How To Set Realistic Homeschooling Expectations
As we begin to prepare for the Fall semester, many of us are stepping into unfamiliar roles and big shoes that we never thought we would have to fill- being a teacher. I understand that teaching your kids from home can be a daunting challenge, especially when you still have your own obligations and responsibilities your need to stay on top of.
So instead of stressing, try meeting yourself where you are. You are actually at an advantage here- you know your child better than anyone, which means you also know what learning methods work best for them. Perhaps your child is a visual learner who needs lots of activities and stimulus, or maybe you’re raising a little book worm who likes to get lost in other worlds constructed by words. Either way, the first step to homeschooling success is setting realistic expectations for yourself and your family.
Stick To A Schedule
Just like a regular school year, it’s important to set a schedule and stick to it. Bedtimes should be strictly enforced, and your children should wake up at the same time each and every school day. By implementing structure, you’re taking the guesswork out of when and how to initiate school work. Also, consider blocking out time slots dedicated to certain subjects or activities while also leaving time for free-play, lunch, and solo learning activities.
Okay, so I know I just told you to stick to a schedule, but I’m about to contradict myself here a bit. While implementing and planning on sticking to a schedule is critical for a successful homeschooling semester, it is also essential to remain flexible. Things will inevitably come up, such as appointments, illnesses, and other inconveniences or unexpected ailments. Give yourself some grace if every day doesn’t go exactly as planned. Set your intentions to follow the schedule you created, but don’t beat yourself up over the occasional off-day.
Okay, y’all, the homeschooling-mommy Olympics are about to be in full effect, and this is me urging you not to take the bait. In about three weeks, your social media feeds will be saturated with color-coded calendars, and unnecessarily complicated activity prompts. IGNORE THEM. Many of us are in survival mode right now, and you know what? That is A-ok. Plus, I have a sneaking suspicion that all those Pinterest-perfect homeschooling snapshots are just that- a snapshot. A tiny peek into someone’s otherwise messy and strenuous day.
Do What Works
Don’t feel like you need to tackle 100 different learning styles during this school year. If you know your child is a visual learner and performs his or her best when math class includes M&Ms- do that. Suppose you are struggling to get your child to read and have more success with them writing a report on an educational documentary- fabulous. Check-in with your school district and follow their curriculum to the best of your ability, but don’t be afraid to make some slight adjustments to make it work for you and your family.
Have Fun With It
Okay, so maybe this year isn’t going to be exactly what you or your child envisioned. It’s okay to mourn the loss of the life you thought you were going to lead this Fall, but it’s also important to maintain a positive attitude. This is an opportunity for you to really check in with your child, see where they excel, where they need extra support, and explore new ways of spending time together. So put on some Taylor Swift and dance it out for “gym class” or examine the law of physics with some water balloons. The world is your classroom, and you get to call the shots- so get out there and have some fun with it!