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Blissful Homeschooling Essentials

I've been homeschooling for over a decade. I have taught every age group, in one form or another. I organize our local homeschool group. I spend a lot of time researching and educating myself on homeschooling. I encourage new homeschool moms and help them get started on their journey. You would think, with all of this experience, that I would have some confidence in what I'm doing. By now, I surely have it all figured out, right?


And who could? Sure, I've taught fractions before, but that was to a child who needed to twist in a swivel chair to learn. I taught fractions again, but it was to a visual learner who really didn't need me, just a workbook. The next fraction student was an auditory learner. How to do you teach fractions to an auditory learner??? We talked about pie a lot. The next student to learn fractions is coming up soon and I still haven't figured out her method. They are all so very different. Also, we change. Our life fluctuates and our abilities change.

All of that big intro was to say: no one has this figured out. There is no perfect method except the one that fits you and your family best. But don't get too attached to the method once you find it, because you'll likely have to change it at some point.

Keeping that in mind, how do you answer someone who wants to learn how to homeschool? I'm going to spend the upcoming week telling you about the things I feel are essential to working out so that your homeschool days work well.

Today's #1 essential thing you need in order to achieve your best possible homeschooling experience:

Realistic Expectations

Seriously. You have to jump into this game knowing that there is no perfect way to do it and you'll never nail that down. If you sign on for this job, you have to cut yourself some slack. You teach children. You are a teacher. It is very possible that you actually teach more than one student or age group. A public school teacher gets to teach her focused subject to her class. You have to teach many subjects to many different age groups and keep track of the other children at the same time. And you have to do it while feeding them, cleaning up after them, keeping the toddler from catching the house on fire, and nursing a baby. Does a public school teacher have to do that?

In addition to the teaching gig, you have the cooking, the laundry, the housekeeping, and a marriage to maintain. A very wise friend once told me that there are 5 things that you are called on to do each day, but it is only physically possible to do 4 of them, so choose wisely. They are:

  • Cook
  • Clean
  • Launder
  • Teach
  • "Hang Wallpaper" with your husband. 
(No, I don't mean you actually need to hang wallpaper, I just don't want this page showing up in a weird google search. You know what I mean.)

*If my husband and I did actually attempt to hang wallpaper together, I'm fairly certain one of us would die. 

There will be days when only 2 things on the list are possible. But it really isn't possible to do all 5, not well anyway and certainly not on a regular basis. If you are able to do all 5, keep it to yourself and don't make the rest of us look bad. 

Realistic Expectations. Truly essential to homeschooling well. Expect messes. Expect exhaustion. Expect learning experiences, for you and for them. Expect opportunities to grow closer to one another. Expect to let them down. Expect them to learn from your mistakes. Expect an adventure.

Please join me for the rest of the week as I share what I feel are the essentials to homeschooling successfully. There are many more experienced moms sharing what they feel are essentials this week through the Schoolhouse Review Crew Carnival. I'd love to share 10 friends who are also posting on this topic:

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials


  1. Love that, excellent advise! I am pretty lucky to get 2 or 3 done a day on a good day. We so need to get rid of the homeschool mom myth that they can do it all, especially when a high majority of them can not. Thanks for the great post!

  2. This is such a tough one! Thanks for the reminder.

  3. This is definitely one to keep in mind. Glad you thought of it.

  4. You are SO right! I was hard on myself at first. I have 3 special needs children, and I have to "do it all" I thought. I also have a chronic pain disorder, and "doing it all" wore me down until I couldn't do any of it! Now that I have cut myself some slack, the whole household is happier!

  5. I really appreciate this post- so glad I came across your blog today!

  6. You are so right on. Each child learns in different ways and we have to tailor it to their learning. That's something that took me a while to figure out. I love the realistic expectations. Although I wonder who at the end of the day is more worn out, the kids or me.


"Man lives by affirmation even more than by bread." - Victor Hugo