2020 Curveball:: Adding Homeschool Teacher to my Resume

2020 Curveball:: Adding Homeschool Teacher to my Resume

I really didn’t want to. This was not part of my plan. But, I chose to take this route for the time being. The best choice for my kids; a rough choice for me as their homeschool teacher. 

Not only would I not receive the long awaited break from my kids this fall, but it would be my responsibility to be their educator!

WHAT? NO! HOW?!

I was straight-up terrified.

So. Much. Pressure. 

As my sons remind me regularly, I’m not a teacher {and they don’t want me to be}.

My biggest fear:: Failure.

Failing my children. Failing to meet their needs. Failing to teach them anything at all. Failing to keep my household afloat while I take on yet another role. I don’t want to fail. 

But, now that we’ve gotten started, I’ve learned five quick lessons that have changed my entire outlook on homeschooling. 

Use Your Resources

2020 Curveball:: Adding Homeschool Teacher to my Resume

Yes, as a homeschool teacher, I could have chosen a great, paid curriculum. Many of my homeschooling friends are using Blossom & Root, Beyond the Page, Torchlight and The Good and the Beautiful. All great! All incredible resources. All more expensive than the “free ninety-nine” I was willing to pay. 

Instead, I have chosen to develop my own curriculum. The free homeschooling resources online are endless. I scour PBS Kids, Under the Home, Teachers Pay Teachers and Tot Schooling weekly. My printer is just trying to keep up with all the materials I am excitedly printing off to add to my curriculum. I’ve also collected lots of FREE workbooks from friends and neighbors that their children have outgrown.

Cheap stuff at Target or Dollar Tree can make your homeschooling experience so much easier! And don’t hesitate to snag ideas from homeschool Instagram pages like @thesimplehappylife, @mydarlingchickadee, @the.homely.homeschooler and @ninos.and.nature! Explore homeschooling support groups for fun, educational crafts and activities on the cheap. It’s all there for you, and you don’t have to pay big money for a successful homeschooling adventure! 

All in One Room

Initially, I was overwhelmed with the idea of homeschooling multiple kids at different grade levels. My kids are 8, 5 and 3. I thought it would be impossible to teach a second grader at the same time as a kindergartner… with a pre-K’er in the mix. I thought.

Turns out it’s much easier than I expected.

While there are tough days, catering everything to fit the various needs and attention spans of my pupils, it is working out nicely. My younger kiddos get exposure to second grade-level material, following along with Oliver’s math work, sight words, and chapter books, while my big kid excitedly helps guide and lead his little brothers through material he’s already experienced. It’s a win-win!

Together, we explore subjects and topics that each kid is interested in. Homeschooling allows for exploration, delving into what each kid needs or wants. Oliver wants a unit on dinosaurs? Done. We all discover dinosaurs together, using all the complicated names and all. Maverick wants to know more about space? Done. As a homeschool teacher, I find activities that help us traverse the galaxy! Reeve wants to better understand shapes? Done. We make art projects that display different shapes with fun names like dodecahedron. We work through each activity as a unit, as review or as new lesson. We’re all learning together and loving it. 

Teamwork makes the dream work, right?

Breathe

Where would I be without CBD oil? Probably hiding in the closet, sobbing and shoveling Oatmeal Cream Pies into my face instead of singing the ABC’s.

My anxiety could become a huge hindrance to Mrs. B’s Boarding School for Brilliantly Boisterous Boys if left unchecked. Between my oil, a loose but structured routine, a neatly organization accordion folder for all my materials and unschooling resources to help me adjust my approach all in my arsenal, I am making it. 

I remember to give myself grace. I urge you to do the same. All our best laid plans went out the proverbial window this year. Right now, we’re all in survival mode. Homeschool does not need to look like traditional school, and homeschooling parents are not traditional teachers. Take your CBD, meditate, have an after-class drink, rage out in your minivan while the kids play in the playroom. Do what it takes to relax and make it. Every day. 

Practical Magic

My favorite thing about being a homeschool teacher has been the ability to incorporate what I want my children to know with the “need to know”, traditional school stuff. I’ve led workouts in the garage, cake baking in the kitchen, toilet scrubbing in their bathroom. We explored a unit on table manners and etiquette simply because I felt like they needed it.

We’ve also focused on learning Spanish as a family. We’ve been using Con Mi Familia, a Spanish curriculum that encourages the family to learn together and requires very little screen time. It has been so exciting to hear my children singing songs and greeting each other in Spanish. 

During the intense time, I’ve also helped my children explore personal safety and medical preparedness. My husband helps teach them ways to get loose if someone tried to restrain them, who to seek if they’re in trouble and how to handle confrontation. My mother in law, a nurse, plans to introduce them to biology, CPR and first aid. Practical skills:: Prepping them for the lives ahead. 

While homeschooling may sometimes feel like it’s restricting me, it’s actually giving me the freedom to choose what I feel is the important stuff for my kids to know. 

First Teachers

Y’all, we were made for this. Parents. We are our children’s first teachers. We are their first examples. We teach them so much of what they know before they even go to school. The nursery rhymes we sing to them, the bedtime stories we snuggle up for, the lessons we teach about respect and kindness. We’ve been teaching for years if you really think about it. 

But still, it’s not easy. It is an adjustment. 

There are days I simply need a break, and there are days my kids need one too. That’s the luxury of homeschooling. We have freedom to take breaks. If there’s a day my children are truly enjoying playing together, I don’t interrupt. I let them play.

It’s okay to be flexible. It’s okay to go with the flow. It’s okay to admit that we are struggling on a given day. The beauty of it is that, by simply being parents, real, flawed but loving parents, we are teaching without even trying. 


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