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For Wives New to Homeschooling


So many families have been thrust into homeschooling this year. Some are excited, and some are hesitant. I’m sure the majority are a mix of both. Homeschooling is wonderful, but it can be intimidating and overwhelming.

 

My oldest is just starting kindergarten this year, but we have been doing relaxed preschool for many years. I’ve been at home with them for five years, and I’m convinced half of the battle to start homeschooling is the mental commitment and adjusting to the lifestyle.

 

There are so many things to think about, but you most need encouragement and practical tips to get started. Remember, if you want to homeschool, you are capable of homeschooling your children.

 

The Transition to Homeschooling

For those transitioning to homeschool out of public or a traditional school model, the biggest thing to remember is that homeschool doesn’t look like traditional school. For young kids, 30 minutes of instruction a day is sufficient. For older kids, three to four hours is common.

 

You also won’t have homework in the evenings, and your kids’ day will be much more unstructured. Some kids might be restless for structure after being used to a typical school day.  You can schedule in as much structure as you’d like, or guide them towards more free-play or free reading time. 

 

Getting Started with Homeschooling

The practicalities of starting to homeschool can be overwhelming, but give yourself grace. You don’t have to have everything right to get started. You can learn as you go, just like your children.

 

Practically, here is some information about homeschool styles, schedules, and getting started with finding curriculum:

 

Homeschool Styles

All of the different homeschooling styles themselves can be confusing. I’ll include a link here that will explain them, rather than take the time here to list them out. The most important thing to remember about homeschool styles is that there is no “right way,” you’re not bound to one “style,” and your style might change over time!

 

There’s even a fun quiz to help you determine your homeschooling “style” (note it isn’t comprehensive for all styles)

 

Homeschool Schedules

Some families like having a more rigid schedule, and some families like to fit in homeschooling whenever it works. Again, there is no one right way! 

 

Homeschool Legalities

You will have to fulfill all legal requirements from your state to homeschool. These are different for every child based on age, and for every family based on location. HSLDA.org is an amazing resource for all questions surrounding homeschool legalities.

 

Homeschool Curriculum

Choosing a curriculum is both fun and overwhelming! The best part of a curriculum is the environment you create around it. Curriculum matters, but the culture of your home will matter more. Will it be rushed and rigid? Or will it be patient and child-focused? None of us will be perfect at this, but it’s important to consider which style you prefer.

Curriculum choices will be different for every single family, and possibly every single child. Before looking for curriculums, narrow down what kind of “style” you hope to teach with. That will help you sift through the seemingly endless curriculum options.

Encouragement for New Homeschooling Moms

Your biggest hurdle about homeschooling might be fear. Fear that you aren’t good enough, aren’t patient enough, aren’t smart enough. But: if you want to homeschool, you can homeschool! There are so many resources available to help teach your kids where you don’t feel qualified (hello, upper level math and science for me!), and God will help give you the patience you need and wisdom you need to lead your children. Don’t let fear stop you!

Encouragement for Your Marriage While Homeschooling

Homeschooling will be a transition for your marriage, too. You and your husband will need to be on the same page and have the same general vision for your homeschool. I love the opportunities this gives my husband and I. We have the unique opportunity to spend extra time to envision what we want our family culture to look like, which is something that we find special about homeschooling.

 

Some spouses have one person do all of the schooling, and some share the responsibilities. This is unique to each family. I recommend having clear boundaries that can be reconsidered as you both learn. A learning curve for your marriage while homeschooling is normal as well one for your kids, so give yourself and your husband grace.

 

More Resources for Homeschooling

Thankfully, there are endless resources available today to help you homeschool. Here are some articles that will help you further than this article:

 

5 Steps to Start Homeschooling, from my friend and homeschool writer, Jamie Erickson (She also has an amazing book, called Homeschool Bravely)

 

My {BIG FAT} List of 100 Resources for the Newbie Homeschooler

 

Wife Step: Talk with your husband about your vision for homeschool and set clear expectations for responsibilities. Share any fears either of you may have about your new journey.

Meagan Elling is a wife of 7 years to Reed, mama to two little girls, writer, and house renovator. She is a SAHM {I’ll let you decide if you want this spelled out or not} in Duluth, MN with a writing degree she thought would go to waste. She is passionate about encouraging women, ministry, traveling, reading 5 books at once, and Texas Roadhouse bread. Meagan writes at www.meaganelling.com and on Instagram @meaganelling.

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