It’s 5:00. There is marker on the wall, kids screaming in the living room, and dinner is not ready. After screaming into a pillow, you get up to tackle this disaster. You’re considering homeschooling but you just don’t have the patience of those moms. Because anyone who chooses to be with their kids 24/7 all school year just must have the patience of a saint.
How to Have the Patience of a Saint (And other things you absolutely must do to homeschool successfully).
So we all know that homeschool moms are perfect, so here’s a short guide on how to be perfect.
- Have the patience of a saint.
Reality: Kids are tough. Your own kids will likely give you the hardest time out of any kids. You will not always be patient. You just won’t. Sometimes you’ll lose it. And that does not make you a bad parent or an imperfect parent. It makes you a human parent. You do not need inhuman patience to homeschool.
2. Have a strict schedule and routine
Reality: The beauty of homeschooling is that you don’t need a strict schedule. You can have one if that’s what you want. A general expectation is always a good idea. People in general, but especially kids, like to know what is going on. This does not need to be a strict schedule of “Math at 8:00, reading from 9:15-9:35” etc. Again though, if that’s what you want, it’s not bad either.
3. Have a plan to socialize your kids
Reality: Sigh, what a topic socialization is. Here’s the thing though, you probably don’t have to worry about it. We’ve all heard the stories of that “crazy” homeschool kid who was sheltered and couldn’t function. That kid is not the norm. Do your kids play with kids in the neighbor? Play sports? Play at the park? They are fine.
People think that kids are socializing at public school for 8 hours a day, but that’s not so. There are many times during the day they aren’t even allowed to talk. Do not make the mistake in thinking your kid needs to “socialize” for hours every single day.
4. Be super duper smart
Reality: Education is great. I definitely recommend people get as much education they want. There are even free college programs now! But you do not need to have a PhD to teach your kids. Not even a bachelors. For anyone not feeling confident in their abilities, there are many different curriculas that tell you exactly what to say. Anyone who is dedicated to teaching their children can absolutely do it.
5. Be absolutely amazing at math.
Reality: Seriously, look back at the last one. The curriculum will tell you exactly what to say. Something particularly confusing? Look it up on Khan Academy. That have videos for every topic that explain it all very very well. This goes for other subjects too. You can do this! I promise you!
6. Be rich.
Reality: Some great homeschool curricula costs a pretty penny, but there are great free options as well. (Here I outline Learning to Read and Math options for free or nearly free). There are multiple options that are secular and multiple religious options that are completely free! And they’re great programs. If you feel confident, you could build your own curriculum out of materials online completely free. Pinterest is a great source.
7. Have a Pinterest-worthy homeschool room
Reality: Nope, no, not even a little bit. I’ve seen those beautiful rooms and I’m sure they’re great. But you don’t need a homeschool room. We school all over the house. Kitchen table, living room, bedrooms, the park, my parents house…whatever suits us! We’re fairly consistent but we move if need be. You do not need an entire room dedicated to homeschooling. Bookshelves though…quite possibly. (Yes, that was meant to be plural!)
Don’t make homeschooling harder than it has to be. Take it one step at a time, one day at a time. There is a whole community of people out here waiting to help you.
Now, can we actually talk about patience for a moment? Patience is not some magically ability bestowed upon the most lucky. Patience is a choice and an action. And I guarantee you, the people who appear most patient at trying times, are boiling with anger underneath. Patience is a facade. And I don’t mean that in a negative way. Sometimes it’s okay to pretend. Blowing up and yelling or screaming is not constructive.
do not develop patience over night. Patience comes with practice, as most useful tools do. Here are my 3 quick tips for developing patience.
- Pause. When your 5 year old has dumped out a box of tampons and is using them to build a house…just pause. (Yep, totally happened to me. I laughed because hey, a 5 year old with tampons is kind of funny). But for those times when you’re angry, just pause. Before reacting, think for a moment. Count to 10. Count to 5000. Whatever it takes. Believe me, you do not have to react in the first 2 minutes to make an impression.
- Think about how you want to be treated. Do you learn best when someone is yelling at you? Would you want your spouse to get in your face when you’ve made a mistake?
- Remember that they are kids and you are modeling correct behavior. How do you want them to react to tough situations?
There is a lot of advice going around for new homeschoolers. Don’t miss any of it!
My Best Advice for New Homeschoolers from iHomeschool Network