That is a long time. It is also a really long time to have been homeschooling!
I’ve been through all of the stages:
- the ignorant, inflated confidence stage (how hard can this really be?)
- the attempting ‘school-at-home’ phase (it worked for me, right?)
- the buy every curriculum that exists stage (this one will be the right curriculum!)
- the minimalist stage (that mom on eBay!)
- the burnout stage (when coffee and chocolate were my best friends)
- the acceptance stage (just keep swimming…)
- the committed for the long-haul stage (where I am now!)
One thing that I’ve learned in all of these years and stages is that homeschool moms need a handful of things to keep their tanks full so that they can keep the homeschool train moving.
Homeschool Moms Need to be Challenged
Homeschool moms are some of the hardest working and dedicated people I know. We are, however, human and can slip into complacency and boredom almost without realizing it. We need to have our status quo mentality shaken here and there and to be inspired to aim high in our homeschools.
Homeschool Moms Need to Get Educated
Public school teachers have yearly teacher training requirements for a reason. We do well to take time to learn from others who have more experience or training than we do.
Homeschool Moms Need to be Encouraged
How is it that after all of our careful research and planning, our kids have the audacity to complain about their schoolwork! Why can’t our husbands understand why we’ve chosen to toss out the curriculum package we splurged on 6 months ago for something newer and better? Being a homeschool mom can be a lonely job. If we’re going to keep on keeping on, we need to be encouraged that we can succeed at teaching our kids at home, despite the inevitable ups and downs.
Homeschool Moms Need Community
Homeschool moms need the community of like-minded women who are on the journey with them. Our family faithfully attends our twice a month homeschool park day, not so the kids can play though. We go to park day so I can talk to other moms that I have known for years and who really ‘get’ what this long haul, homeschool journey looks and feels like.
Homeschool Moms Need a Break
I’m not talking about ‘mom-time’ here. I debunked that myth long ago! The more time I had away, the more time I wanted! We are far better off making our homes a place that we love than finding ways to escape. That being said, having a break from the routine can often lead to inspiration and perspective not easily obtained in the thick of back-to-back homeschool days.
One Easy Way to Meet all of These Needs
Essentially, moms need to take care of themselves. We need to take care to not pour out all we have without refueling along the way. One easy way that I have been able to do this during my 20 years of homeschooling is by attending homeschool conferences.
In fact, these days I speak at homeschool conferences yet I still attend sessions when I’m not speaking myself! I look forward to going every year and learning more about current laws and political issues, teaching methods that I haven’t tried yet, and let’s not forget the curriculum hall. I love to be able to actually put my hands on different books and programs and getting a ‘feel’ for what is out there.
Find a convention near you and fill your homeschool mama tank by learning from people who have gone before you, rubbing elbows with other moms just like you, and take a break from the routine to get some much-needed perspective on how things are going in your homeschool.
You don’t have to bring the whole family and stay in a hotel spending a small fortune on meals and entertainment. Consider attending for just one day or finding a few friends to carpool and share hotel expenses with.
I’d Love to Meet You in Person!
Check out my 2017 Spring and Summer Speaking Schedule and let me know if you will be at any of these conventions. I would love to meet you in person.