Overwhelmed by the decision to homeschool? 7 things to help

So you’re thinking about homeschooling, but the fact is- you’re overwhelmed by the decision to homeschool. I mean HOW DO YOU HOMESCHOOL? At the risk of oversimplifying the answer and losing you, the spoiler is, you just do it! I do, however, break it down and provide 7 of the best tips to help guide you in more detail.

Perhaps you are in the early stages of homeschooling, and you can help but think “this isn’t what I imagined!” Indeed, homeschooling isn’t a magic wand, and it adds much to a mother’s already full to-do list.

I designed these 7 tips to answer the BIG SCARY QUESTIONS and assuage your fears regarding homeschooling wherever you are on your journey.

#7 – You don’t have to do it all

Yes, you are in charge. That is both a blessing and a curse in the homeschool world. What I see time and time again is a mom trying to be all and do all. You go Wonder Woman, but it’s 100% okay to delegate responsibilities, use other mentors/teachers for your children, and take time for yourself to recharge. By releasing responsibilities, you can reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed by the decision to homeschool.

Delegating tasks

Running a school is quite a task. By delegating things to others, you can focus on your true strengths. Kids completing chores is one easy way to delegate responsibility. I understand they don’t do it the way you do it. That’s awesome actually. Who wants a bunch of clones running around? The solution is to rotate chores, not assign static chores. This way everyone gets a turn, older and younger children. When it’s your turn for the chore, you know it’s being done to your liking.

Outsource some subjects

The idea of a one-room schoolhouse is comforting. The Little House on the Prairie series inspired my love for education. The adventures that led Laura Ingalls to become a teacher remain close to my heart. We have however evolved from the one room, one teacher. Teach the subjects you are comfortable and confident teaching and find other mentors to handle the rest. This may be an online math series or music lessons over Zoom. You can even trade with another homeschool mom whose strengths differ from yours. Exposing your children to well-selected mentors is beneficial to all involved.

Take time for yourself

It is also very important to take time for yourself and recharge. Sometimes I did this daily during QUIET TIME, and other times it was my “day off”. I took one day a month off from all things home and school-related. I also gave my husband a day off as well. No mile-long honey-do list for him that day. If you can arrange a day off together from time to time, that’s GREAT. If not, do not let that stop you, recognize the season that homeschooling is. You spend about 95 % of the time your will EVER spend with your kids before they turn 18. Once adulting begins, parents get, on average 5% of their kids time and attention.

 #6 – Stop worrying

I know it’s easier said than done. If you worry and complain out loud, your worry and complaint become contagious. You may not even realize you have placed worries onto the shoulders of others. Even if you are careful not to worry and complain out loud, trust me, your kids can sniff it out like a bloodhound. 

Worrying is an energy leak. A good method for releasing worry is to write things down. Write what you’re worried about and then simply release the worries. You can throw the paper in the trash, burn it in the fireplace, whatever ritual you’d like to perform to release your worries.

Here are some affirmations you can use to relieve your worries: 

My kids ARE being socialized.

My kids are academically right where they should be.

If they want to my kids will go to college.

You can write your own affirmation for any worries you have. First, write the worry: 

  • I’m worried because my son does not focus due to his ADHD.

Now take that worry and turn it into a WONDER:

  • ADHA does not hold my son back from learning at his own pace. 

#5 – Are you Comparing?

Comparison is the thief of joy. The *other* homeschool family that is doing things differently isn’t doing them better (or worse). They are simply doing it differently. The reason they are doing it differently is that they are in a different family. 

Having different ways of educating children is a BLESSING. I was a classroom teacher for 19 years. I did things differently EVERY YEAR. The personalities of my students lead my instruction. I had to do what they needed. I could not and did not follow a recipe for learning the way we follow a recipe for baking a cake. 

You will not find the magic method for homeschooling on Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, or at park day. You are the magic – just homeschool your kids.  When you compare your homeschool to others, you fuel the feeling of being overwhelmed by the decision to homeschool.

