Start the Homeschool Year Strong: 9 Strategies for Successful Homeschooling

Every homeschooling parent wants a successful homeschool year. Now, I can’t guarantee that your kids will never fight or that math won’t cause the occasional tear. But a few veteran homeschool moms and I do have some quality tips to share to inspire your homeschool! Avoid burnout and start the homeschool year strong with these 9 strategies for successfully homeschooling!

Start the Homeschool Year Strong: 9 Strategies for Successful Homeschooling

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Start with the End in Mind

If you don’t know WHY you’re homeschooling, it’s going to be difficult to persevere when days are challenging. That’s why thinking through your homeschool vision is so important. One of the first questions I encourage you to ask when homeschool planning is “What kind of human do I want to raise?”.

It can also be helpful to put together a homeschool mission statement. Some families write this out formally and share it with the family. Others choose to discuss their goals and priorities as parents without the need to write it out officially. But whether you write a formal mission statement or just set the vision verbally, make sure you start homeschooling with the end in mind.

homeschool graduate homeschooling family

Plan and Prep… but Stay Flexible

Preparation and planning is crucial when it comes to setting ourselves up for homeschool success. But it’s important to remember that we need to be flexible when it comes time to implement those plans! Julie from Mama to 5 shares this great tip:

“Do your best planning and prepping before the school year starts…choosing your curriculum, planning a routine, and having a goal. But once the year starts, be flexible! Your routine will likely need to be tweaked, the lessons might need some adjustments. You might need extra days off for appointments. The end goal is not for a certain number of pages to be completed, it’s that your child is learning and growing. Don’t compare your child’s progress with others his or her age. Check your priorities. Is your relationship with your child tense because you’re pushing them but not stopping to check in with them to meet their emotional needs? Every homeschool will look different, and you need to do what’s best for YOU and your child.”

homeschool planning prep Start the Homeschool Year Strong: 9 Strategies for Successful Homeschooling

Remember Curriculum is a Tool, Not Your Master

You are the boss of your homeschool, not the curriculum or teacher’s manual! Anna Jill from Just Makin’ It Work says building a curriculum plan in your homeschool is kind of like following a recipe:

“Grasping the flexibility and freedom of homeschooling is one of the major benefits of teaching our children. This can provide the needed sustainability and peace we long for in our home education and family life. This is easier said than done, and I hope to provide you with a tangible concept that can be implemented in your homeschool.

Did you know curriculum is simply a tool for us to use? It can be adapted however best serves the needs of our season and circumstances.

I like to treat curriculum like a recipe I am making for my family. Since I know my family’s likes, dislikes, preferences and even hesitations to try new things, I can incorporate or omit ingredients that don’t pass the taste test. We may try it once, and decide next time to add more of this or take out some of that.

This is my approach to curriculum! The resources provided, the sequence suggested, the read alouds incorporated or the schedule given are there as a guide and to be used to serve YOU however YOU, as the home educator of your children, see as valuable, beneficial and necessary.

These curricula were created to serve you. Most likely, the writers were not in your exact season, nor experienced the needs or circumstances you are navigating in your home. That is good news!

Just as you would alter a recipe to accommodate your children’s needs and tastes, you get to cater your curriculum choices to fit your current needs and circumstances. You have full permission to add to, omit or try something new with the resources you have chosen for your homeschool. This is my go-to strategy for a sustainable homeschool.”

homeschool mom tips Start the Homeschool Year Strong: 9 Strategies for Successful Homeschooling

Take Time to Assess Regularly

Kate Waalkes from Life in the Mundane has some great wisdom to share on this topic. It’s not enough to just plan once then coast through the homeschool year. We need to be constantly evaluating what is going well…and not so well.

“Regular assessment! Taking time each and every month to examine what is working and what is not in your homeschool is the best tip I can give any homeschool parent. For me, I sit down at the end of every month and ask myself a couple of questions.

1) What was our biggest win this month?
2) What obstacles did we encounter this month?
3) What changes should we possibly make?
4) Is there anything we need to stop doing?
5) Was I faithful in my homeschooling this month?

These 5 questions help me make solid plans going forward but also challenge me in ensuring I am dealing with the root causes of my homeschool struggles. Taking this time to get to the root cause helps me accurately recognize what needs to change in my homeschool. But what about those times that you identify the problem but are not sure of the possible solution? This is where I have found a lot of help in places like Made 2 Homeschool.”

made2homeschool Start the Homeschool Year Strong: 9 Strategies for Successful Homeschooling

Plan for the Sticking Points

Kristen from Pearls and Oak reminds us to think about the sticking points and figure out ways to smooth the process.

“If homeschooling one (and really, these would be helpful for multiples, too!), there are a few things to consider when planning your upcoming school year. First is, of course, curriculum. Decide what worked, what didn’t work, and what are the areas that need to be improved. You’re not required to make changes, if what you’re doing is working. However, if there are consistent sticking points, now is the time to reevaluate and adjust.

Speaking of sticking points, that’s the next thing you’ll want to plan for. I’m specifically referring to those points in the day that just don’t go well. Maybe you’ll want to rearrange your rhythm and daily flow. Maybe it would be better to consider another type of scheduling completely (i.e. block schedules).

Lastly, but certainly not least, think about what brought you and your child closer together and closer to The Lord last year. Those are the things you want to do more of. Grow a healthy and happy relationship between the two of you and with God.”

