5 Things Not to Say to a New Homeschool Mom

Posted August 29, 2018 by Thirty-Something Angie in Lifestyle / 0 Comments

If you have a friend that is a new homeschool mom, there are a few things you shouldn't say. Trust me. She's probably already thinking about them. #homeschool #homeschoolmom

We’re now into week 4 of our new homeschool journey! I have to say, it’s been amazing and has come way more naturally than I expected. When I look back now, it feels like we’ve always done this. It should, too, because if you think about it, we have. I taught my kids to crawl, walk, talk, sing, get dressed, clean their rooms, tie their shoes, and ride their bikes. Why shouldn’t I also teach them grammar, science, and math?

Don’t get me wrong. It hasn’t all been sunshine and roses. There are overwhelming days, just like with anything else. But, I can say that overall, we’re enjoying learning together.

As we settle into a routine and look back over the last few months, I realize that a lot of my anxiety was coming from outside voices. Those that choose not to homeschool, and don’t understand my decision. I get it.  That used to be me. But, let me give you a piece of advice.  If you have a friend that is a new homeschool mom, there are a few things you shouldn’t say. Trust me. She’s probably already thinking about them.

I don’t think I have the patience for that.

Ugh. I’m totally guilty of saying this one. A lot.

Can I tell you a secret, though? None of us have the patience for this. Literally as I’m typing this I just yelled at my kids to KNOCK. IT. OFF. You’d have to be a saint to always remain calm, cool, and collected. I know I’m not a saint, and I don’t think I know a single mother that never yells or gets frustrated. We’re human!

But, I’ve also noticed that my kids are much better behaved lately since they have a structure and something to keep them busy. It turns out, they fight, complain, and stare at their electronics because they’re bored. With homeschool, I keep them so busy for the first half of the day that they don’t have much time for arguing!

I’m sure there will still be overwhelmingly frustrating days. We’re only 3 weeks in, after all. But this has really been no different than summer break and weekends, except we have more structure. More routine. I don’t know about your kids, but that’s how mine thrive.

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How will they socialize? Don’t you worry they’ll end up weird?

Another one I’m so guilty of saying. In fact,  socialization was the first thing I brought up to my one homeschool friend the day we met up so I could learn more.

Man. It’s been less than a month and it already seems strange to me that I’d ask that.  My kids get socialized. In fact, we have so many opportunities for socialization that we don’t even do everything!

First of all, homeschooling has gotten really common in the last several years. And, with how popular social media is, it’s really easy to find other homeschool families in your area. The minute I said we were thinking about homeschooling, I immediately got added to 10 local groups.

Add to that the book club, field trips, and extra curricular activities, and I don’t think my kids will lack socialization at all.

As far as the weirdness goes? They’re my kids. They’re definitely going to be weird, and it has nothing to do with homeschooling. Are you telling me you never met a weird kid in public school? I promise. That weirdness doesn’t come from being unsocialized. It’s purely genetic, and we’re all really proud of it.

What about the structure and rules of {traditional} school?

I’ve been getting this one a lot, especially in relation to my youngest daughter. Charlotte is, well…some would call her spirited. Or, maybe they’d call her a strong leader. Then again, maybe she’s just stubborn.

Whatever you want to call her, the rules aren’t super high on her priority list. Doing what you want isn’t super high on that list, either.

The thing is, I know my child needs structure. That’s why I give it to her.

We wake up at about the same time every day. We have a set routine as far as meals and activities goes.

What my high energy, stubborn, spirited child doesn’t need is to be forced to sit at a desk all day, doing activities she despises. All that’s going to do is get her into trouble. Trust me, I tried for 2 years to do the same activities I did with my oldest. She wasn’t having any of it.

When I first started thinking about it, I didn’t think this homeschool thing would work.

In the last few months, though, I’ve seen huge strides in her behavior. I think she just wasn’t ready for those structured activities everyone insisted she needed. Now that she’s mature enough, schooling has been totally doable. Fun, even. She’s learning, she’s involved, and she’s not destroying anything.

All because I waited until she was ready, and I made it fun.

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I guarantee that if I’d come in to this school year with a “drill and kill” attitude about letters, numbers, and colors in an effort to stay on track, we’d all be in tears and hating life right now. Instead, I was able to cater my curriculum choices specifically to her learning needs.

There is more than one way to get “structure,” and I promise you, my kids get plenty of it. It just looks different than it does at school.

How do you know they’re not falling behind? What about when you put them back in school?

This is a two-for-one question, because I feel like they kind of go together. First of all, the question about “when I want to put them back in school” is all wrong.  The question is, if I want to put them back in school.

I know it’s early in our first year, but so far, I don’t see that happening. Of course, we agreed to reassess at the end of the year and decide from there. Things could definitely change in that amount of time. And, if that’s the case, I’ve already spoken with the school about re-entry and know our options. (I won’t go into specifics, because I’m sure they’re different everywhere).

As for whether they’re falling behind? Well, there are articles, books, and checklists all over the internet with that information. I know what my 4th grader needs to know. I know what my 4 year old needs to know before entering kindergarten!

The information isn’t that hard to come by.

At the same time, the beauty of homeschooling is that we can work at our own pace. I don’t need to pressure my kids to fit a certain mold. If we go slower than what’s expected, we can do some extra work, spend a little more time, and catch back up. At the same time, if they get really excited about a subject, there’s nothing holding them back from learning everything they can!

When do you get a break from your kids?

Can I tell you something? While this was a major concern of mine before getting started, it’s something I’ve barely noticed in the last few weeks.

Honestly, my kids are so much better behaved when we have a day full of activities to challenge their minds. (See the first section of this post).

My grumpy 4 year old that doesn’t want to do anything but watch TV has started waking me up talking about what crafts she wants to do.

The kids aren’t fighting anymore.

They’re doing chores.

Maybe my family is an anomoly, but after talking to other homeschool families, I don’t think we are. This tends to be the case. Kids that are kept busy and challenged stay in a better mood. They’re able to keep themselves busy during their down time. It’s been amazing to watch. We’ve had so much fun the last few weeks that I don’t even really want a break from them.

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Ya’ll. I have to say that homeschooling my kids might have been the best decision ever. I know it’s still pretty new. Maybe I’ll change my mind in a few months. But, I can honestly say that after the shock of the first week wore off, none of those old worries have come back to haunt me.

So, if you have a friend that’s recently decided to homeschool, take my word for it. These questions and thoughts have already crossed our minds. They’re honestly the last things we need to hear when we’re reaching out for support.

And, if you’re a new homeschool mom like me? First of all, I want to hear from you, so we can offer each other support. But second of all, know that you’re not alone. Each and every one of these thoughts went through my head (multiple times) before we actually started homeschooling. I promise, the reality has been so much better.

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