Mindset. This word is becoming more and more popular in recent days, but it’s totally understandable why. In a nutshell, mindset simply means the established set of attitudes held by someone. With this definition in mind, I’d like to share three ways to start back to homeschool with the right mindset.
Whether you’re a new homeschooling mom, or a veteran, we can all agree that there are similar obstacles we face when choosing to home educate our children. And one of the biggest hurdles to jump is preparing the mind to accept the new reality.
I personally didn’t start our homeschooling journey with a “homeschool mindset.” Nope. I had the mindset of a public school, early childhood teacher. I naturally started with a school-at-home approach, which is most natural to those who have never been brick and mortar teachers.
It was easy in the beginning because at the time we only had one child. Five years and three more children later, it’s safe to say that the school-at-home approach is not part of my vocabulary as much anymore. Although I didn’t read any homeschool-related books, I did A LOT of research online. I wanted to know every style, method, type, and way that a family could homeschool.
Reality is, even in the midst of all that research, the light bulb didn’t come on until I realized that I needed to see this journey through the very word that it is – home school.
I needed to recognize that my family is not a school, per se, and that is okay. My family are people who are always learning, always growing, and we certainly don’t the cultural school-centered mindset to make that happen. So, how does one develop the homeschool mindset?
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“Deschool” When Appropriate
Deschooling may not apply to everyone but if you find yourself feeling the pressure and stress of having to make your homeschool look like a public or private school setting – then this is something to consider.
Keep in mind that deschooling isn’t just for children transitioning to homeschool. It’s for parents too. I believe this is another big hurdle to jump because as an adult, we’ve already gone through school. We’ve already gained the experiences. And we have our pre-conceived notions of what schooling should look like.
So quite naturally, these thoughts and expectations are carried over into our homeschooling environments. Deschooling allows you to clear your mind (and your child’s) of any unrealistic expectations. It opens to the door to cultivate what homeschooling should look like for your unique family. Simple ways to start deschooling are:
- Incorporate interest-led learning activities.
- Include the child in the goal setting process.
- Expand learning resources to include siblings, outdoors, life experiences, etc.
Whenever you feel yourself navigating back toward the public/private school mindset, deschool!
Guard Yourself Against Believing There Is One Right Way
Particularly for new homeschoolers, there is this sense of believing there is one right way to educate children and produce intelligent little humans. Most would like to pick the perfect method, check off the boxes, and get the amazing results promised. But how often does that really happen?
I’ve yet to talk to a homeschooling mom who educated her children the exact same way from day one. It may be possible, but it doesn’t sound very realistic to me! When it comes down to it, method has little bearing on the results.
There are children who flourish through the Classical Conversations method, while another child flourishes using the Charlotte Mason style. On the same playing field, there are children who struggle, just as many do in school.
I’ve made it a personal mantra of mine and believe that – The only way to homeschool is YOUR way! Begin nurturing your way by:
- Embracing your family dynamic.
- Incorporating the uniqueness and quirkiness your family offers.
- Combine bits and pieces of styles/methods into one, and then put your family’s name on it (now you have your own unique method!).
Cultivate Realistic Expectations
I end my list with this way particularly because once you’ve deschooled and started to navigate the need to use one method or the other, the mind can still draw a blank when it comes down to knowing what to expect out of homeschooling. This is where a simplified list comes in. Consider cultivating realistic expectations for your homeschool by:
- Realizing that learning can take place anywhere.
- Understanding that everyone is constantly growing and at different rates.
- Recognizing your fearlessness.
- Embracing the freedom that homeschooling offers.
- Accepting the unknown.
- Not striving for perfection.
- Being interested and interesting.
- Enjoying the journey!
Add to this list with some ways of your own and rock it!
You Got This!
I’m a firm believer that the mind holds majority (if not all) the power over a person’s beliefs, behavior, actions, and the like. What we typically think about something has a lot to do with how we react to it. In this case, how we view ourselves as homeschooling moms is no different. And whatever that view is has a direct reflection over how our homeschools will operate.
Beyond that, the view also affects our children, our spouse (if applicable), and so on. No matter the view, it’s safe to say that the mindset we hold about our role as homeschoolers has a domino effect. This effect can be good, or it can be bad. My desire for writing this post is to encourage you to see your journey as a homeschooling parent through the lens of blessing that it is.
Yes, there are hard days. Yes, there are struggling times. And no, we don’t always get it right. But, if we remember the ways mentioned, I believe we’ll develop a mindset that strengthens our journey as homeschoolers!
CHIME IN: What are some ways you cultivate a homeschool mindset? Share in the comments below!
This post is part of the Back to Homeschool: Mind Over Matter Series hosted by With the Huddlestons. All blog posts in this series are to help encourage and inspire you to embrace being the awesome homeschooling mom/dad that you are! Be on the lookout for:
- The Benefits of Homeschooling a Child with Autism, A Mother’s Random Thoughts
- Back to Homeschool with the Best Teacher Ever (and it’s not you or me!), Minivan Ministries
- Yes, you can homeschool special needs child, Inside Our Normal
- Back to Homeschool with the multiple ages & grades, How to Homeschool My Child
- and many more!
Enter for your chance to win this amazing back to homeschool bundle! This bundle includes: a signed copy of LM Preston’s Homeschooling & Working paperback book and journal, 1 copy of Take It Easy digital magazine (September issue, by With the Huddlestons), Homeschool Activities Workbook bundle (donated by Our Learning Curve), Super Easy Homeschool Planning Pack, A Ginormous List of Freebies (Middle & High School Editions), and Read, Write, Research and Color Packet (donated by Blessed Grove Homeschool). Giveaway ends and winner announce August 30th!