Homeschooling an Only Child

In the homeschooling community, most families have 2-3 children. It is far from uncommon to see families with 5 or more children. However, what you rarely see are families with only one child. If you are one of them, you might feel like your family is the odd one out. It might even make you feel like perhaps homeschooling is not the best option for you. After all, if it were, wouldn’t there be more families like yours that do it? However, just because homeschooling an only child is not common doesn’t mean that it is not possible.

Why You’re Behind in Homeschooling

Do you ever feel like your behind in homeschooling?

Like everyone else is farther along than you?
Like your child is NEVER going to learn                                    ?

Me too! I think every homeschool mom feels behind in homeschooling sometimes. We stress ourselves out, wonder what the problem is, and struggle to keep up.

I believe there are 2 leading factors in the behind mentality, and both can be fixed today!

Read the full post at the Southeast Homeschool Expo

Creating Independent Learners

As homeschool parents, we are responsible for our children’s education. WE take on that responsibility oftentimes when our children are young. By the time they reach middle school we are educating younger siblings, and may be getting overwhelmed with the responsibility of educating so many different grades.
At this point it may be time to start easing our children into independent learning.  This is an important thing for our children to learn. Independent learning can help them learn responsibility, prepare them for college, and helps them truly engage in the material.

But how can we create independent learners?

Read the full post at the Southeast Homeschool Expo. 

 

Four Reasons to Consider Homeschooing

 

The number of homeschoolers is growing by leaps and bounds.  In fact, in one state, there are more homeschoolers than private school students.  There are many reasons why people choose homeschooling; they range from personal preference, to special needs. If you have ever considered homeschooling before, you are not alone. Here are just a few reasons to consider homeschooling.

  1. Flexibility- Homeschooling leaves so many options open. Homeschool families can take vacations when they want, and are not tied down to a public school calendar. Some homeschool families’ school year round, stopping for breaks as needed. Homeschool families can sleep in and do school later, or arise early and have the rest of the day to play.   Part of the beauty of homeschooling is the flexibility!
  2. Learning is Customized- Children learn differently. One child may struggle with math, another with reading. Some children may need a little more time before moving on. Some children learn while moving around, some need visual aids. Homeschooling allows the parents to cater to each of their children’s individual needs. This cannot be done in a public school setting. If a child is in a class with 15 other children, and 12 know the material, the teacher will move on. The alternative is true also, if three know the material and 13 don’t, the teacher will need to spend more time teaching while the three who know it are bored. Homeschooling allows children to learn at their own pace, and in the way they learn best.  As parents, we are our children’s best teacher, and the one who loves them and wants to see them succeed. If curriculum is not working, you can change it! If a child needs more time, you can take it. Homeschooling allows parents to customize the learning to fit their child.
  3. Learning as a lifestyle- Homeschooling allows children to see that life happens every day. Children do not need to be “in school” to learn. There are learning opportunities everywhere! When you homeschool the whole world is your classroom. One way that many homeschoolers integrate daily life into homeschooling is through field trips. Many times businesses are more than willing to accommodate a small group of homeschoolers, and because the class size is so small, the children are able to have more interaction and hands on opportunities.
  4. One on One Ratio- You can’t beat the student/teacher ratio in homeschooling. If your child has a problem they don’t understand, you are right there to help them. This means you will know when they have mastered the material. There is no waiting until the teacher has time, or until parent teacher conferences to realize your child doesn’t quite “get it”. You will know what they are learning, how they are learning, and how they are doing in school all the time

Author Bio: Misty Bailey and her husband have been married for over a decade and have three beautiful children. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

What do I NEED to Teach?

When parents decide to home school, one of the first things many wonder is what do I need to teach? Or am I qualified to teach?  The teaching is one of the things parents are most afraid of when it comes to homeschooling. Don’t let fear rule your life! You are the most capable person on Earth to teach your child. You have been teaching your child since birth. You have already taught your child to walk, talk love, get along with others, pray, feed themselves and many other things I’m sure. Nothing changes when your child reaches school age. You are still more than capable.

