Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Homeschoolers

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Homeschools

Here's seven habits to adopt to make this the best school year you've ever had.

1. Get Up Before The Kids
You know the saying that the early bird gets the worm? Well, I am not interested in any worms but
I love having a head start on the day. I try to get up at least an hour before my kids. It give you time to
do whatever you want to do. You can have an uninterrupted shower, gather school stuff, cook breakfast, prayer time, exercise, enjoy a cup of coffee or blog.
However you spend you time, just do it! You will feel energized and in charge of your day. 

2.  Organize
Homeschool means school at home but it doesn't mean that it has to take over your whole house.
Try to keep school stuff contained to one area. Don't let yourself believe that there is such a thing called organized chaos. There isn't! There's organized and there's chaos. You have one or the other.
Ask a friend to help you purge and organize if you are challenged in this area.  It may not seem like you spend a lot of time searching for that misplaced item, but the time adds up over the days, weeks and months.

3. Learn To Say NO!
It's school time at your house and a neighbor asks you to watch her toddler while she runs to an appointment.  Your kids ask to join one more sport. Your friend offers to give you four boxes of art supplies that you don't need.
What do you say?
Learning to say no can be one of the most freeing things you can do for you and your family. Homeschoolers DO have flexible schedules. Be very careful not to be so flexible that you have NO schedule. You don't have to accept free stuff if it's just going to add to clutter. You don't have to say yes to every offer to volunteer and serve if it's just going to add stress.  

4. Find a Friend or Mentor
Don't go into this alone! You will be a much happier homeschooler if you surround yourself with people who can support you. Homeschooling brings it own set of unique joys and headaches. If you don't have a friend that homeschools, at least find a friend that supports your choice. Homeschool groups are great place to meet other families.

5. Make Time For Your Spouse
This habit is really necessary for all marriages so I just had to include it for homeschoolers. Moms have a hard time turning off the mom-mode and turning on the wife-mode. We spend all day thinking about the needs and wants of our kids, the last thing we want to do at the end of the day is think of one more need. But, you must nurture your marriage. Try trading babysitting with another family so you and your spouse can have a date. You don't have to spend a ton of money on dates either. It can be something as simple as grabbing a coffee and taking a walk. I find the best dates are the ones where we can talk and reconnect.

6. Find Free Resources (or nearly free)
In 2012, does anyone still use libraries? The answer is, yes, homeschoolers do!
I often hear moms fret about the cost of homeschooling and books. I have to agree. We, like most homeschoolers, are a one income family. I tell my husband that it's his job to make the money and my job to make each dollar go as far as it can.  I have adopted many ways to be as frugal as we can. We use the library for 95% of our book needs. Our library is smaller than my garage but they have inter-library loans for the whole county. For the books that can't be found through the library system, we visit Goodwill and Half Price Books. If you are looking for used homeschool books, 
try The Homeschool Lounge.

7. Have Fun!
If you adopt the first 6 habits, this habit will fall into place.
You will be less stressed. You will have more free time to spend together as a family that doesn't involve piling into the van and running all over creation. We all know that kids grow up too fast. Don't waste it being unhappy.

I wish you the best as you embark on this school year. May all your days be filled with awesome memories, learning opportunities and tons of kisses.


  1. These are some great tips. I will be attaching a link from m homeschooling blog :) Thanks for sharing your ideas!!

  2. I love these! Waking up before the kids is the most helpful and most challenging!