Parents across the country are opting to homeschool this year–even when it never crossed their minds before, even when it never seemed an option before. Many parents are deciding to homeschool their elementary and high school children even though they really don’t want to!

What is there to do when there are no other good options?

Start a Routine NOW

You may not know what curriculum is the best option, and you may not know when you’ll be ready to start it, but you can get a headstart by starting a routine now. Your children need a routine, especially if they’re used to the structure of public or private schooling. They will thrive when you create a predictable culture surrounding their homeschool. Does your routine have to be the same as everyone else’s? No! In fact, poring over homeschool routines and schedules on Pinterest is the last thing you should do.

Tip: Look at the routine your family naturally follows and build upon that. 

Use Your Kids’ Strengths

You know your children more than any teacher, more than any website, and more than any test. When you utilize your children’s strengths and work through their weaknesses together in learning moments, it doesn’t only build upon the foundation of their already-established education, but also your relationship!

Tip: Consider your kids’ learning styles, love languages, and educational weaknesses as you plan the school year.

Pray Without Ceasing

At public or even private schools, you cannot guarantee the teachers are praying for your children. When you are teaching them at home, you not only can pray for them but watch what it does in their daily lives! What a difference you will see in your children, their education, their attitudes, and your relationship when you pray for them without ceasing.

Tip: To get into a daily prayer habit, consider a book like Bible Praying for Parents, and meditate on the prayer and scripture throughout each day. 

Join a Community

Whether it’s a church group, a local homeschool co-op, a support group for virtual learning, or a brand-new group among friends, it’s important to find a community for support, fellowship, and fun. The “S” word is important–especially now. You need to socialize, your kids need to socialize, and you need to regularly check in with other adults going through the things that you are. Search online for some groups in your area.

Tip: Find a group that fits your lifestyle and your values. Many homeschool groups and co-ops are laid back and others are very structured. Some cost money and some are free. Make sure when you commit, you go all in, because it may be the best thing you do!

Put Christ First

Most families are not praying together as much as they should. Many don’t read scripture together at all. When you’re able to educate your children at home, you have a new opportunity to bring Christ into their lives and into your family in a new way. You don’t have to have a “Bible” class but instead, include the Bible in your daily life. You don’t have to have a “prayer” time but instead, pray throughout the day with your children. They may think it’s weird at first. They may think it’s awkward at first. What’s certain is that they will appreciate it and they will see through it how much you care for and love them.

Tip: Model a relationship with Christ for your kids so that you can put Christ first in your home, family, and homeschool. 

Don’t Overthink It

You need to educate your children. You don’t have to entertain them. You don’t need to become their social network or their friend. There is a lot of pressure on parents right now, especially during COVID19 craziness. Don’t add to your stress by falling into traps and gimmicks targeted at new homeschoolers! You don’t need to design an entirely new “learning space”. You don’t have to buy an expensive planner, app, or curriculum. Take your time and choose wisely. Certain companies will target you for sales and expensive products you don’t need! Don’t overthink this process. You can homeschool your children. You do know them best. You will do just fine! 

Tip: Instead of turning your schedule and your home upside down, work with what you’ve got. Choose a schedule and routine that makes sense for your family. Choose a happy, comfortable place in the house for your learning space. Let the kids choose where to learn!

My Favorite Resources

Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool*

Homeschool Helper*

Be Like Jesus Companion* Live Web Cams*

Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)

MobyMax Close Learning Gaps