When talking homeschooling with parents who don’t homeschool, how often have you heard comments like: “I could never teach my children because I don’t know math” or one of my favorites “All I know how to do is shop” or “I could never homeschool because my children don’t listen to me”? Throughout the years homeschooling I’ve heard these and countless other reasons why homeschooling is not for them. Homeschoolers aren’t immune to stress and things going awry. At times things seem to breakdown and you feel you’re at your wits end; children are not listening and getting their work done.
While these are natural and legitimate concerns, many of these issues can melt away when you let go of being the “teacher” and are content with being the mom. Homeschooling in my book is all about learning and relationships. There’s no need to recreate school at home meaning, don’t stand in front of your children teaching, handing out assignments lording over them. “School” methodologies just don’t work in the home. They create enormous relationship struggles, low self-confidence and stress. I’m not going to lead you down the path of throwing out all the books and resources or tell you to just wing it. When it comes to raising children and educating them, there must be a balance.
Here’s 5 Action Steps you can take right now to set your homeschool on the path where you can love more, live more and learn more by not being the teacher, handing out assignments or dealing with continuous broken rules.
- Have a Clear Mindset: Remember you are the mom and not the teacher. You took your children out of school for a reason. There’s a good chance they were negatively impacted in some manner by the unnatural process of learning in a school. Why in the world would you reproduce it in your home? You’re raising your children to instill a love for learning, that’s all it needs to be. Your children need you to be their mom because that’s who cares for them more than anyone in the world. Let go of trying to be teacher, entertainer, and the latest and greatest in education consumerism. Have a clear mindset and remember you’re their mom and that’s what they need the most.
- Create a Parent Partnership: Partnership is the practice of walking beside someone rather than ruling over them. This is how true leaders lead. Choose to be your children’s partner by walking beside them, fully engaged in their life, interests, education and overall development. If you’re not sure how to do this study some of history’s great leaders. Children model what they see. As you walk beside your children you’ll see relational stress melt away, you’ll know where they are in their education and development while building trust and love in your relationship. It’s all about approaching them as a partner, talking with them as the geniuses they are and parenting with honor and unconditional love.
- Do Your Diligence: We never stop learning and as parents we must continue our education not only in our interests but also in parenting and homeschooling. If you want to see your children excel then you must excel in your own education, understanding and abilities. Over the years I’ve found it not only important to work on my own personal and professional development but it’s been invaluable to also work on my parenting, relationships and homeschooling. Doing your diligence makes you not only a savvy parent and homeschooler but also reduces stress and creates a lifetime of deep meaningful relationships with your children.
- Create an Inspiring Learning Environment: Children are inspired to learn when they have a healthy and rich balance of educational resources and opportunities. We are greatly influenced by our environment so why limit it to a classroom? Learning is life and life is learning. Create an inspiring learning environment by filling their every day with people, the natural flow of everyday living, events in the home, community and world, quality books in your own home library or local public library, a time tested educational plan for academic success, love and encouragement, common sense and curiosity and time and space to explore and grow. When children are given an inspiring learning environment they can let their curiosity run wild, learn more and be free to reach their full potential.
- Provide an Academic Core with Interest-led Application: There’s really no need to hand your child a long list of subjects to cover every day. Simplify your day with three parts that include academic study time, exploration/project time and family time. Establish a core of excellence in reading, writing and math. From this core foundation bring in additional learning through practices and interest-led studies or projects. Your goal is to ensure they know how to learn no matter what their age or where they are in life. Through parent partnerships, critical thinking, independent study, community service, apprenticeships, field curriculum and work study over the whole academic career according to age and ability; your children will excel at anything they do and will be empowered to fulfill their natural born purpose in life.
Looking at the overall big picture of homeschooling it all can seem overwhelming. If you approach it in a step-by-step, day-by-day, moment-by-moment manner, it will all come together. You knew deep in your heart homeschooling is the way to achieve education success. They need your Mom-love and Dad’s-love, to grow with you in learning and understanding the world and life. I’ve packed a lot of nuggets in this article because I’m committed to you, helping parents and families homeschool with more confidence and love through An Inspired Education. Homeschoolers today have the great benefit of homeschool experts who can make the path easier and more on point. Honor yourself, your children and homeschool by getting the support to effectively create the homeschooling experience you truly desire. Now you can be proud to be the mom of your homeschool and free yourself from the stress of being the “teacher”.