Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

4 Home School Tips to Help You Thrive


4 home school tips 2I become the Wicked Witch of the West at my house every year by mid-August.  I set a start-up date for homeschool, but my kids would be happy to continue summer vacation, thank you very much.

Looking at new homeschool curriculum and books bring on both excitement and doubts. New starts are always exciting. But if you’re like me, you’re also wondering, “Will I make it through the year? Can I really teach my kids the stuff they need to know?”

You might be asking the most basic question of all: “Will I survive this year?”

Home schooling was one thing I said I’d never do. Amazingly, we’re now starting our 13th year, which is one more proof that you should never say “never.”   Today I want to share four things I’ve learned along the way:

1. Trust God for the Wisdom You Need

Whether it’s teaching a child to read, or helping my teen apply for college, sometimes home schooling daunts and intimidates me. Psalm 37:5 offers a valuable nugget of wisdom:


4 home school tips

When I feel I’m way in over my head, this verse reminds me that God’s got things under control. Will you join me in committing your homeschool and your kids to Him each morning? Let’s ask God for wisdom and help for each task with each child. I choose to trust that He’ll guide me step by step.

2. Breathe Deep and Slow Down

Some homeschool days go like clockwork.  Other days are messy.  One kid isn’t getting the Pythagorean theorem, the other one needs help sounding out words, and the third one can’t find her pencil. Then the repairman arrives, and you can’t find your keys to open the door. It’s easy to lose your cool.  Take a deep breath and proceed calmly through the next task in front of you.

With God, you can solve issues one by one. A calmer mother always makes for a better home school day.

3.  Don’t Push Younger Kids too Much

You need the patience of Job to teach reading and mathematics to young children. If your younger children have trouble paying attention, keep lessons short (10 minutes).

Lighten up or back off when frustration levels rise.

Don’t let the calendar dictate starting times for younger kids. Wait until your child is ready.

We started my daughter in kindergarten just before her 5th birthday, but she wasn’t ready. It got to a point where school wasn’t any fun for her, so we had to slow down. I spent two years teaching her to read. I now realize that if I’d simply waited another year, she could have learned to read in less time with less pressure on everyone.

 4.  Stay Positive

Every young person wants to feel successful, so give your students lots of positive feedback. For example, teaching writing is my forte, but I have to remember to note what is good about every composition, instead of just underlining mistakes in red.

If your child struggles in one area, seek to reinforce weak skills, but also focus on things he’s good at.  When my son hit high school, math became more difficult. I remind him that no one can be perfect in everything.  I try to make sure he gets the math help he needs, but I encourage him to focus on excellence in verbal skills and writing.

I hope these tips help you get beyond surviving to thriving.

 Anyone out there care to chime in with something they’ve learned about thriving while home schooling?

Linking up with Meredith Bernard at #Woman2Woman Wednesday.




Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

12 thoughts on “4 Home School Tips to Help You Thrive

  1. I’m beginning my 16th “official” year of homeschooling this year, and I think I’m finally coming to grips with the idea that I don’t have to have everything planned out ahead of time. Of course some of this comes with kids getting older, but we are starting this morning WITHOUT assignment sheets printed and plans in the planning software. I know this week I going to have to flex to the max, but we need to start, so we will!
    One of my goals for each student as he or she gets older is to take more responsibility for one’s own work. After all, this is necessary for college or “real world” work. This shifts my task more to guiding, coaching, recording after-the-fact than planning ahead of time.
    As we launch one to college this week, the Enemy would like me to fear that I haven’t done enough or prepared him well enough. I have to keep remembering that I have done what The Lord called me to do in educating him so far. The Lord will direct HIS steps as HE commits his own path to The Lord. Hopefully I’ve modeled that well enough. No matter what though,The Lord holds him in the palm of His hand. I can trust Him!

    • Thanks for sharing your wisdom, LaNette. I like coming to grips with not having everything planned. This year I’ve had less time to plan than ever, so I have no choice but to relax!

  2. I wish I could be a stay-at-home mom and have the option to home school my children. But your post is still applicable to all us other moms too, because we can use your tips when guiding and helping with homework and course planning. Nice tips, Betsy. Thanks!

  3. All wonderful (and timely) reminders, Betsy. Thanks for those wise words!

  4. I’ll be sharing this, Betsy. Good stuff! I don’t home school, but I know many who do! Thank you!

  5. This is SO great for me, Betsy. Only into my 3rd day of homeschooling, I see how much I’m going to love it…and some days I’m sure it will be the opposite. Thank you for the reminder to take it slow and easy and not try to work on a strict schedule if we need to alter. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m so glad to have you in my life as a sounding board on this new journey! xoxo, Meredith

  6. This will be our 3rd year homeschooling. This year grades 1,2 and very lively 2year old. I know this is the best choice for our family right now, but I have a hard time staying positive about it. The best tip I’ve ever received was “when the going gets rough, be mom before you’re teacher.” Thank you for sharing this. I needed to be reminded of the mental & spiritual side of HS and not how I’m not measuring up to “everybody else” in their awesome set ups or their unshared excitement to start another year. I’ll get there! Just maybe not today! 🙂 blessings!

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