When I first started to homeschool I was obsessed with comparisons. I compared teaching styles, curricula, schedules, menu plans, chore charts … you name it! Then I realized that comparing my homeschool to another homeschool mom was an act of futility. I could never perfectly copy and paste another’s homeschool style because it didn’t feel natural nor did it work for my kids. What a relief to know that I could adapt my homeschool to fit my unique needs. And you can, too.
Finding Your Homeschool Rhythm
While it’s absolutely fine to learn from the wisdom of other homeschool veterans, don’t feel obligated to do exactly what they do. The best way to succeed at homeschooling is to know your children, know yourself, and adapt your homeschool when you see it needs to be tweaked! Simply follow the path God has created for you. If he lead you to it – He will not abandon you in it.
Each Adjustment Gets Better
I’m not ashamed to admit that I regularly tweak our homeschool schedule whenever I discover that something’s not working. In fact, I recently rearranged our entire daily schedule even though we were a full month into the school year.
That’s nothing new for me. I tend to be unrealistic during the summer when I plan out my school year. Then, I start off the year with wide-eyed optimism and an ambitious load. This leads to a crash a few weeks into my homeschool year when I inevitably realize that my initial homeschool doesn’t work.
Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this.
But it’s okay if you’re like me. Give yourself grace and realize that it’s alright if you have to re-do your school schedule, flip flop when you teach certain subjects, buy a different planner, or even buy a new curriculum. We have the flexibility to do all of these things because we homeschool. Know that with each adjustment you make, your homeschool gets better.
Figure Out Your Schedule
Do you prefer to school Monday through Thursday with a break on Friday? Do you like starting your school day mid-morning? Do you enjoy watching video lessons with your student?
You make the rules in your homeschool. Whether you prefer the security of a structured schedule or the freedom to come up with new adventures each day, you can create a homeschool that complements your teaching style, your student’s learning style, and both of your preferences.
If you’re new to homeschooling, it may take some time before you perfect it. Don’t give up. You’ll eventually find the rhythm for your homeschool.
Lean on God
Every school year is different and comes packed with a unique set of challenges. Instead of getting discouraged by the seemingly gigantic challenges you may face, think of them as even bigger opportunities to lean on God. God wants you to succeed.
Encourage yourself with the story of Joshua from the Bible. Joshua and Caleb were two of the 12 spies sent to scout out the promised land while the Israelites were still in the wilderness. While 10 of the spies came back with a negative report, both Joshua and Caleb were sure that the Lord would help Israel overcome those enemies. (Numbers 13-14)
After Moses died, the Lord then charged Joshua to lead the people into the promised land. In the first chapter of the book of Joshua, the Lord told Joshua no less than four times to be strong and courageous.
Instead of focusing on the enemies in the promised land, the Lord told Joshua to “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” (Joshua 1:8 NLT)
That’s my first, and most important, advice to you. Study God’s word and chew on it all day every day until you understand it and can apply it correctly.
Your homeschool will bless you and your family, but it’s not won without fighting. You’ll have to fight a lot of enemies but remember that God will be with you. He will not fail or abandon you. Your victory is guaranteed.
Author, Jacqueline Kyo Thomas
Jacqueline Kyo Thomas is an award-winning writer and homeschool mom of 3, ages 1, 10, and 12. She lives in the wild and wonderful state of West Virginia. When she’s not chasing her rambunctious toddler, you can find her on IHeartHomeschooling.com, which provides resources to home educators, or TotsLoveLearning.com, a site that provides early education resources.