If you were to have an ideal homeschool day, what would it look like? Would it stress you out or get you excited? How about your children?
Whether you are new to homeschooling or are burned out by it, these ideas may help you feel more at ease as you make sense of what your homeschool days should look like. They don’t need to be overwhelming or stressful.
9 Secrets to Create Your Ideal Homeschool Day
1. You or your child do not need to know everything
It is very normal to learn things right alongside your child. Even we can’t know all there is to know or remember everything we’ve ever been taught or have ever read. It’s okay! Choose some topics and angles that interest them. Although not all subjects are always fun to learn, it’s good to have some topics that interest your child to make learning that much more enjoyable. But even if you don’t know all there is to know on a subject, you are able to learn right alongside your child! Learning never stops and that by itself is a great lesson to pass on to your children.
2. Your child’s heart is more valuable than academics
It’s very easy to become frustrated with your child when they can’t seem to grasp a concept or don’t want to focus on their work (or are struggling to focus). Your goal isn’t necessarily to make it through every subject, every day. Your goal is to lead your child and care for their heart in the process.
3. You can trust God with your child’s education
As we strive to cultivate a culture of learning and provide the tools our children need to learn and explore, God is faithful to grow those seeds with time. Continue to plant, prune, water, and weed out the things that don’t belong and He will bring the fruit. Don’t make the mistake of thinking no work is required to bring the harvest. But God is faithful to bring it when we do our part to nurture it. Stay the course.
4. Accept what He sends you each day
Sometimes, oftentimes, what the day brings isn’t what we had in our plans. Our plans are a guide and we must be flexible or we will only set ourselves and children up for disappointment and frustration. Lean into what you can’t control. Make the most of unexpected circumstances. Let go of a subject for the day if it is sending your child into an anxiety attack. Academics are not as important as the mental wellbeing of your child. Help them learn ways to cope when it feels too big and like too much. Sometimes they will even circle back to a subject they just needed a break from.
5. Aim for a habit of focused attention
Focused attention is vital for our children. But it absolutely doesn’t need to be the entirety of your homeschool hours. It also doesn’t always need to be book-work attention. It can be a nature walk, a science experiment, a read aloud, writing a letter, etc. But it is important our children have our undivided attention, especially for subjects they wrestle with (like math).
6. Homeschooling success is linked with your faithfulness
Just as it’s necessary for your child to show up each day to learn, it’s important you faithfully show up mentally, emotionally, and lovingly to guide your child. Faithfulness to your duty as a homeschool mom will help your days go much smoother. But if you resist your responsibility to be available for your children, it will only create unnecessary stress in your days. Set specific time aside and communicate with your children what that time frame is so they know they can come to you for help.
7. Use the curriculum as a tool and not your master
Curricula is an excellent guide, but it is not your boss. You are free to go as fast or as slow as your child needs to. You are free to throw out or add what works best for your child. If your child is an auditory learner, you are not required to use just a textbook–or any textbook. You can purchase an audio version, if available, or even add or substitute with video options. If you are bound by school curricula due to virtual learning, you can still utilize your local library to help you find resources more helpful for your child.
8. Focus on doing less with excellence
It is easy to get caught up in wanting to do all the wonderful ideas that are out there. There are SO many. But the reality is, you can only squeeze so much into one day. If you’re only allowing your children a small taste of everything, they won’t be able to enjoy a heaping helping of something they love. Choose a few of the best ideas and dive deep. Allow your children to really chew on what they are taking in. For example, if you are interested in keeping a history timeline throughout the year or over several years, put much effort into keeping that timeline up to date and studying its events. There are even various ways to achieve this. Choose one and stick with it. It’s also good for your children because they know what to expect and what is expected of them.
9. The Ideal Homeschool Day Always Starts with Jesus
Make it your first priority and habit to begin your homeschool day with Jesus, alongside your children. Use a devotional as a guide and open up the table for discussion and close your time by inviting Jesus into your day, your decisions, and your doings. Get into the habit of making Jesus a normal part of everyday life–don’t make Him ordinary, make Him glorious. Keep the wonder of God alive in the hearts of you and your children.
Create an ideal homeschool day that focuses on doing a few things really well. Stay flexible so you don’t feel chained to your schedule and instead lean into what you can’t control, making the most of it.
For His Glory,
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