by Kristi Clover
If you have ever homeschooled your children, or even considered homeschooling them, then you know that a little advice from veteran homeschool moms is always welcomed.
For the past six years, I have had the privilege of not only speaking at homeschool conventions around the US, but speaking at CHEA of California’s Homeschool Convention. This is the convention that I went to when I was first considering homeschooling. It’s always a bit bizarre being on the other side of things, since I so clearly remember sitting where they sat and listening to my first homeschool convention workshops. I guess that’s a good thing, since I remember how it felt and all the questions that were rattling around in my mind.
I love that things have come full circle and now I get to be one of the veteran moms encouraging parents and getting them excited and equipped to get started.
I often refer to that early decision to homeschool as being a bit like the “big step of faith” that Indiana Jones in the Last Crusade movie has to take to save his father. It looks like he’ll step off the cliff and fall to his doom, but when the camera pans out we can see that there is a clear path. I bet you never considered being like Indiana Jones when you decided to homeschool, but you are! You are off on one big adventure!
A few years back, in the middle of my convention sessions, I recorded a little video sharing my favorite five tips to give to homeschool families. May these tips bless you in your homeschooling endeavor.
MY “TOP 5” TIPS FOR EVERY HOMESCHOOL FAMILY
#1 Know WHY You Are Homeschooling—and Write It Down!
No matter how long you have been homeschooling, it’s important to remember why you are homeschooling. Several years ago, I had a girlfriend call me after her first day back to homeschool and ask me for a little pep talk. She wanted me to remind her why we were homeschooling our kids. I encouraged her to take some time to remember why she started and then write it all down.
Now, I can tell you all about the multiple reasons why we chose to homeschool in our family, but you need to know why YOU chose to homeschool! When those hard days come, and they will come (see my next tip), you need to remember why you are doing it.
#2 Know You Are Going to Have Hard Days!
I’m just being honest. Hard days are going to come in your homeschool. But you know what, everyone has hard days. I wrote a blog post all about how to survive hard days. It’s filled with practical “survival” tips. Just know, hard days will hit. Don’t be surprised! Be prepared!
#3 Slow Down!
If you have lots of hard days, it might be time to slow down! You may be trying to cram too much into your school day. Your kids may need to slow down the pace of a particular subject. There are many things that can contribute to difficult seasons in homeschooling. My best advice is to take a break and do something fun to create some good family bonds. Then, once your batteries are charged, start back—but go at a pace that best suits your own family.
#4 Give Yourself and Your Kids Grace!
You are not perfect. It’s okay. But the Lord is going to use you right where you are! Show your kids what grace looks like throughout your homeschool day. Share God’s grace with them when they get frustrated, cranky, or lazy. It’s good to share. But don’t forget to give yourself grace, too! You are usually our own worst critic.
#5 Get the Right Support
Creating a support system is a great way to find the encouragement you need to keep the excitement alive in your homeschool. However, it’s really important to know who the right people are. The people in your life who do not support your decision to homeschool are NOT the ones you want to turn to on hard days. Find local groups to support you. We need to stick together!
You can do this homeschool thing! Don’t forget to rely on the Lord! Think about Peter and how, as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus, he didn’t sink (Matthew 14:22-33). So, keep your eyes on Jesus!
Blessings and joy,
About Kristi Clover
Kristi Clover is a home organization and #momlife expert. She’s also the author of M.O.M.=Master Organizer of Mayhem and Homeschool Basics, the host of the Simply Joyful Podcast, and a popular conference speaker. Her passion is to encourage families to find simple ways to bring more joy into their home and life. She loves to share about her adventures in motherhood and home life through a variety of media that you can find at KristiClover.com.
Kristi lives in San Diego with her husband, Steve, and their five children.
Be sure to connect with Kristi online for an extra dose of encouragement. She’s @KristiClover on most social media networks. Find more homeschool encouragement at KristiClover.com/Homeschooling