apps that kids love and they learn much better than from a textbook.
What ways do you provide a flexible homeschooling atmosphere?
This post was written by….
Sofia Trillo is a homeschooling mom, writer, illustrator, and curriculum creator, who in her free time loves to read about history and draw until the early morning hours. You can find her at Fun With A Message.
This article is a part of our How We Homeschool Series; a collection of content from full-time, veteran homeschoolers sharing their own experiences on the versatility and diversity of homeschooling. You can read more about the series, and see all of the content, by clicking the image below.