How to be a successful homeschool mom - 13 tips

How Can We Be Successful Homeschool Moms? The Secret Sauce

Inside: We all know being a homeschooling mom isn’t easy. So what makes a successful homeschool mom? Here are some tips to make your life easier from me, a veteran homeschool mom, to you, with love! Take what you need and hopefully you will get inspired to continue on this very difficult but so rewarding journey.

It takes two to tango… err homeschool and our roles as homeschool moms are often overlooked because we tend to focus it all on the kids.

We all know this homeschooling path is not just about guiding our children through their education—it’s also about our personal growth and the deep fulfillment that comes from playing such an active role in our children’s learning and development. As homeschool moms, we take on the challenge of being the chief educator, the curriculum planner, and often, the one who reassures that everything is going to be okay when the days get tough.

Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been on this path for a while, you’ve likely realized that homeschooling is as much about educating yourself as it is about teaching your kids. From figuring out the best teaching methods to managing a bustling household, it’s a full-time gig that requires creativity, patience, and a whole lot of love.

I’m here to share this journey with you, offering insights from my own experiences as a veteran homeschool mom (for the past 8+ years) and practical tips to help you find joy and success in homeschooling.

13 tips for being a successful homeschool mom- by monkey and mom

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Inside the Life of a Homeschool Mom

Each homeschool day starts with a plan—sometimes more of a hope—and a hefty dose of coffee (or tea for me). As any homeschooling mom knows, flexibility is the secret ingredient in our daily schedule. Whether you’re a new homeschooler or you’ve been guiding young children and older kids through their learning experience for years, each day brings its own set of unique challenges and triumphs.

Being a homeschool mom is about so much more than just education. It’s a lifestyle choice that affects every aspect of our family activities and own life. But despite the challenges and the hectic days, it’s an incredibly rewarding path. We’re not just teaching them about the world, we’re learning together, growing together, and most importantly, loving every minute (well, almost every minute) of this deeply enriching experience.

What Does It Mean to Be a Successful Homeschool Mom?

Success in homeschooling isn’t about ticking all the boxes or having your kids master their multiplication tables by age two. No, it’s something we each define for ourselves, based on our family’s needs, our children’s growth, and our own personal development. It’s about finding a rhythm in the chaos and learning to prioritize what truly matters each day.

Balancing Acts

Mastering the art of balance is key in the life of a homeschool mom. I learned early on that trying to “have it all” was an exercise in futility. Instead, prioritizing became my daily mantra. Every morning, it’s about deciding what’s crucial for that day—whether it’s focusing on a difficult math concept or tackling a work deadline. And let’s be honest, some days, just making sure everyone is fed and alive by sundown feels like a major win!

Asking for Help

It’s okay to admit that we can’t do everything alone. I’ve found tremendous relief in sharing responsibilities, whether it’s dividing up household chores with my spouse or leaning on other homeschool parents through co-ops or online groups. Remember, it takes a village to raise a child, and sometimes, to teach one too.

Embracing Tools and Technology

Utilizing the right tools can make a huge difference. For instance, investing in a good multicooker saved me countless hours in the kitchen, and embracing self-paced online programs allowed my son to learn independently. This not only helped him develop valuable self-study skills but also gave me the freedom to fit in work tasks without sacrificing our educational goals.

13 tips for homeschooling moms and free printable posters

Debunking Common Myths

As homeschool moms, we often find ourselves facing a barrage of misconceptions and myths that can skew the public’s understanding of what homeschooling really involves.

It’s a Teacher’s Job, Not a Mom’s

One of the biggest myths I’ve encountered is the notion that you need a teaching degree to educate your children effectively at home. The truth is, today’s homeschool curricula are designed to guide even those without a formal background in education.

You don’t have to be a trained teacher to be a great homeschool mom. What you need is a commitment to learn alongside your children and the flexibility to adapt as you go. Remember, you’ve been your child’s guide since they were born—extending that guidance into their education is a natural progression, not a professional leap.

It’s Impossible to Work While Homeschooling

Many people also believe it’s impossible to work and homeschool simultaneously. While it’s not without its challenges, many homeschool parents find ways to balance professional work with their children’s education.

Personally, I’ve managed to integrate work by scheduling it during times when my son is engaged with online tutors, on weekends, or in the evenings. It requires flexibility and, yes, sometimes a lot of adjusting, but it is definitely possible.

As someone who’s walked this tightrope, I’ve learned a few strategies that might help you find your balance.

