A Day in the Life of a Homeschooling Mom - The Opera:
After getting your children ready for their big field trip with other homeschooled children, you discover that you have the wrong date. It is next month. Your kids can’t hide their disappointment. You can't hide your fatigue. Surely the other moms do the same thing sometimes, right? You spend the afternoon teaching math to your children. They get antsy, clearly not understanding the subject. So you try again. And again. Everyone just ends up frustrated. Later, after stepping on your son’s Hot Wheels strewn about the floor, you sit at the computer chatting with other homeschooling moms. (They all knew the field trip wasn’t today.) “Why are they using a different curriculum than I am?” you ask yourself. “Am I doing this whole thing wrong?” You become rattled with self-doubt about your decision to homeschool your children. Yes, homeschooling is a very taxing job. Yet with flexibility, organization and some extra time just for you, your classroom will be up and running smoothly in no time.
Here are some basic tips to make your homeschooling experience easier and more productive for you and your children:
One of the best aspects of homeschooling is the flexibility and freedom homeschoolers enjoy and one of the biggest mistakes new homeschoolers make is to commit to a curriculum too soon. It takes some time to discover how your child learns, so experimenting with the curriculum at the beginning is advisable. Stay flexible with the curriculum and be aware that it may change with time, especially before you purchase an expensive curriculum online.
Sometimes you may need to stop pushing a certain concept if it is clear that your child is just not getting it. Don’t hover over them or be stubborn about something that isn’t working. You will both simply become frustrated. Save the subject until later in the day when minds are calm and relaxed. You may be surprised just how quickly they pick it up.
Don’t schedule too much. There is no use in pushing your children through a tough morning without a break just to have the afternoon free. Kids like recess. Also, it is not necessary to schedule the same subjects every day. Mix it up a little bit. Have science two or three times a week and social studies two times a week. You don’t need to drive yourself crazy trying to fit in six subjects a day. You should not skimp on reading and math, however. They are absolutely crucial to your child’s education.
Having kids with too much time on their hands isn’t ideal, either. Get together with other parents and plan field trips to take advantage of all the learning opportunities out there in the world.
You home is now a school, full of books, papers, blackboards and supplies. It is not going to be eligible for a spread in Architectural Digest anymore (sorry), so don’t sweat it. However, do be sure to decide on and maintain a schooling area separate from your living area and keep it neat, clean and organized. Engage your children in organizing the workspace as well. Be sure you have everything you need - blackboards, organizers, drawers, bookshelves, wall space, textbooks, and if you want to use it, a computer and internet connection.
However, you do not need to feel as though you are limited to re-creating a school-like classroom environment at home. It is not important to sit at desks all day long.
Avoid becoming isolated
For all the worry directed at homeschoolers about the socialization of children, the one who may actually be in need of the most socialization is you. Don’t make the mistake of trying to homeschool alone. You are not a superhero (again, sorry), and it is okay to reach out for support. Indeed, becoming involved in homeschooling groups is an integral part of homeschooling, not just for you, but also for your children, as the social component they need can sometimes be neglected in homeschools. Increasingly, there are organizations that reach out to homeschooling moms. Take advantage of them. Join an online support group and talk to other homeschooling mothers. Don’t be afraid to ask other moms for advice because it is good to have a sounding board for new ideas. As much as possible meet up in person with other homeschooling families. However, again, flexibility is the key. As your homeschool philosophy will change over time, so, too, will your support group as it pertains to your needs.
Half And Half Options With the Public Schools
Speak to your public school principals and advisors. They may be willing to work with you on a specific plan (IEP) that would permit half days in public school and half at home. Not all districts will approve this type of arrangement or may resist it, but check with them if you feel this may be a positive option for your child. It cannot hurt to ask, and for many children, this kind of setup actually is ideal.
The world is a classroom
What an amazing classroom our world is. Take your children to museums, concerts and nature preserves. If you feel like teaching your children in the park all day - do it. It is your school, you are free to teach them as you please. Do not shrink from using the internet, either. Sure, there are dangers in using the internet, but if you are smart about protecting your children and employ parental controls, there is a world of information online that may enhance your child’s education.
Take time for you!
You are a hard-working educator! As moms it is fairly normal to put the needs of the child first, but it is important that taking some time out for you be a priority. Be sure to pat yourself on the back from time to time, too. Why you are doing is not easy and when neighbors or others criticize you for what you do, be sure to tout your own credentials. Let them know a little bit about your life, and what you have done prior to homeschooling. They may just be surprised. 
 [My top 16 tips for beginning homeschoolers” 2011
 [“Tips for Parents: Homeschooling Moms” Webb, N. 2008 http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10389.aspx
 [“8 Steps to Homeschool Success”
Christie Hunter is registered clinical counselor in British Columbia and co-founder of Theravive. She is a certified management accountant. She has a masters of arts in counseling psychology from Liberty University with specialty in marriage and family and a post-graduate specialty in trauma resolution. In 2007 she started Theravive with her husband in order to help make mental health care easily attainable and nonthreatening. She has a passion for gifted children and their education. You can reach Christie at 360-350-8627 or write her at christie - at - theravive.com.