Anyway, today I wanted to share some tips on staying encouraged. It can be super hard to stay encouraged as homeschooling parents. I know it is easy to feel all alone and like there is no one out there who understands. Especially when you are new to the homeschooling world. I have come up with five ways that I have used to help stay encouraged….mainly did the number thing because I know I love to read blogs posts with number lists. LOL So let’s get started.
1. Read Magazines. – This was actually the first thing I did when I started homeschooling. Actually, well before I started homeschooling my oldest. When he was only a couple of years old I bought a subscription to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine (that was back when it was still a print magazine). Nowadays you have the awesome blessing of being able to download their free app and read on your device for free or read on the website for free. The magazine is just as beautiful as it was when it came in print just in digital format now with a BIG print issue once a year I believe it is. Anyway, this is by far my favorite magazine and I’m not just saying that because I’m on the Schoolhouse Review Crew. I’ve been in love with The Old Schoolhouse Magazine since the beginning. I read the articles late into the night. I looked at all the ads for different curriculum and would request free samples when they were available. I just absorbed myself into the culture. There are so many great, encouraging articles for those homeschooling from preschool on up to high school age. There are articles that get in to the specifics and nitty gritty of actually homeschooling and several articles that just talk about our struggles and get to the heart issues that we deal with as homeschooling parents. If you haven’t discovered the encouragement that is homeschooling magazines what are you waiting for? 🙂
2. Read Blogs. – Obviously this is something you do if you are here reading this. 🙂 But go and check out the plethora of homeschooling blogs there are out there. One of my all time favorites is The Busy Mom by Heidi St. John (and other guest contributors). I’ve had the opportunity of meeting the St. John’s in person and they are a super real homeschooling family and Heidi is full of real life homeschooling wisdom. If you want some real nitty gritty wisdom she is the one to go to. Her books are also amazing. Also, of course make sure to check out the blog roll from the Schoolhouse Review Crew. That is quite the collection of fabulous homeschool mom’s who all post at least once a week.
3. Find a local co-op. – I can’t even begin to tell you what a huge blessing our local co-op has been. I almost didn’t join because of some personal issues but I am so glad that I didn’t let that stop me. The friendships and encouragement that I have gained from this group of friends have far outweighed any discomfort and awkwardness their was at the beginning. There are all sorts of different types of co-ops. There are those that are informal and just meet occasionally for park days or whatever. And then there are those that meet for classes, field trips, ect. The one I go to is a bit more formal but still somewhat relaxed I would say. Anyway, we meet on Fridays and have four class periods. The moms either teach or help in two periods and then we have two periods free. One of those periods we have a moms class we can go to if we want. It is run by one of our amazing moms who teaches and encourages us with all sorts of awesome parenting stuff or just Bible stuff. We also get to know each other better through this class with ice breakers and such. Then the other free period we have a moms lounge with snacks and coffee and we can just hang out or some moms walk around the building or just whatever you want to do. It’s a lot of fun. I really encourage you to get connected. If you don’t have a co-op in your area start one. Facebook is a great place to look for others homeschooling in your area. Start out by just meeting at a park every week and visiting. There is strength in just knowing that someone else is struggling with the same things you are.
4. Facebook Groups – And speaking of Facebook, there are loads of facebook groups you can join. Just searching for homeschooling will show you tons. You can specify by your location or what curriculum you use. There are lots out there when you begin to look. That can be a great source of encouragement when you find a good one. My recommendation would be to start by seeing if either the curriculum you use has one or the method of homeschooling you use has one.
5. Events – And lastly, homeschooling events. Now these don’t just have to be conventions. There are even smaller things that might be going on right where you live such as park play dates (that you can find out about through facebook groups) or not going back to school parties that can be quite the encouragement. Finding the homeschooling organization for your state can help you find out about bigger events. You can find these through HSLDA. We have participated in a yearly Outdoor School that a camp up the coast puts on every year for homeschoolers. It is loads of fun and extremely encouraging. Not only do the kids have a blast and it is a nice break for mom. But I can meet other families and there are some classes each day for the parents and I always leave refreshed for the year with what God needs me to know for that coming school year. There is also of course yearly conventions which I am pretty sure nearly every state has in one form or another. Once again look through HSLDA for your state homeschooling organization and they will most likely be the ones putting on your states convention. I have yet to go to one but I’m really hoping to be able to possibly this year.
All this to say, pray about it if you are needing encouragement, look through the ideas I have given above, and God will lead you to what He needs you to hear right now. He has called you to this life and He will supply with all you need to be equipped to do it.
And speaking of fabulous bloggers here are some more who are doing this blog hop with me that would be great to read to get some encouragement today. 🙂
Dawn @ Double O Farms
Dawn @ Guiding Light Homeschool
Debbie @ Debbie’s Homeschool Corner
Desiree @ Our Homeschool Notebook
Diana @ Busy Homeschool Days
Diana @ Homeschool Review
Elyse @ Oiralinde: Eternal Song
Emilee @ Pea of Sweetness
Erin @ For Him and My Family
Jen @ Chestnut Grove Academy