Manage Your Expectations and Be Kind (especially to yourself).
I believe in managed expectations (this is because I suffered from ridiculous expectations for a long time). Managed expectations combined with coffee, chocolate, wine, and a good friend are all things that help turn bad days around.
If you are having either a moment, day, or season that hasn’t been awesome let’s talk.
You might need a new action plan. I know that there are some moms that do it all when it comes to homeschool and I have, but as things have changed at my house I have become more accepting of the idea that I don’t HAVE to do it all (and I’m not good at all of it).
You are not a superwoman although I am sure you are awesome. When you choose to outsource in your homeschool, it can create a balance where you can enjoy your kids and your life again. The best part is that you can do it for free.
Outsourcing can look different for everyone. You might need help in organizing, planning, or choosing a curriculum. As someone that struggles in organization that is always an area, I’m looking to tweak.
You might be the mom that needs help in a certain subject (due to limited time, content knowledge, or just plain lack of interest). Grab a list of ideas here.
You might need the mom that is lucky enough to afford help with household duties and you can get a mother’s helper or someone to come help with cleaning once a week.
Don’t be afraid to make things work for YOUR homeschool.
Our Homeschool Outsource Experience
We have had good and bad experiences with co-ops and things. We were in an unproductive co-op situation when my oldest homeschooler was in Kindergarten. It was part of the reason that we wound up deciding to send my son to public school for first grade.
After that, I was a little apprehensive. We decided to try it again in our third year of homeschooling with some success and some failure. After some trial and error, we have found a good fit for our family.
This year the boys are going to several classes and group activities. They go to an all day tutorial on Friday. There the focus is on history and literature, but they will also do science, Spanish, and public speaking.
There are also in community classes and sports. My guys take a homeschool art class that meets every week, but we go as our schedule allows. They attend a homeschool PE class about once a week and both the boys are on soccer teams.
Reasons I love outsourcing.
- I don’t have to answer the why did you pick this or do I have to do this questions about the work.
- It takes some pressure off of me. I don’t have to try to pull great resources all the time and it gives me a little breathing room in terms of constantly being responsible for the direction of every little thing. I also have more time to focus in the areas where I excel.
- Allows for extras for the kids. Projects like a pioneer day cook-off wouldn’t happen with me and my kids alone.
- It gets us out of the house and breaks up our days. It can be hard to be together at home all of the time and when we are leaving the house for a few classes it helps to break up the monotony and some of the arguments that happen as we get on each other’s nerves.
Before you start looking for the keys to take the kids somewhere, anywhere…
- Take a strengths and weakness inventory. (Print this off or save to your own google drive)
- If you are constantly presenting material with a fixed mindset it is a sign that you need to let somebody else take that over. Maybe math is something that you need to consider outsourcing. If you are weak in an area there is no harm in admitting it and getting some help.
- Take a serious and realistic look at your time.
- I know that some of you are way beyond super moms and can completely and totally do it all. For the rest of us, there are 24 hours in the day and your toddler will need to sit in your lap and eat some snack off your chest for 6 of the hours. Be Real. Think of your season and your time. Don’t over commit. Check out this post on time management if you are feeling overwhelmed.
Other Ideas for Ways to Outsource in Your Homeschool.
- If you are super creative but totally disorganized maybe you could attend an art class with the kids or access one of the many virtual art classes (kids love to learn beside mom).
- Do you love literature, but you have two toddlers running around and find it hard to get it all done? Maybe you can host (where other parents can help with the little kids) or have the kids join a homeschool book club.
- If you love science, but can’t seem to get it done on a regular basis. Work with a friend and each of you host a science lab afternoon once a month (or whatever works). Plan ahead and choose curriculum wisely.
- I have a list of ideas you can get here.
Work with your own strengths and weaknesses in your homeschool.
The goal of homeschooling is for it to be a win-win for everyone. That doesn’t mean that every minute every kiddo has to be thrilled.
The math and laundry both need to get done. Don’t be afraid to get help to thrive as a homeschooler.
That might mean just working on organization and planning, finding a curriculum that really works for you and your family, or knowing when to enroll in courses, tutorials, or outreach programs.