My #1 Piece of Advice to All Homeschoolers

I’m super excited today to reveal to you, dear listener, my #1 piece of advice to all homeschoolers. 

And here it is…

Start with simplicity. Return to simplicity. Embrace simplicity.

This is my #1 piece of advice to all homeschoolers. 

Allow your life to be simple!

If you put simplicity as your highest guiding principle, you’ll save yourself a lot of headache, heartache, and stress. 

Practical Ways to Embrace Simplicity in Your Homeschool

I looked up the word simplicity as I was preparing to record this episode of the podcast and here’s what I found:

Simplicity is the quality of being plain or natural, and easy to understand or do. 

Truthfully, I don’t naturally gravitate toward simplicity.

I crave it. I long for it. However, it’s just that my mind has a tendency to overcomplicate things. And to think that something must be wrong if it’s too easy or too simple.

Maybe you can relate?

I want to share with you 4 practical ways to live with simplicity as a central pillar of your homeschooling life:

  1. Start with a simple plan.
  2. Scale back when you need to.
  3. Embrace the 20-20-20 Rule whenever necessary.
  4. Build back up slowly, one thing at a time.

Whether it’s a new baby, a sick family member, or a financial setback… life brings the unexpected.

It can be so helpful to have a super simple plan for your homeschooling days. A framework that you can refer to and rely on no matter what. This framework allows you to build up activities or scale back, depending on what you and your family need.

I have a tool that can help with just this! If you want step by step guidance about how to craft a homeschool life that’s simple, inspiring, and doable, all the details about my Homeschool Simplicity eBook + Bundle are here for you to check out. Included with this eBook are planning templates, grade by grade block outlines, and training videos to show you how to bring it all together so you can embrace simplicity on YOUR homeschooling journey!

Start with Rhythm

Keep your rhythm and routine super simple. Start with mealtimes and bedtime as the anchor points of your day. Cultivate those four anchors, get them steady, and then build upon that structure.

Your rhythm is how you organize your homeschool day.    

As the author of Simplicity Parenting, says, 

The magic of rhythm is in the process, not in the particulars.

~ Kim John Payne

Think about music. Music is organized around repeated motifs that the listener anticipates. Rhythm and repetition allow you to relax into the flow. Just as music flows from one variation on a theme to the next, our days at home with our children can flow with the ease and simplicity of a beautiful piece of music.

For sure, our lives are complicated. Now more than ever! And the work we do as mothers and fathers is so important.

Whether you’re new to this idea of rhythm, or you just need a gentle reminder to return your focus to the flow ~ You’ve got this!

Rhythm is like a dance. And you want to find that sweet spot between structure AND freedom.

Here are a few principles to keep in mind:

  • Life is complicated. Let’s simplify it.
  • Rhythm can help.
  • Rhythm is not meant to be rigid.
  • Be gentle with yourself.
  • Sometimes your rhythm will fall apart (and that’s OK)!
  • Do less so you can connect more.

That last one is my favorite: Do less so you can connect more!

Relationships are often built in the intervals, the spaces between activities when nothing much is going on...” 

~Kim John Payne

Want more help crafting your homeschool rhythm? If you don’t have it already, get my free Homeschool Rhythm Starter Kit and create your daily rhythm chart so you can step into the flow and release the overwhelm.

Embrace the 20-20-20 Rule

This idea is so very simple, takes one hour a day, and covers all 3 main subjects: language arts, math, and science.

Here’s how it works: spend 20 minutes reading aloud, 20 minutes practicing math (which might even be games or baking), and 20 minutes outside.

Because here’s the thing: so often when everything falls apart or we don’t know how to keep up with it all, we think we need a more solid plan. We feel all over the place and distracted and like we’re not doing this homeschooling thing very well. And sometimes we even want someone to just tell us what to do.

But as soon as you find one good book and begin reading, play a math game, and go for a hike… you’ll feel better immediately! 😊

The key is to set aside the time to be with your children and engage in enriching activities, undistracted. That’s when the learning happens. Through connection and doing things together.

That’s why the 20-20-20 rule is so helpful! It gives you a framework for those days when you think: “Now what were we going to do today?” Or “Oh snap, I don’t have a plan for today!” Or even, “I’m too tired to even think about lessons.”

It’s a minimum viable homeschooling day. You can embrace this as your plan! 

Remember this important mantra: Scale back until it works and then add from there.

After you’ve scaled back with the 20-20-20 rule, and you’re ready to build back up, you can then take one of those 20-minute segments and build it out into a fuller main lesson block – with a two-day rhythm and the lively arts woven in. Verses and songs, movement, drawing or painting, modeling with clay or beeswax, turning stories into puppet plays or acting them out, and making main lesson books.

But even when you’ve taken one of the three subjects of either language arts, math, or science and turned that into a main lesson, keep doing the 20 minutes of the other two.

This is what homeschool simplicity looks.

Simplicity is My #1 Piece of Advice to All Homeschoolers

Looking back, I can truly say that every year of our homeschooling journey was different. But I can see the thread of connection with rhythm and the lively arts, with the engaging activities we did together.

And now as young adults, all three of my kids are curious hands-on learners who love to read, build things, and spend time outdoors. They’ve been to college or technical school and are primed to learn about whatever next interest they have.

So just remember, even when life is challenging, you can keep your homeschooling simple that it works. That’s really the key: to keep it so simple that it works. So that you can feel like there’s forward momentum, like you’re doing alright as the leader of the crew, and you can sustain homeschooling through the years.

Rate & Review the Podcast

If the Art of Homeschooling Podcast has inspired you, I’d LOVE it if you could rate and review the podcast on your favorite podcast player! Reviews can be left on Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Podcast Addict, or Stitcher.

Or simply pop on over to lovethepodcast.com/artofhomeschooling and choose where you want to leave your review.

And if you want to show your appreciation for the Art of Homeschooling Podcast, you can buy me a coffee!

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