Flexibility: The key to making work and homeschool coexist is structured flexibility. I set specific work hours around Marc’s study schedule, taking advantage of the times he’s engaged in self-paced learning or online tutoring. This allows me to focus on professional tasks without sacrificing our educational goals.

Weekends: While not ideal, extending work into weekends and evenings has been necessary at times. This shift ensures that I don’t shortchange my son’s education during the weekdays when we focus on core subjects and projects.

Help: Don’t underestimate the power of a strong support network. Connecting with other homeschooling parents for advice, sharing responsibilities, or even swapping teaching days can provide crucial breathing space for work tasks.

If you don’t have a network yet or want to connect with me and other homeschool parents, Join My Facebook Group, We Are Homeschoolers!

Technology: Embracing technology has also been very helpful. From educational apps that keep Marc engaged to productivity tools that streamline my workflow, the right tech can make a huge difference in managing the dual demands of work and homeschooling.

Homeschooling mom tips from a veteran homeschool mom- monkeyandmom

Self-Care for Homeschool Moms: A Must, Not a Maybe

I know, I know, just another thing to add to your already overflowing plate, right? But taking care of yourself isn’t just about feeling good it’s about being able to give your best to your kids and your homeschooling efforts.

Think of it this way: if you’re running on empty, how much do you really have to offer? We’ve all had those days where everything feels twice as hard because we’re just too tired or stressed. That’s why I started incorporating little self-care rituals into my day, and honestly, it helps a lot.

Sometimes, it’s as simple as taking a longer shower while listening to my favorite music. Or after dropping Marc off at his chess club, instead of running errands, I might grab a cup of tea at a nearby café and just sit quietly for a few minutes, trying to let my thoughts wander.

It might not sound like much, but these small moments can really recharge your batteries and reset your mind so you can better focus on your kids and your daily tasks.

And it’s not just about sneaking in a break here and there. I also try to make a point of doing something I love every week, even if it’s just reading a chapter of a book, watching my favorite K-dramas (yeah, I gave in) going for a long stroll in nature, or jotting down a few thoughts in my journal. It keeps me grounded and helps me manage the chaos of daily life.

Remember, keeping your own cup full is key to being able to pour into others, especially our little learners.

So, what’s your go-to self-care activity? I’m always looking for new ideas to try out!

13 Tips for Keeping It Real and Relaxed

Homeschooling can be a wild ride, right? I’ve picked up some pointers along the way that I hope will help you as much as they’ve helped me to become successful homeschool moms 🌷.

how to be a successful homeschooling mom- poster
Download the posters for free below

1. Don’t Overcomplicate Things

Ever find yourself buried under a mountain of curricula? Yeah, me too. Here’s the thing—keeping it simple really does work. Some days, if all we manage are math and language arts, I call it a win. Life’s too short to sweat the small stuff.

Set your priorities straigth when it comes to the BASIC/BARE MINIMUM you need to do in your homeschool to consider it a succesful day. This can look different for everyone.

2. Prioritize Wisely

Not everything needs to be a top priority. Each morning, I ask myself, “What’s the most important thing we need to accomplish today?” and try to stick to that.

It’s about finding balance, not just for your kids’ education but for your sanity too. If your work takes precedence sometimes because of a deadline, don’t be afraid of letting kids have an “easy” school day by allowing them to work independently, craft something, read, or watch a documentary.

As long as you balance these days with mostly “on track” days, you will be on top of everything, I promise!

3. It’s About Connection, Not Perfection

The core of homeschooling isn’t just academics—it’s about nurturing a loving relationship and fostering growth. Celebrate the small victories, the little moments where they learn something new, or you see them grow.

We often forget this isn’t a race, and we didn’t sign up for this only to cross things off a checklist. We’re doing this for our children’s happiness and best interests. So don’t forget to enjoy their milestones and growth along the way.

4. Encourage Independence

Start cultivating independence in your kids’ learning early on. It frees up some of your time and helps them become self-sufficient learners. Trust me, it’s a game-changer for both of you in the long run.

There are so many options out there to encourage kids’ independence and one of my favorite reads about fostering independently responsible learners has been TEACH by Dennis DiNoia, one of the few homeschool books I read cover to cover and reviewed because it resonated with me so much!

5. Learning Is Lifelong

Show them that everyone keeps learning, including you. If they come across something you don’t know, turn it into a learning session together. It’s a great way for them to see that nobody knows it all, and that’s perfectly okay. I love it when ths happens, because sometimes he is the one who exlains things to me and that’s perfectly normal in our homeschool. So different from the public school where “the adult knows best”.

