Many homeschool moms struggle with the fear that only a certified teacher is “qualified” to execute the task of teaching their children. I have known many women who have educated their children quite successfully without having a teaching degree. The three ingredients needed for success are simple: a desire to learn, a willingness to work, and the determination to stick with it.
Moms seem to forget just how many subjects are taught on a daily basis. By this point, you’ve taught your child to eat, play, and speak without being a nutritionist, PE major, or speech pathologist.
To teach successfully you must have the commitment to learn. At first, it may seem like you’re drinking from a fire hose; and that’s okay because you are! A good place to start is talking to other homeschool moms, visiting the library for relevant information, and getting connecting with homeschooling groups for support. They are all great resources which will get you on the right path. With all the new information and decisions you will be making, having a place to organize it will provide a sense of order, whether it is a physical notebook, Evernote, or whatever works for you.
The responsibility of your child’s education is not be taken lightly. There will be much work required from you to do it well. A phrase that strikes great fear in the hearts of parents is “What if I miss something?” I’ve heard this statement many times. Take solace in knowing it isn’t possible, even in today’s technology world, to know it all. Truth is, there is never a child who graduates with mastery of every subject. You have to leave something for their doctorate degree! But that said, planning your schedule and managing the workload is paramount.
Guarding against the unrealistic pressure to know everything is another key when beginning this new journey. The good news is that homeschoolers have tremendous resources available for the subjects you aren’t comfortable teaching. You can use online classes, join co-ops, and participate in two-day classes or umbrella schools, just to name a few.
I always treated homeschooling like a job. Having a routine made the days easier for me. I would wake up, look over what needed to be completed, and begin the day. As with any job you rarely get to check off everything on your list, especially if you teach more than one child. More often than not I had to roll things over to the next day and start where we left off. It wasn’t because we didn’t try, but sometimes certain subjects took longer than I planned. That’s where the determination is critical.
There were many days as a new homeschool mom that I wanted to quit. It was hard or the kids weren’t cooperating with my plans. That is when knowing why I was homeschooling mattered. For us it wasn’t just about teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic; it was about building a family. That didn’t mean I wouldn’t get things done; just the opposite. It meant I was going to work hard to make it work. You must plan your work and work your plan.
When you put commitment, hard work, and determination together you can begin to enjoy your adventure in the homeschool world.