#4 – Take a day off from school with the kids

The trick here is this is a “Yes day” of sorts with your kids. This isn’t a put-on-a-movie so I can get stuff done day. You have a BIG reason for choosing to homeschool. That reason is your kids. When you feel overwhelmed by the decision to homeschool, connecting with your kids is the perfect reminder of your “why”.

Do a homeschool reset. Play games, bake cookies, & go to the park for hours. Remind yourself and the kids what a JOY it is to be together. You are modeling life for your kids. It’s okay for life to be fun. 

When you take the time to reset your homeschool, you benefit from a fresh, new start. Take a look at your activities (Curriculum), schedules, and routines. If something needs adjusting, fix it. 

I have more ideas for resetting your homeschool with the 4 seasons in THIS POST

#3 – Recognize when you are in a season of life

Seasons come and go naturally. Are your thoughts surrounding the upcoming addition of a sibling filling your mind? Perhaps you just finished moving and are not yet settled into your living quarters. An illness or a death in the family are other seasons we go through. Do the best you can.

When you identify you are in a season that will eventually pass, it’s okay to adjust. Pick three tasks each day to get done, and let the rest come as it may. Seasons come – and seasons go. Don’t let a season add to the feeling of being overwhelmed by the decision to homeschool. You can make any necessary changes as the season takes its leave. 

#2 – Foster independence vs dependence

Parents don’t have to do the work for the kids. It’s the kids’ education, not ours. We just need to be there for them. – Oliver DeMille

You can teach independence at most ages. I recognize it varies between your younger children and your older children, but unless you want the kids living with you forever, fostering independence is an academic goal. 

Completing tasks, including schoolwork doesn’t instinctively arrive at a magic age, or with a magic lesson. Some things I have used to encourage independence are:

Use a checklist. Create a list of tasks that kids can check off. If a task needs some guidance, include it. For example: Complete page 89 in your math book. If you need a refresher on how to divide, use this video (put the website name or include a link). If my children have to clean the bathroom, rather than just list “Clean the bathroom”, I provided a more detailed list.

Clean the Bathroom:

  • Squirt cleaner in the toilet first so it can sit a bit as you clean other areas.
  • Use paper towels to wipe the mirror
  • Rince all the toothpaste out of the sink.
  • Clear everything off the countertops, then wash.
  • Use the toilet brush to clean the inside of the toilet. Don’t forget to use a rag to clean the outside.

As kids get older, teach them 3 ways they can find an answer before asking you. 

Use free time learning daily or weekly

For more tips on fostering independence check out THIS POST

#1 – Make a different choice

This is the most important factor when you feel overwhelmed by your decision to homeschool.

Mindset is made up of your thoughts and opinions. All the thoughts you have rattling around in your head about ALL THE THINGS. The judgments we make (it’s ok, we all do it) also determine our mindset. Your mindset determines your responses and interpretations of situations. 

All of this is completely natural. Recognize that your thoughts about being overwhelmed have you feeling overwhelmed. Once you identify the thoughts and feelings, you can choose new ones. 

For example: 

Homeschooling is overwhelming because there is so much to do. 

Reframe that into a new thought: We get the perfect amount of learning done each school day. 

The more you practice recognizing that your thought and feelings create an outcome, the better you’ll get at creating intentional outcomes! 

If you’d like help with your homeschool mindset, be sure to check out our current coaching program. I help homeschool moms just like you build successful schools by shifting their mindset. It’s your school your way. We can work on all the things that have you feeling overwhelmed by the decision to homeschool.

Thanks for stopping by Happy Hive Homeschooling because you were feeling overwhelmed

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I can’t wait to share my homeschool expertise and mindset-shifting superpowers with you each edition of THE BUZZ. We’ll also chat about the methods I used to organize, schedule, and lesson plan in my homeschool with the hopes it will help you have a happy hive too. In the meantime, “Bee” sure to check out the different methods of homeschooling as well as our 3 easy strategies for burnout.

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