When you start homeschooling, you’re often filled with anxious thoughts about what will come. Some parents settle into the flow of homeschooling quickly after a few months. Others struggle, perhaps due to family circumstances or lousy advice.
Whatever situation you find yourself in, know that you are not alone. Many have felt the same way! Thankfully, there are ways to make homeschooling easier.
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In this article, I’ll show you 20 ways to make homeschooling easier if you’re struggling.
Limit Social Activities
Before you started homeschooling, you probably had many people ask you, ‘Well, what about socialization?’
And as a result, you probably thought to yourself, ‘Yep. I’ve got to get onto that because I don’t want my kids to be socially deficient.’ [Whatever that means…]
So you signed up for all the homeschool groups and homeschool co-ops – which was cool until you started going through a busy period in life – and then you felt swamped and exhausted!
Going to these groups is fantastic, but be kind to yourself during a busy period in life. Sometimes you need to step back for a little bit. But, don’t worry, your kids won’t suffer, and a break will also be better for them in the long run.
Reduce Extracurricular Activities
Sometimes we’re swamped because our children have too many extracurricular activities in addition to their primary curriculum. In this situation, it’s good to review your activities and see what you might be able to skip or drop altogether to have a less stressful homeschool.
Get a Mentor
A homeschool mentor is a person who can encourage you through hard times. They get you, and they’ve often dealt with problems you’re going through.
Where do you find a homeschool mentor? You can find a mentor in a homeschool group or a homeschool co-op.
Just ask them if they’d be willing to be your mentor to help you through your first few years of homeschooling. Having a mentor vs. not having a mentor can be the difference between homeschool failure and homeschool fun!
Also, watch Youtube channels on home education like Bear Hill Homeschool or mine called How to Homeschool (and I PROMISE TO MAKE YOU LAUGH while you learn!)
Take a Homeschool Course
Few of us enter homeschooling knowing all there is to know.
Most of us start homeschooling thinking it is just school at home.
It’s not! And a good homeschool looks very different from school! But, how do you know how to create a good homeschool?
You can ask others, but sometimes you don’t know what to ask.
So a homeschool course where you learn the fundamentals of homeschooling is a great idea! The Homeschool Parenting Program is a fantastic option in this case. And it’s also very affordable.
Get a Cost-Effective Curriculum
The cost of homeschooling can be a bit of a worry for many parents. But it doesn’t have to be. Plenty of free curriculum options will give you a decent curriculum to raise a homeschooler.
A great alternative is Schoolhouse Teachers, which has a massive amount of material for a low price. And you can get access to everything they offer for one subscription fee that covers your whole family. So, if you have ten kids, homeschooling them with this curriculum will cost the same as if you were homeschooling only one!
Get a Better Quality Curriculum
If you can afford it, a high-quality curriculum can relieve your stress by giving you hard-copy resources and clear instructions.
BJU Press is an excellent example of a high-quality curriculum. It is also the curriculum I use with my children – and we love it!
Many parents start their homeschool journey by buying a curriculum and making their children sit down and do the curriculum immediately.
But, children need time to breathe and re-structure their thoughts so they can learn how to learn instead of being spoonfed information (as often happens in schools).
You, as the parent, also need time to research homeschool methods, think about the curriculum, or maybe do a course that shows you the basics of homeschooling.
For this reason, you should deschool for a short period (usually a few months) before you even look at a formal curriculum book.
Watch the video on this page to learn more about deschooling and how you can do it.
Take Field Trips
Field trips are a great way to reduce stress in your homeschool. Field trips are perfect because getting out of the house is a way to relax.
Get The Ultimate Guide to Field Trips here.
Reduce Your Homeschool Days
More hours doing formal work does not necessarily equal more learning. Indeed, most homeschool parents say they can finish all their academics in 2-3 hours (more hours for older kids; fewer hours for younger kids).
So try squeezing your academics into three or four days and leave yourself a day to relax!
Spend More Time in Nature
Japanese doctors have prescribed time in nature as a treatment for anxious or depressed patients for many years.
Nature time often works better than medication. It helps families feel more relaxed and less stressed.
You can also fill your nature time with education as you complete a nature journal along the way!
Get Dad Involved
Too often, only mothers homeschool their children. And there is, too frequently, little input from fathers. This lack of involvement is sad, as children should learn from both parents.
Involving fathers in education also means moms will get more breaks. Consequently, homeschooling will be less stressful!
Join a Homeschool Co-op
If you’re stressed because you need to work but also have to do a lot of homeschooling, join a co-op with paid teachers.
Joining a co-op means you’ll have more time to work as someone is teaching your children for you!
Use Video Lessons
Homeschooling curriculum with video lessons is outsourcing teaching a little, but it means you don’t have to spend as much time with your children teaching them face-to-face.
BJU Press has video lessons, meaning parents get a break and don’t have to teach lessons themselves.
Teach Children to Teach Themselves
Perhaps the ultimate way to reduce teaching time is to get children to teach themselves. If you encourage your children to do interest-based learning, you’ll soon find they start teaching themselves!
Using Reverse Scheduling Techniques
Homeschooling is stressful when you’ve just done a beautiful homeschool plan but can’t follow it because [x] circumstances have arisen and now you must completely re-do your homeschool plan (so frustrating!).
Instead, you should learn how to reverse-plan (we cover this in the Homeschool Parenting Program), which means you plan retrospectively!
Teach Your Children to Clean
The most stressful thing about homeschooling for many parents is having a messy house!
Parents often think it’s impossible to homeschool with a clean house. But, this is not the truth. I am a living example of how to homeschool with a clean house, and I’ll teach you how in the Homeschool Parenting Program!
You may be hitting all your homeschool goals and completing your curriculum like a pro but still not enjoying homeschooling because your kids complain all the time!
Complaining can majorly sour your homeschool experience and embitter the family dynamic. You can learn how to stop complaining in your home by listening to this fantastic podcast from Focus on the Family. We also cover it in the Homeschool Parenting Program.
Use a Mastery-Based Curriculum
Some curriculum programs encourage children to do the whole program alone or with limited help from parents. Lifepac is an example of this.
A mastery-based program can be a good option if you want a less hands-on role as a parent-teacher.
Give Yourself a Break
When I say give yourself a break, I mean it in two ways. Firstly, try to schedule some break time throughout the week. Even if you can only find 90 minutes on a sabbath to spend by yourself, this time will be valuable for helping you see through the fog and business and remind yourself of your homeschool goals.
Secondly, don’t feel you have to have the perfect homeschool. Every homeschool has problems, so be kind to yourself as you remember this! If your issues are bothering you, talk to your homeschool mentor or sign up for the Homeschool Parenting Program course, which will run you through the fundamental homeschooling skills you’ll need to homeschool successfully.
If I pray for my day and ask God to bless it, my day goes much better! I feel calmer, my children are more relaxed, and even my husband is happier. So, ask God to help you with your day.