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7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Homeschool Mom

Child sitting on a pile of books| homeschool mom

Are you considering homeschooling your children? It's a decision that can come with a lot of uncertainty and self-doubt, but it can also be an incredibly rewarding experience for both you and your child. As a homeschool mom who has gone through the ups and downs, I wish I had known a few key things before diving in headfirst.

In this article, we'll explore seven things that I wish I had known before becoming a homeschool mom. From creating a flexible schedule to finding the right curriculum and giving your child the space to explore, these tips will help you navigate the unique world of homeschooling with confidence. By the end, you'll be better prepared to take on this exciting and challenging homeschool mom journey.

1- Create A Flexible Schedule That Works With Your Healthy Lifestyle And Homeschool Mom Life

When it comes to homeschooling, one of the biggest advantages is being able to tailor your child's education to their unique needs and interests. This means that you have the flexibility to create a schedule that works for both you and your child. Whether you prefer a structured routine or a more relaxed approach, it's important to find a schedule that fits your family's lifestyle and needs.

When creating a schedule, keep in mind that homeschooling doesn't have to follow the traditional school day. You may find that your child is more productive in the morning or that they need breaks throughout the day to stay focused. Experiment with different schedules and routines until you find what works best for everyone.

Child in front of King Tut during the exhibit| homeschool mom life

It's also important to remember that being a homeschool mom allows for more flexibility in terms of scheduling vacations and outings. You can take advantage of off-peak travel times and visit museums and historical sites during the week when they are less crowded. These experiences can be just as educational as traditional classroom learning. We like to call “homeschooling” and “school work” our learning journey and healthy lifestyle projects. We do it year round and use a mix of worldschooling, wild schooling, unschooling and kinesthetic approach.

Overall, creating a flexible schedule is key to the success of your homeschool mom journey. It allows for freedom and creativity while still providing structure and routine. And with the right schedule in place, you and your child can enjoy all the benefits that a homeschool mom has to offer.

2- Find A Learning Path Or Curriculum That Works For Your Homeschool Mom Life.

Finding the right curriculum is an essential part of homeschooling. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose one that works for you and your child. Keep in mind that every family has different needs, and what works for one may not work for another. Don't be afraid to experiment and make changes as needed.

Child handling whale bones at whale fest | homeschool mom life

Some families prefer a structured curriculum that follows a specific program, while others may opt for a more relaxed approach that allows for more creativity and flexibility. It's important to consider your child's learning style and interests, as well as your teaching style. You might want to bundle a few different ones so it works with your changing schedule or different seasons. We like a few different ones that we keep and we plan monthly between their activities and plans that we have.

Researching and comparing different curriculums can help you find the right fit. You may also want to seek advice from other homeschooling families in your community or online forums. Remember that the curriculum you choose is not set in stone, and you can always modify or supplement it as needed. We will share our favorite ones at the end of this article.

Being a homeschool mom is a journey, and finding what works best for you and your child is a process that takes time and patience.

Ozeya Life also offers some classes to complete your curriculum. We can help your child learn botany and forage, hold a nature journal and learn about the amazing world of plants. If they have a huge imagination and love to be thrown into a different world we can teach as a forest fairy and bring their imagination to life. We can include art and herb drying and so much more. We tailor them for you or your group and we incorporate different subjects in all of them including language arts, social science, biology and science. All of our classes include a mix of hands-on, projects and art as we believe using many techniques help them learn and retain a lot more. We also offer human science (anatomy and physiology), fitness and nutrition, gardening (permaculture, seeding, pruning/cutting..) and we offer a full course on plastic pollution, climate change and zero waste movement with projects. Contact us to build your own.

3- Don't Stress Yourself Out As A Homeschool Mom

Overwhelmed women with a book on her face| homeschool mom

Finding the right curriculum can be a daunting task, and once you make your choice, it's easy to feel like everything needs to be perfect. But the truth is, no curriculum is perfect, and there will always be bumps in the road. It's essential to remember that homeschooling is a journey, and just like any journey, there will be obstacles to overcome. So, don't stress over every little thing and remember that you can always adapt things to your healthy lifestyle.

Did you know that most teachers don't finish their entire lesson plan during their year? Keep in mind that your child is like a sponge that soaks up information from the world around them. If something doesn't seem to be working one day, close it and do something else. The beauty of homeschooling is that they get to explore. Discuss with them why they dislike something and what they would like to do instead if they don't like it. Not only are children discovering the world, but they are also discovering themselves. Even though you won't be able to accomplish everything you planned in a year, you will have done things you hadn't expected.