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Focus on the Home

Wendy Alcime from Plan Prep Pray reminds us that homeschooling occurs in our, well, homes. We need to include our home life in our homeschool plan!

Homeschooling is a part of your life. The best way that I have found to have a successful homeschool year is not to focus on the schooling but to focus on the home. Having routines, systems and structures in place has truly helped with the flow and function of our homeschool. I would recommend focusing on an active quiet/prayer time, mom morning, cleaning, meals and laundry.”

Wendy adds, “Made 2 Homeschool contributions are filled with different printables to help organize these different aspects of your home. In addition the home logistics circle is a wonderful place to ask for advice tips and tricks on how to organize your home.”

Plan Prep Pray Wendy Alcime homeschool tip

Don’t Forget to Go Outside

Christina Franco from Rooted HomeLife reminds us, “Get outside as much as possible. No, like really. Anything that can be done outside, do it! Meals, snacks, lessons, morning time, read alouds, independent work, nature study, gardening, nature walks, hikes, field trips…just get out of the house! The research on the importance of moving and being outside for child development is crucial! And for mamas (like me!) who tend to get overstimulated, or overwhelmed as dishes pile up and messes get made—it’s good for us too to get out of the house!”

Rooted HomeLife homeschooling outdoors

Ask for Help

Ashlea West from Home Sweet Homeschool says, “Don’t be afraid to ask for help! There are so many resources available to help you homeschool your children. Reach out to other homeschool families, your church, your local library, and people in your community. There are many opportunities to learn outside of the home and so many people that are willing to help or offer advice. Visit museums, zoos, parks, and other community resources.

I wish there would have been a community like Made2Homeschool back we we started homeschooling. Made2Homeschool is the perfect place to ask for help. There are so many homeschool families offering wisdom, encouragement, and advice.”

This is such an important reminder! We aren’t designed to homeschool all by ourselves. There are many ways to find support on your journey. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask for help. There are so many homeschooling mamas who will have your back!

Made2Homeschool community Start the Homeschool Year Strong: 9 Strategies for Successful Homeschooling

Find a Like-Minded Homeschool Community

Surrounding yourself with other homeschooling parents is so important! It helps to have a safe place to go when you’re feeling discouraged. And because homeschool mom life is unique, it helps to have people on your side who really get what you’re going through and can offer truly helpful advice!

It’s wonderful when you have an in-person homeschool community. You may find this in your church, in your co-op, or in a regional support group.

Many homeschool moms, however, struggle to find local homeschool support! But when it comes to finding community online? Well, let’s just say that homeschool Facebook groups can be some of the most discouraging places on the internet!

That’s why we made Made 2 Homeschool.

Made2Homeschool community Start the Homeschool Year Strong: 9 Strategies for Successful Homeschooling

Made2Homeschool is an online homeschool community designed by homeschool parents, for homeschool parents. This M2H community is designed to support homeschoolers at all stages, offering camaraderie, encouragement, and inspiration.

Our team of content contributors come from a variety of homeschool and family backgrounds. We share a common love for Jesus and a heart for coming alongside other homeschooling moms as mentors and encouragers! Each month, Made 2 Homeschool community members get access to exclusive content from our contributors, live workshops, and interaction with other homeschool parents in the community circles!

Join Made 2 Homeschool and connect with other homeschooling families from around the world!

Made2Homeschool community Start the Homeschool Year Strong: 9 Strategies for Successful Homeschooling

Christina Franco notes, “I have found great community locally that has greatly enriched our homeschool life—especially in regard to getting out and going on adventures! But for years before that I really struggled to find local community. Online community was as lifesaver in those years. And that is what I’m most looking toward to in M2H, the opportunity to build community, whether we have an in-person community or not, whether we live close or far away, no matter our homeschool styles, we can connect with other homeschool mamas and grow together along this beautiful (and often messy!) journey!”

Made2Homeschool is a one-stop-shop for homeschool help. Forget having to scour the internet hoping to find good advice! Kate Waalkes says, “Made 2 Homeschool has been a great place for me to share what problems we have found in our homeschool and to be able to collaborate with other homeschoolers to find solutions I would have never discovered on my own. In the past, I would spend hours searching the internet for possible ideas for these problems but here at M2H, I have hundreds of moms who are there to help with ideas and prayer. This has been such a blessing and encouragement to our homeschool.”

Julie agrees, “Made2Homeschool is a great place to ask questions to other more experienced homeschoolers, and in doing so, realize that there are MANY right ways to do it. Pick and choose what you’d like to implement in your homeschool, and appreciate the diverse methods that are used in homeschools around the world. You get to decide what’s right for your family.”

Made for This homeschool conversations podcast with special guests from the Made2Homeschool Contributor Team

Anna is looking forward to “getting ideas to think outside the box. Seeing how others are making their curriculum work FOR them helps me to adapt and shift for our own homeschool needs.”

“There are many other tips and tricks to planning a successful homeschool year and I am so thankful for those that have gone before me and passed down their wisdom. Within Made 2 Homeschool, I have been able to connect with other homeschooling parents who have really encouraged me when needed and given me practical ways to help our homeschool flourish. Whether through DM, Workshops, or commenting on my posts, there is always someone willing to jump in and help, encourage, and give great book recommendations,” Kristen reflects.

Click here to learn more about Made2Homeschool.

Made2Homeschool community Start the Homeschool Year Strong: 9 Strategies for Successful Homeschooling
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