 

Learn more at the Southeast Homeschool Expo

Give Yourself Grace

I have some difficult news for you. At some point in your homeschooling career, you are going to feel like a failure. This may happen everyday, it may happen once a month, or it may happen once a year. The point is, it WILL happen. When this time comes, you need to remember to breathe in and give yourself grace. Here are some areas that may make you feel like a failure, and what you can do to kick those feelings to the curb.

A Messy House-yea, we have all been there! Laundry on the floor? It’s ok! Crumbs all over the kitchen? Hey, we don’t want the mice to starve right? In reality, I am sure the house is NOT that bad. If your kids are fed, dressed, and your home is livable. Don’t feel bad, you are keeping up just fine!

Dinner- It’s 5:00 and you haven’t even thought of dinner? Looks like frozen pizza. Again. It’s ok! This is a time of busyness. Maybe you have many little ones, maybe your kids have been sick and you are lucky to be functioning at all, maybe school ran late because you were busy teaching long division. You are feeding your family something. That is a plus. You are not a failure!

Your Child is Struggling- Has your child hit a wall in school? An area you just can’t seem to help him in? It’s ok! You don’t have to teach everything. Really. Find someone who may be able to help you. It could be a teen from your church that is excelling in school, maybe it is your husband, an aunt, or grandpa. You are not a failure, give yourself grace. You have taught everything else up to this point, you are doing a great job!

Moms I encourage you to look past the to do list, look past the mess, and remember the big picture. You are doing a great job. Don’t compare your home, or your homeschool to someone else’s. Your focus and your ministry are within the four walls of your home. Are the kids healthy? Happy? Learning? If the answer is yes, then you are doing a great job! If the answer is no, you are still doing a great job! Give yourself grace, and remember that it is okay to make mistakes, it is okay to have messes, and it is okay to ask for help. It is also okay to feel like a failure sometimes, as long as you know and realize that you are NOT. You are a teacher, a nurse, a chef, a wife, a mother, a taxi driver, a housekeeper, and many other jobs as well. No one can do it all, and no one expects you to do it all either!

Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a free Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.

 

Five Tips for Homeschooling with a New Baby

At some point in many homeschool moms teaching careers, they will welcome a new bundle of joy. Babies are a blessing and should be treated as such, but to many moms they are also overwhelming. Especially when they appear in the middle of a school year :) . Unbelievably though, school CAN be done with an infant. It just takes a little work to find your groove. Here are five tips for homeschooling with a new baby.

  1. Take Time Off: Don’t plan on getting out of the hospital on Friday and starting back to school on Monday. This will NOT go well. Plan to take at least 2 weeks off from school. You can take more if you’d like, but do not take less than that.
  2. Use curriculum that is fairly independent: Now is not the time to dive into unit studies or hands on projects that require a lot of work from you. Find curriculum that your child can use on the computer, buy workbooks for certain subjects, check out lots of books from the library. Find a way for your children to get school done, without needing loads of help from mom.
  3. Only focus on the main subjects: If you have younger kids that cannot work well independently focus solely on language arts and math. This will minimize your work, and still allow you to get school done. Do this for as long as you need. If you are worried about getting the other subjects in check out library books and read while you feed your baby, find educational TV shows on Netflix, or check those out from your library too.
  4. Eat simple meals: If you can, freeze meals ahead of time in preparation for the first few weeks after baby is born. Stock up on meals that you can dump into your crock-pot with little to no preparation.
  5. Take care of yourself and your baby: Remember that school can wait. Use your baby as a character lesson in patience and love. Take care of the needs of your infant and you. Don’t let yourself to stress about school. Children learn every day, there is no need to feel “behind” or stress about lessons. Enjoy the time with your family, and your baby.

Anytime a family welcomes a new baby there will be a time of adjustment. Don’t see the baby as an interruption to your homeschool schedule. Instead, learn to relax and go with the flow. There may be days the baby needs held all day, that’s okay! You will never get this time back. Before you know it that cuddly infant will be a toddler running around wrecking havoc! So, enjoy this time when it is tiny, and eager to be loved! The newborn phase will go by before you know it, and believe me when I say that school will still be there later!

Author: Misty Bailey

Misty is a homeschool mom of three and has been homeschooling for over 4 years. You can read about her homeschool journey and more on her blog, Joy in the Journey.