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10 Things You Don’t Need to Homeschool

There are many things you can do to prepare yourself, your children, and your home for the homeschooling journey. It takes time, energy, dedication, research, and decision making to begin and maintain this journey. What it does not take is the following 10 items that we sometimes believe we need in order to homeschool “the right way”.

A College Degree

Take it from this mom, who has been homeschooling 18 years, who has an elementary education degree, that you do not need a degree to homeschool your kiddos. Classroom teaching is different from homeschooling. The only qualification you need to educate your children is to be their parent or guardian

Approval From the Schools

While some states require getting curriculum approve by the school district, you do not need their permission to homeschool. Here in AZ you don’t even need to show curriculum, nor report to the school districts.

A Large Budget

Homeschooling does not have to break the household budget. Free resources can be found online, books can be checked out from the library, videos can be found on YouTube, and used curriculum can be purchased for a few dollars, with parents donating items from time to time as well.

Approval From Family and Friends

While it’s nice to have the support of family and friends, it is not needed to successfully homeschool. Sometimes decisions we make aren’t popular, and sometimes we feel like the black sheep. That’s ok, not everyone is going to agree with you 100% of the time. You are doing what you feel is best for your family. Those around you may or may not come on board as they see the benefits of homeschooling to your family. How they view homeschooling is up to them; it is not your responsibility to get them to agree with or support you. And you should never feel like you have to “perform” or have something to prove to those who oppose homeschooling; you have more support than you think. Your homeschool community is here for you!

The Perfect Plan or Curriculum

You don’t need it because it doesn’t exist. Your kids are not cookie cutter versions of each other, of you, nor of everyone else’s kiddo. Therefore, “perfect” is an adjective that cannot be applied to plans, nor curriculum. What you CAN find is a plan and curriculum that works best for your family and the flow of your home, and make adjustments as needed.

Kids Who Love Doing School

Just like you will find adults who love their careers, but don’t always love their job, you will find kids who don’t love school. Our moods, energy levels, emotions, etc fluctuate from day to day. There will be days where everyone is happy and school runs smoothly, and days when you want to quit homeschooling altogether. This will happen no matter where school is taking place. The important thing is that your child learns how to find information and learns what their strengths, gifts, and talents are. It’s also important that you consider these interests and strengths when choosing what direction your homeschool will take. This will help with less days that result in a fight or grumpy attitudes.

Your Home To Look Like School

It’s tempting to set up a school area with desks, calendars, whiteboards, and textbooks. However, this is not necessary to have a successful homeschool experience. Yes, resources are needed and it’s super helpful to have supplies at the ready on bookshelves and in baskets, and it’s nice to have a designated school spot. However, school can take place in any location in the home or outside the home. Supplies can live in a backpack, in the kids’ rooms, in a closet, etc. Your homeschool should reflect your home and your family. Make whatever you have work for you. And remember, you most likely brought your kiddos home because the public schools weren’t working for you, or you don’t like what you are seeing. Why would we choose to bring that into our homes?

To Worry About Messing Up Your Kids

I get it! As soon as you choose to homeschool, all the responsibility falls on you. The questions flood your mind, along with worry, uncertainty, and doubt. You love your kids, and you want what’s best for them. Homeschooling isn’t easy; it takes some work. and commitment Time, energy, planning, and love go into each and every day. This is what your kids will remember. This is what they will appreciate. This is why they will not leave your home “messed up”.

The Perfect Schedule

Just like there isn’t a perfect curriculum, there exists no perfect schedule. You can look at your home’s pace and flow, and create time set aside for school; there will still arise times when the schedule needs to shift, when it needs to be “thrown out” for the day, or seasons when things out of our control means new time slots set aside for homeschooling. When you make a schedule, keep in mind that there will be times when flexibility is called for; give grace during these times.

To Have It All Together

In this world of filtered social media posts, it can seem like we have to have it all together 24/7. This is not reality for anyone, and we know it, yet we still put the pressure on ourselves to have all the answers and have everything put together in a perfect bow. The house will get messy, dishes get dirty, kids walk around the house in mismatched clothes, some days you only get through one subject, and there are days when you don’t know if your kids even looked at a vegetable, let alone ate one. Congratulations! You’re a real Mom, and your kids are real kids. While we do want to teach responsibility and have a sense of order in our homes, we can take a breath knowing that what gets messy can be cleaned, what didn’t get done today can be done tomorrow, mismatched clothing may just be on-trend this week, and you can give your kids a vitamin supplement and call it a success for today. None of us has it all together each and every day. We can be a mess together.

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Pam Spinker
Author-Speaker-Mentor

I help Christian homeschool moms, just like you, thrive in your home and in your walk with Christ. If you question your abilities, or feel like you’re drowning in homeschooling, you’re in the right place! 

I’m here to help! 

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