Insights from Eleven Experienced Homeschooling Parents

This episode of the Art of Homeschooling podcast is full of insights from experienced homeschooling parents!

These are practical tips for navigating the challenges AND joys of homeschooling.

I asked 11 homeschooling experts who will all be presenting at the Taproot Teacher Training this summer to share their personal insights and recommendations with us.

Whether you’re a new homeschooling parent or a seasoned one, this episode is packed with valuable advice that can help you make the most of your homeschooling journey. I hope this episode will lighten your load so that you can have more fun and find more ease while you learn and grow with your children.

Here are eleven impactful insights from experienced homeschooling parents!

#1: Every morning, visualize joy unfolding ~ Jodie

Joys and challenges come and go, so learn how to find balance by pre-paving your day first on how you would like it to go. You can simply take about 3 minutes as you first wake up, laying in bed to visualize your day, even if it’s just one feeling, like, “today is going to be smooth and filled with discovery.” Get up and continue to build the momentum of that feeling. “When we do our lesson, I will make a discovery, which will set an example for my child, and I can’t wait to see his or her eyes light up.” You put yourself in this “discovery“ feeling place, and just watch what unfolds that day. This is just one feeling example, you can choose energetic, enthusiastic, curious etc. I find that by doing this in the mornings, it always sets a tone for joy to unfold. But when I don’t, that’s when I face challenges. 

#2: Don’t be too hard on yourself ~ Jean

Relax, simplify, and trust. And don’t be too hard on yourself. So often, the parents I talk with beat themselves up because they can’t seem to fit in all the curriculum, don’t know how to knit, aren’t sure how to do form drawing or watercolor painting. Just do what you can and enjoy the journey. It doesn’t have to be “perfect.” Hands-on holistic homeschooling fosters connection with our children more than any other teaching approach I know of. We’re inviting our children to cultivate creativity and wonder about the world. So embrace this experience as a journey of discovery for the whole family! Rather than perfection, focus on connection. 

#3: Let go and start again ~ Dominique

Let it go! Whatever happened in the past is past and today is a brand new day. You can start over, re-think, re-do, pause, shift gears, and write a new script ~ starting now. Enjoy this moment. It’s beautiful if you stop to think about it. 💖 

#4: Be flexible because you have all the time in the world ~ Sarah

Be flexible and respectful of your child as a human being. Be willing to listen and compromise and you’ll have much less resistance. Your relationship is so important and you have all the time in the world. This might mean letting go of some things when they’re not working and choosing intentionally. Things I’ve let go of: form drawing, flute, and weekly watercoloring painting
😲😲😲! We do 8 to 10 forms a year at most. That’s it! Painting we do about the same. Flute, maybe we’ll try again next year. 

#5: The activities YOU enjoy can reset your day ~ Shawna

On the down days, the hard days, pull out the thing YOU do best and enjoy most ~ painting, cooking, nature exploration ~ and let that reset you.

#6: One teaching style does not work for ALL children ~ Rebecca

One teaching style does not work for all children! I had to be willing to change plans, change curriculum, and get help from someone more knowledgeable than me at times.  Keep trying until you find the right fit. But the joys of witnessing the depth of learning and intimate knowledge that comes from a hands-on, lively arts based style is immeasurable. Like when my 12 year old son made a linoleum carving of a statue of St. George that he saw on a European calendar, and then saw that exact statue while walking down a random street in Florence, Italy and lit up with excitement! Being on the tail end of homeschooling, with only one left at home, I love seeing where my kids have landed and are headed into the future ~ they are all thriving and becoming their truest selves!

#6: Slow down and stay connected ~ Eshanne

Remember to, slow down and stay connected. Like Anne Shirley said, “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” THIS moment is new. What if (as Jean says often) THIS moment isn’t a problem. All we have to do is to return to our breath, return to ourselves, return to our children and…SLOW DOWN AND STAY CONNECTED. 

#7: Curiosity is contagious ~ Alison

Cultivate and nourish your own curiosity. It’s contagious!

#8: Look through the eyes of your child ~ Joe

Remember to try and look through the eyes of your child and see if you’ve found that connection point in your day, lesson, or experience. Accept that not every day will be a “gold star” day. But every night, you can look back and say you’ve added another element to their universe.

#9: Each is an individual and every problem is an opportunity ~ Amber

See every “problem” as an opportunity. Be aware of the needs of each individual child in front of you, and create a plan just for them based on their specific needs.

#10: Enjoy your children and share your passions with them ~ Barbara

Enjoy your children. Share your talents and passions with them. Let them help you develop new passions. They will become your lifelong friends, as my children, all now senior citizens, are still my best friends!

#11: Find like-minded parents or a mentor to share the journey with ~ a bonus tip!

And here’s a bonus tip. Sometimes we can feel isolated as homeschoolers. Find like-minded parents and build friendships that will support you on your journey. Consider finding a mentor. Connecting with homeschooling parents can provide you with a wealth of new and fresh ideas to help enliven your homeschool experience, feel validated and excited to teach throughout the year. (Hint: The Taproot Teacher Training gives you all of this and more!)

What a gift to hear these insights from experienced homeschooling parents! And how impactful would it be to you to take these insights and this wisdom to heart?

The Taproot Teacher Training for Homeschoolers

This four day teacher training retreat is held every summer in northeastern Ohio. Lead by Jean Miller of the Art of Homeschooling and Barbara Dewey of Waldorf Without Walls, as well as a team of amazing presenters, the Taproot Teacher Training is unlike any other homeschool conference you’ve ever attended!

Give yourself this gift! A gift that will renew your spirit, skills, and mission for your upcoming homeschooling year. Join us at Taproot!

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