Looking at my calendar, I immediately felt overwhelmed. Where was the white space? Where was the down time? There was no margin and certainly no room for personal me time.
We had something to do everyday for weeks. I was exhausted, and the week hadn’t even started yet. I knew at that point something had to give.
Have you been there — where you feel all you do is run between your obligations as a working mom and a homeschool mom? Can I tell you a secret? You don't have to constantly feel ragged! The solution to an over-packed schedule is to say no so you can say yes to what really matters.
One of the fondest memories I have of my childhood is my mom reading with me. We read books like Call of the Wild, Little House on the Prairie, and Misty of Chincoteague. Now as a homeschool mom, I am creating those same kinds of memories with my children. But reading aloud to our children provides so much more than memories. It provides long lasting benefits that can carry on throughout childhood and into adulthood.
1.Reading aloud creates readers.
Making the time to read with our children at a young age encourages them to love books.
As a homeschool mom, some days I feel like all I get done is playing teacher. Being a mom is part of my job, of course, but playing the dual role isn't always easy. At the end of the day I, probably like you, have regrets.
Our children are with us everyday yet, how often do we connect or encourage? How often do we break that teacher role and just be mom?
Our children see the best and worst in us; they get the brunt of our bad days and the joy of our good days. They spend more time with us than our friends, family, or spouse. Yet how often do we take the time to encourage them as children, as individuals, note just as our students?
I want to encourage my kids; I want to be intimately involved in their lives and build positive memories. I am sure you do too! Here are some ways we can choose to encourage our children as mom and not merely as teacher!
Homeschool curriculum shopping can be challenging when searching for a secular curriculum. Curriculum providers tend to market to the conservative Christian homeschooler, so there are a lot of options of that flavor while secular choices are fewer.
Even homeschoolers who do homeschool for religious reasons don't necessarily want a Christian homeschool curriculum for several reasons.
They Want to Keep Academics and Bible Separate
Many Christian families want to use materials that are not religious because their goal is to teach religion separately from academics. Many Christian publishers weave scripture and theology throughout their curriculum. For those who choose to keep academics and faith separate, this integration is not welcome.
I remember my very first year homeschooling; I ordered one of those big boxes of curriculum from one publisher. Everything came in one box, and my shopping was done in one swoop. I was thrilled!
Fast forward a few years later. I'm still homeschooling, and we still order a boxed curriculum each year despite my new-found expertise in educating at home.
We have strayed on a few things and may purchase more than one box a year's time; however, overall we are a boxed curriculum family. And I am still thrilled about that decision! Why? Because, I am a work at home mom.
As a work at home, homeschool mom, I have found that a boxed curriculum fits my family’s needs in ways that cobbling together materials from multiple publishers couldn’t do. How?
I walk into a new book store, and take a whiff. I find a seat, pull out a book, and read. Taking in the sights and smells that surround me, I revel in the smell and feel of a new book.
We are a family of readers, and most of the time we have a book in our hands. However, I rarely buy new books. One reason is of course to save money, but the other is that, quite frankly, we don’t have the space.
As parents, we encourage our children to read high quality literature at home, but another great way to boost interest in reading is through peer experiences such as a homeschool co-op. Through my own experiences in numerous local co-ops, I've discovered some helpful steps for forming a group and making it run smoothly.
Choose a Focus Group
Who do you want to include in your homeschool literature co-op? Just boys? Teens? Girls Only? All ages? Think about what you want out of the group and what age ranges you are going to include. Some factors to consider are the size of your meeting area and whether or not you have enough teachers to teach a wide variety of ages.