Instead, focus on the big picture and the overall goals you have for your child's education. Take the time to evaluate what is working and what isn't and make adjustments as needed. Remember, finding what works best for you and your child is a process that takes time and patience. So, don't be afraid to make mistakes or try new things, but also don't be too hard on yourself when things don't go as planned.

Sometimes, as parents, we push our children to do things we enjoyed or things we regretted not doing. Try to avoid this and remember that they are exploring life and themselves. Science might be their passion while arts might be their nemesis. While they may enjoy painting, they may not enjoy sculpting. Let them explore what they love a little more so they can decide if it is something they would pursue in life. Sometimes we end up in rabbit holes for weeks exploring content my children want to know more about. I even learn a lot in the process.

With that said, it's important to know when to make a change. If something is consistently not working, it's okay to switch things up. Don't be afraid to change what doesn't work, but also don't be too quick to give up on something that may just need a little tweaking. Finding the right balance between persistence and flexibility is key to a successful homeschooling journey.,

Children answering questions at whale fest| homeschool mom life

It has helped my oldest son figure out what he truly loves in life and what he wants to accomplish. At the moment, one of them is interested in becoming a marine biologist or something related to the ocean. It has stuck for three years, and we keep exploring it. Language arts, math, art, and so on can be incorporated into themes. You don't need to stress about whether they are on point in all of them. Just find what works for your family. Make learning a lifelong journey for your children instead of a race or dull activity.

4- If Something Isn't Working As A Homeschool Mom, Don't Be Afraid To Change It

I will tell you right now things will not go as planned. Especially if you are starting, there will be an adjustment phase. You will get to learn more about your child and you have to take the time to note those and see what works for you. Maybe shorter lessons are what works best because they remember more. Maybe sitting down is not working and you might need to get projects and hands-on activities. Maybe they love doing lessons sitting outside in the grass, while grounding, they feel more relaxed. Maybe the things they retain the most are life skills. Incorporate your lessons this way.

Instead of getting stuck in a routine that isn't working, it's important to be flexible and willing to make changes to your homeschooling approach. This doesn't mean giving up too quickly, it just means being open to adjusting and trying new things when needed. As you evaluate what is working and what isn't, don't be afraid to switch up materials, teaching methods or schedules. It's all about finding what works best for you and your child.

Working on their discoveries outdoors| Homeshool Mom Life

But remember, finding the right balance between persistence and flexibility is key. Don't give up on something that just needs a little tweaking or adjusting. However, if something is consistently not working, be willing to let it go and try a new approach. This will not only benefit your child's education, but it will also alleviate stress and frustration for you.

For example, explain what happens while baking, which is a chemistry lesson. You can ask your older child to help you stay within budget when grocery shopping. My children had a blast doing so, and in the end, they knew where to add taxes and how to deduct rebates. They were within 5$ of our total price. That was a whole math year in one go. Provide them with life skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. Teach them all the skills they took out of the curriculum, like mending, woodworking, cooking, gardening, foraging, and more. Teach them about the importance of a healthy lifestyle, including managing stress, gratitude, self-esteem, the beauty of cultures and languages, budgeting, starting a business, and so on.

Allowing yourself the freedom to change what isn't working will also free up more time to focus on what is working and to allow your children to take ownership of their education.

5- Allow Your Children To Take Ownership Of Their Education And Be The Copilot As A Homeschool Mom

Finding the right balance between flexibility and persistence is crucial when homeschooling your children. It's essential to be open to making adjustments when something isn't working consistently. As a parent, it's important to allow yourself the freedom to try new approaches without giving up on something that only needs a little tweaking. This practice benefits your child's education and mitigates stress and frustration for you.

Child working on a homeschool project with art| Homeschool Mom Life

When you let go of what isn't working, you will free up time to focus on what is working and allow your children to take ownership of their education. Giving your children the reins makes them feel empowered and motivated to learn. They'll develop their learning style while exploring different subjects and interests, making the process of homeschooling more engaging and rewarding for both you and your child.

Show them a way to learn the subjects that are less interesting to them. Take a minute to think about something you hated in school. Chances are you've never worked or been an expert in that field. Imagine if we could have saved all that time to put it towards something we were passionate about. How much more would you have learned and got the chance to have a better position when you started at work?

