“Sanity is key in home education. The more you subdivide your energies between children, the more difficult it is to homeschool. The whole project quickly goes from inspiring to overwhelming.”  

~ Julie Bogart  

One of my favorite homeschool encouragers is Julie Bogart of Bravewriter.  I am currently reading her language arts curriculum called Faltering Ownership, and the quote above jumped out at me. 

It hit me hard as I am seeing new homeschool moms post on Facebook how overwhelmed they are.   

“The whole project quickly goes from inspiring to overwhelming.”   

You have so many good ideas in the planning stages, but once you start to actually teach, it all falls apart.  Is this you???  Sometimes it IS me!  But with coffee.

 I know how hard it is to homeschool, and I understand the extra strain of homeschooling multiple children.  After schooling from pre-kinder to twelfth grade, here are some hints I’d like to share with all new homeschooling moms to help lower the overwhelming feelings.

#1.  KISS – Have you heard this acronym from the US Navy?? Keep It Simple, Stupid.  Keep your schooling simple.  Keep EVERYTHING simple – planning, meals, extra curricular activities.  KISS!! At least until you feel confident with what you’re doing and able to add in more (but only if you want!!).

#2.  Homeschooling will not take as many hours as traditional schooling. Traditional schooling takes so much longer because the teacher has exponentially more students than you do. And each of those students has different educational needs. Your homeschool math class may only take 15 minutes because you are only teaching it to your one student in one grade. Give yourself (and your kids!) the grace to understand this and not require an hour of math just because that’s what the school around the corner does.

#3.  Don’t run yourself ragged. Like I said before, keep everything simple. Each child does not need to be in separate after school activities. Maybe right now, as you are all adjusting, your family has NO extra curricular activities. Do whatever is comfortable for you right now.

#4.  You don’t have to do everything every day. Sometimes you may do science one week and social studies the next. Some days may lend themselves to more reading, while others seem to be more for writing. Some people don’t even school every weekday. Up until this year, we schooled only four days a week. Fridays were our fun days. We would plan fun activities with others or clean up the house before the weekend or just stay in jammies watching fun documentaries.   

#5.  Boys do not like to write! They will complain every time you ask them to write. I finally gave my son a computer to use to “write”, and he can write beautifully. Our future will be so digital, and computers will always be with our children. Don’t fight the pencil battle. The computer will spell check and make sure the handwriting IS legible since it’s typed. 

#6.  Free trials –  there are so many cool activities and curriculums to choose from! And a lot of them offer a free trial time – take advantage of them before you buy. I have bought too much curriculum over the years and wasted a lot of money because many weren’t a good fit. I wish someone told me to take advantage of the free trials, and I would have said no to many of the items after we tried them out.

#7.  Combine as many classes as you can with as many of your children as possible.  This will help you feel less overwhelmed. This is one reason that we start our mornings together by doing Bible, history, and read-aloud time. This allows us more family time and learning together.  

#8.  Learn to read your children and how they are doing. You can edit the day and make changes. If they wake up on the wrong side of the bed and your usual tricks don’t work, go on a nature walk outside. If the weather is in as bad a mood as they are, turn on a National Geographic nature documentary.

Can you see a trend here? You don’t have to do everything!! Keep It Simple!!!

Did you read another of my posts titled Top Hints For Homeschooling?  You are the thermostat of your school.  If mama is stressed out, her children will be stressed out.  

The most important thing you can do is make this time calm and peaceful.  Do school in your jammies, cuddled under a blanket, in front of the fire. Keep it simple, and enjoy your time with your kids.