Homeschooling has always been a blessing for our family. We have more time together, get to explore what interests us, and have the freedom to teach our values in ways that make sense for us. Still, there are many days when I wonder if I’m making the impact I want to while instilling a love for learning in each heart.
Like you, I have many insecurities as a homeschool mom. They often swirl around in my head during the day and keep me up at night. My kids have struggles and insecurities too, patterns that we want to address before it’s too late.
So in this New Year, I plan to challenge myself to tackle these insecurities and overcome some of the major homeschool challenges we face. What better way to do that than by creating a list of our Top 10 Homeschool Resolutions to help improve our emotional, educational and spiritual well-being! So, here goes:
Top 10 Homeschool Resolutions that Matter
- Stop feeding and repeating insecurities; start positive self-talk. How we think and speak about ourselves becomes how we feel about ourselves. This year I am challenging myself and my children to consider only what is lovely, true, praiseworthy and honorable … about ourselves and one another! We will replace the negative self-talk with positive, challenging truths. So instead of, “I can’t do math,” we’ll say things like, “Math is a challenge I’m up for!”
- Stop making mornings maniacal. Each day I push my kids to get an “early start” and hit the ground running with a quick breakfast, get fully dressed, then immediately start homeschooling. For one particular child who wakes up at the speed of a sloth, this causes constant battles and bitterness. One of my homeschool resolutions this year is to allow my kids more independence in setting their morning schedules. Sure, I’ll still hold them accountable for getting everything done, but they won’t have to start at 7:30 a.m. to do so.
- Do more fun things during the day to give much needed breaks. This year I want to stop and smile with my kids more often. For me, this means less pushing to get lessons done, and more playtime and activity. We will play games and get active with fun exercises like swinging and bike riding, all right in the middle of our school day.
- Allow my older students to pick their own curriculum. If you’re like me, you’re completely attached to a few publishers that you would never give up, regardless of how your students feel about them! For me, it’s Saxon math. But this year, I’m going to allow my high schooler to choose – with little to no input from me – which math curriculum she wants to complete. She’ll be choosing college classes soon, so she’ll need the confidence and independence this new challenge will provide!
- Stop cleaning during the school day. Cleaning distracts me from engaging fully with my children. I’m going to put the sponge down and pick up the pencil more often this year.
- Stop nagging, start encouraging and holding accountable. I can be a nag mainly because I dislike taking things away from my children. Still, I want my children to learn about cause and effect, and about healthy consequences. So I’m not going to nag any longer! I’m going to make more lists and encourage responsibility and accountability in all of my children. There will be clear rewards and consequences written out so that we’re all on the same page!
- Stop giving out grades to my little ones. I love grades. I love seeing how well my children are doing on a percentage scale. But for one of my little learners, this is defeating. He’s a perfectionist and wants an “A” for everything. This is starting to be an area of pride for him. So I’m taking the pressure off by focusing more on projects than testing. We’ll still correct sentences for grammar and do oral exams for spelling, but there won’t be any grades in red at the top of his pages or in my grade report!
- We will write more. This is one of the homeschool resolutions we make each year. We have lost the art of writing in much of our learning. This year we’re going to write more, and differently. We’ll be keeping prayer journals, writing math stories, and sending letters to family members and homeschooling pen pals each week in our house. I want my children to love the written word. And, I want to foster their desire to write.
- I will spend time working on my heart each day. Let’s face it, we’re pulled in 1,000 directions every minute. I often find myself frazzled and without patience. This is my biggest insecurity and leads to me yelling too much. I find that I’m most drained when I haven’t spent any “me time.” This year I’m going to nurture my heart by reading God’s word daily and get exercise four days a week. To make this a family activity, I’m building in “heart time” each day. During this time, my children can do a Bible study to nourish their hearts, and exercise in a fun way to activate and challenge their hearts!
- Listen more, laugh more, and love more fully. I want my children to remember me as a mother who listened to their hearts and laughter, not out of obligation, but out of love. I want them to remember my kisses and cuddles. And I want them to know, in their core, that they are not just loved, but enjoyed. One of my biggest homeschool resolutions is that I will listen to my children more fully and laugh with them. So I’ll put aside my to-do list each day and engage in a little laughter and conversation with each child. This is the one resolution that I cannot let slide.
Our family loves homeschooling and I know this is going to be our best year yet! We’ll connect more and be more intentional about our learning, thinking, and interactions. And I’ll become a better mom and teacher as I engage their hearts with mine. Yes, I’m sure this will be our best year yet!