Many people tell me they only remember school a little if it was an interesting teacher or something they loved doing. Here we are, living the human adult life, and we have no clue how to do the new multiplication boxes they now teach. I can do it faster than them, but they lose points on their exam if they try a different approach. Why is that? We are all different, so we learn and understand differently.

Homeschooling allows you to let them learn how their brain works. Let them discover how to do it and what works. They might understand a way better or learn through something else. Give them the space to do so. Although it's scary, if you provide the tools and listen, you will achieve massive results. Everyone made me nervous in my first year, and I was pushing things a little more, which gave me headaches. An ex-teacher, now homeschooler, told me to let go and observe for a few weeks, even months. I listened, stopped stressing, and followed my children's lead, providing the tools and resources to see where it was taking them. Ultimately, they had to be tested by the province, which made me a little nervous. To my surprise, the results were 10x better than the previous ones. Why? Because they did it the way they understood things and made associations with life or something they loved.

6- Let Them Explore And Fail- A Homeschool Mom Tip

Letting your child take ownership of their education also means allowing them to fail and make mistakes. It's essential to understand that failure is part of the learning process, and making mistakes is okay. Encourage your child to learn from their mistakes and help them understand that these failures are stepping stones to success.

We are not talking about failing a year or in life but letting them make their own mistakes. We tend to give answers or part of them to help them but don't. Let them try, let them see what will happen, and let them learn. For example, one of my kids loves baking, and they wanted to do another batch of blueberry scones. They took everything needed for the recipe and saw that we no longer had baking powder. Instead, they researched to see what they could replace it with but didn't read the whole thing. They took baking soda and said oh, we can use this.

Child showing what he baked as part of a healthy| Homeschool mom life lifestyle homeschool

At that point, I could've stopped this right there, told them what would happen and that it wouldn't taste good, and showed them the mistake they made not reading through. I didn't and only told them to make less to ensure they got it right before making the whole batch and to read everything. They made them, and they looked so good. At first, they were thrilled until they all took a bite. I died laughing at their facial expression. We then took the time to talk, and they understood what they did and why it still looked good but why the taste was entirely off. To this day, even the young one remembers this lesson.

Giving your child the freedom to explore and learn from failure doesn't mean leaving them entirely to their own devices. As a homeschooling parent, you can still provide guidance and support. Ask them questions instead of giving answers, and you'll empower your child to take an active role in their learning. If you are there and it is safe to do so, let them fail and talk about it after. They will learn valuable lessons.

7. Give Yourself The Time To Adapt As A Homeschool Mom

Everyone starting usually makes a plan and is organized for their year. Full of excitement and with an idea of how their year will go. I will tell you right now that you must adapt, which might initially feel overwhelming. You will have to try, and you will need to let yourself be allowed to change things up.

I have a business and four children at different stages, and it took some time for me to see what worked as a homeschool mom, as they are all different. I had to try a few working strategies, curriculums, and activities. I had to try different days and hours to get them to do projects. We found the perfect way a few years after our first day of homeschooling. We now know that our family works best on a yearly calendar schedule rather than a school year. We do fewer hours but year-round like an actual job.

Child giving a deer a carrot during our healthy life| Homeschool Mom lifestyle homeschool travels

We take time off when needed and are present, living in the moment. When traveling, we take the time to learn about that place's culture, language, and history. We learn about different animals and plants they have that we don't and how they garden and cook. When we get back home, we do many projects and love going to events. We saw that following a specific curriculum didn't work for us, so we played with different ones and did most of it outside and as projects. Give yourself a chance to try all of it, and don't beat yourself up if it takes time to adapt. They are still learning every day, and they are still growing.

In conclusion, homeschooling can be a challenging yet rewarding experience for parents and children. As you embark on this unique journey, remember to give yourself time to adapt to your new role as a homeschooling parent, establish realistic expectations, establish a routine that works for your family, and enjoy the journey. Don't be afraid to change what isn't working and let them explore and fail. Reach out to another homeschool mom or a homeschooling community for support and give yourself time to adapt. With time and patience, you'll find that homeschooling can be a wonderful opportunity for you and your children.

Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn. ~ Benjamin Franklin
Children looking closely at fossils, rocks and minerals in a museum as part of their homeschool| Homeschool mom life

Remember that learning happens at all times, not only during scheduled homeschooling hours. Give yourself permission to take breaks when needed, and enjoy the time you spend with your children. Homeschooling can be an excellent opportunity to build strong relationships with your children and create memories that will last a lifetime.

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