I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

5 Changes Every Homeschooler Should Make in the New Year

5 Changes Every Homeschooler Should Make in the New Year #homeschooling #homeschoolbravely

Written by Chelsea Gonzales.

A new year is here, and for many, that means a chance for a fresh start. January is a time for reboots, tweaks, and small shifts. Of course, most people make New Year’s resolutions that involve weight or money.

If you, like millions of folks, have made lifestyle resolutions and goals, great! Go ahead and hang onto them. However, I'd also encourage you to consider making a few changes to your homeschool.

Before you roll your eyes or keep scrolling, please hear me out. I'm not trying to shame shift here. I know from personal experience that any bit of change that happens from a root of shame is not sustainable.

(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details.)

I'm not suggesting you change your methods or even your schedule. I'm not criticizing your curriculum choices or your commitment level. Rather, I'm simply encouraging you to realign your expectations. I'm suggesting you do less, not more.

Here are 5 simple changes you can make to lighten your load today.

5 Changes Every Homeschooler Should Make in the New Year #homeschooling #homeschoolbravely

Ignore the Shoulds of Curriculum

Realize that what a curriculum says your child needs to be doing is not necessarily what he or she should be doing. Understand that he is an individual with his own strengths and weaknesses and that by comparing him to his peers or to some arbitrary benchmark in the lesson plan, you're actually letting school get in the way of his education. You're sabotaging your own efforts. If you're like most homeschoolers, the cookie-cutter model is what you were trying to avoid by choosing to teach him at home in the first place. Don't allow comparison or someone else's expectations derail the good work.

Rethink School

Embrace your child’s personality and let it mold your schooling experience instead of the other way around. Pick projects she is interested in. Find a less stressful way to present math. Stop pushing her to read on your timeline, or the curriculum's timeline, or that other kid's timeline. Encourage her to build on the skills she seems to pick up naturally. In truth, the things she is most passionate about are what will drive her to learn, and are likely what will influence her career choices in the future. So, spend your time and energy cultivating those things. Make everything else secondary.

5 Changes Every Homeschooler Should Make in the New Year #homeschooling #homeschoolbravely

Accept Your Limitations

Know that you will make mistakes and that you will struggle to teach some things, but that everyone else does too (including all the professionals down the street--the teachers, the curriculum creators, the naysayers). Forgive yourself for mistakes and move on, using them as a lesson and an invitation to do things differently next time. Embrace the fact that you can't teach everything and accept help from other teachers and mentors when necessary. That's not an admission of failure, but a push towards excellence.

Plan for Self-Care

Give yourself time to recharge. Schedule a bit of “me time” into your week and stick to it. Write it down on the calendar. In ink. Get rid of unnecessary distractions. Turn off the phone, the critical voices, the never-ending TO DO list. Yes, your kids are important, but so are you. In order to take care of them and make homeschooling sustainable, you must take care of yourself. Decide today that you matter.

Give a Hard Pass

Don’t be afraid to say “no” even if every other homeschooler is saying "yes." Leave time in your day and in your child's day to just be. Scheduling every minute of every day is not doing you or them any favors. Remember, just because someone else feels your children need more socialization or time out of the house does not mean that it's true. You know what is best for your family and you have the power and the responsibility to turn down any and all engagements that demand too much of your day.

5 Changes Every Homeschooler Should Make in the New Year #homeschooling #homeschoolbravely

Homeschooling shouldn't feel so heavy. January, with its fresh starts, is a great time to reexamine your days and decide what needs to change. As you head into the new year begin to shift your priorities. Resolve to lighten the load by letting go of some of the things you were never meant to carry. Doing less is a New Year's goal worth keeping. It's a gift to your future self.  


If you need more tips on how to do more by doing less in your homeschool, be sure to check out Jamie's new book, Homeschool Bravely: How to Squash Doubt, Trust God, and Teach Your Child With ConfidenceIt will show you how to have a guilt-free homeschool and will point you to the courage that you need to finish strong. 

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