6. Make Reading Aloud a Habit

Even though Marc is 13 now, our read-aloud time is non-negotiable. It’s our way to unwind and connect after a busy day. and we both love it. I won’t even go over the benefits of reading aloud here because I am sure you’ve heard them all!

homeschool mom poster printable- free

7. Stick to What Works

If you’ve found a curriculum that works for you, stick with it. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. And if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

I know how “new shiny stuff” look and I fell into that trap myself. But when you find a curriculum that works for you, stop investing in others. We’ve stuck with Math in Focus for 6 years, Mr D Math for 3, IEW for 4 and I don’t regret any of these! These ensured Marc had continuity and growth.

8. Crafting Isn’t Compulsory

Hey, all those Pinterest crafts sure look fun, but they’re not a must. If crafting isn’t your thing or it feels like a chore, skip it. Your kids will be just fine.

We never did busybags, sensory bins, crafts or anything related to that. Sure, if it’s your thing and your kids enjoy it, go for it! But if you don’t do it, you will lose nothing, my friend.

9. Let Them Lead Sometimes

Sure, there are non-negotiables like math and language arts, but why not let your kids pick topics they’re passionate about for other subjects? It keeps them engaged and makes learning exciting. Marc is always the one choosing his science topics, his programming topics and other things he is interested in. That’s how we do a balanced child-led learning in our homeschool.

10. Only Compare to Yesterday

The only person you should compare yourself or your kids to is… you guessed it, yourselves. Are you doing better than yesterday? Last month? Last year? That’s what matters.

It’s easy to fall into the comparison trap, and trust me, it makes everyone miserable. You do you and keep your course. If you see growth, you’re doing it right.

11. Relax, They’ll Be Fine

Really, they will. Remember, even in traditional schools, not everything gets covered. What matters is they’re learning, growing, and thriving.

Homeschooling is NOT school at home. The focus here is HOME and not school. Make sure they cover the bases on what you consider important academically, and feel free to explore the rest.

12. Embrace Mistakes

They happen! To everyone! Show your kids that mistakes are just part of learning. It’s how you handle them that counts. We aren’t perfect and it’s good for our kids to see that. It’s also an amazing opportunity to model the growth mindset I keep rattling about on my blog.

13. Ask for Help

No one can do it all alone. Don’t be reluctant about using tutors or online resources. Sometimes, a little help can make a huge difference. And that’s still called homeschooling!

Marc has outgrown my knowledge in chemistry in 4th grade when he finished a whole middle school curriculum. He also showed interest in programming which looks like a foreign language to me. So I got him tutors to deal with these subjects, people he can connect with and talk about these things.

So there you have it—some straightforward, no-nonsense advice from one homeschool mom to another. What’s your favorite tip? Anything you’ve found particularly helpful?

If you want a nice reminder of these tips, you can download my free poster below (and you’ll also get some nice bonus posters for encouragement and to remind you why you started homeschooling in the first place):

You’ve Got This, Mamma!

In wrapping up, let’s just say that being a homeschool mom is truly a labor of love.

Between juggling lesson plans and laundry, it’s easy to forget just how impactful you are in your children’s lives. The tips I’ve shared come from real experience and are here to hopefully help lighten your load a bit.

So take a deep breath, give yourself some credit, and remember: every little struggle today is building a stronger foundation for your kids’ tomorrows. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned pro, know that you’re not alone in this journey. Keep reaching out, keep sharing, and keep moving forward—one day, one laugh, one lesson at a time.

You’ve got this!

best tools for homeschool

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Is It Hard to Be a Homeschool Mom?

Yes, being a homeschool mom can be challenging—it’s a significant commitment of time, energy, and resources. However, it’s also incredibly rewarding. The key is finding your rhythm, seeking support when needed, and remembering that every homeschool family has unique dynamics. It’s not about perfection but progress.

Can a Full-Time Working Mom Homeschool?

Absolutely. While challenging, full-time working moms can homeschool by utilizing flexible schooling schedules, delegating certain educational tasks to online programs or tutors, and often shifting homeschool activities to evenings or weekends. It requires careful planning and time management, but it is feasible.

How Do Homeschool Moms Get a Break?

Taking breaks is crucial for maintaining a homeschool mom’s well-being. Strategies include arranging playdates, joining homeschool co-ops where parents share teaching responsibilities, or simply setting aside time for personal relaxation and hobbies.

Isn’t a Homeschool Mom and a Stay-at-Home Mom the Same Thing?

Not necessarily. While both may be at home, a homeschool mom actively manages her child’s education, which includes planning and executing lessons, tracking progress, and often, juggling educational activities with other responsibilities.

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