Homeschooling preschool is a journey. Here are some tips from someone who’s been right where you are and has heard allll of the advice for homeschooling preschool moms!
Encouragement for Homeschooling Preschool Moms
You can do this! Homeschooling preschool is completely doable as long as you keep some important tips in mind.
Yes, you can do this. You are more than enough. You are a fantastic teacher for your child because you know him better than anyone, and you love him more than words can ever say. Remember that these things are true. When the doubts creep in, take a deep, slow breath and expel that self-recrimination. No teacher is perfect, and that includes you. This hard moment will pass. Give yourself (and your child) some grace.
Take Care of You (in Whatever Form That Looks Like)
As a mom, you pour yourself out for your child. Now that you homeschool, you expend even more energy. All of that giving has to come from somewhere, so you need to replenish yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally.
When Things Get Rough Take a Break
Preschoolers have difficulty regulating their emotions, and, let’s face it, sometimes we struggle with that too. If your preschooler has a meltdown and you worry you just may join her, take a break.
It’s okay to give your child some time to cool off in her room or in front of the TV while you regroup. Go take some deep breaths on your porch, eat a handful of M&Ms in the closet, call your mom or your best friend, or try some focused breathing to music.
Once you are calm, you can return to your child, talk things through, and move forward with your day. Don’t immediately return to the situation that precipitated the standoff. I always find that a good meal and some sleep can do a lot for perspective and attitude (for 5-year-olds and 35-year-olds).
Play Is Powerful
If you ever wonder, “Am I doing enough?” remember that homeschooling preschool is more than meets the eye. Your child is learning through his five senses. That’s why learning is play, and play is learning.
You may not think much of his time building block towers only to knock them over with his Hot Wheels, but he is learning spatial relationships, fine motor coordination, shape recognition, and problem-solving. That’s school-worthy learning, right there.
Don’t doubt the power of play. Homeschooling preschool should not look like a traditional school with lots of seatwork and focused attention. The preschool years should be active, exploratory, and even messy. Honestly, they should look a lot like play.
Sleep and Shower
Remember when I said that you should take care of yourself? Yes, I know you brushed right past that one. Here is where I get specific. You need to do two things every day: sleep and shower.
You need sleep, and, frankly, you probably don’t get enough of it. Maybe your kids make an uninterrupted night of sleep impossible. Make up for that by staying in bed longer.
Don’t watch the late-night hosts or get sucked into social media at midnight. Go to bed. If you are blessed with a child who will take some quiet time in the afternoon, close your eyes and put up your feet as well. The laundry can wait. The emails can sit. Prioritize rest.
This isn’t selfish–truly. When you are well-rested, you are more patient, creative, fun, and productive. In short, you are a better mother and better teacher.
You should also shower each day. Whether you shower to wake yourself up in the morning or to unwind at night, a shower can make you feel human on the hardest day. You need to signal to yourself that you matter.
A shower is a reset button because it helps you practice mindfulness. You can focus on the present and let your other thoughts melt away. Feel the warmth of the droplets on your skin, listen to the sound of the water as it smacks the shower floor, and smell the light scent of your shampoo as you massage it into your scalp. Be right where you are.
Showers are game-changers. Don’t skip them.
Create Mini-Rituals in Your Day
A shower is a great example of a mini-ritual, a small treat to look forward to every day. It should not be the only one. You can fill your day with these mini-rituals and find delight in each activity.
- Drink your coffee in your favorite chair each morning.
- Go outside and get the mail each day.
- Do 5 sun salutations as a midmorning break.
- Put a bird feeder outside your window.
- Keep a gratitude journal.
- Paint with watercolors alongside your child.
- Read a daily devotional or inspirational book.
- Take a walk around the block.
- Have a cup of tea in the afternoon.
- Listen to your favorite band while you are picking up.
These acts may seem small, but they will add a little joy to your day. For three months, I made myself a s’more in the microwave every homeschool day. While my kids watched an educational TV show, I secretly munched a s’more. It sounds silly, but I looked forward to that little ritual every day.
Reach Out for Help
The biggest myth about homeschooling is that you can do it alone. You can’t. You need a support system. Whether that is your friend who lives 5 minutes away or a group of fellow homeschooling moms on Facebook, you need people to give you encouragement, fresh ideas, wisdom, and perspective.
Here is the other piece. You need to reach out to that support system, whether that is online or in person. You don’t need to act as though you have it all together or know all the answers. None of us do. That’s why we need each other! Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Use a Wide-Angle Lens to Measure Progress
There will be hard days. There will also be great days. Just as with most things, there will be ups and downs when you homeschool preschool. Don’t measure the whole experience by focusing on a difficult day. Don’t even measure it across a week.
Look at progress across a month or even a few months. Yes, you can look at your child’s academic growth. Is she getting better at fine motor tasks like coloring or pasting? Is she counting? Has she learned some letter sounds?
But don’t forget to measure your homeschooling progress in other ways. Have you enjoyed reading books together? Has your child created and explored? Have you laughed together? Have you made messes? (Yes, this is a win!)
Encouraging Words for Homeschooling Preschool Moms
You are raising a person. That’s a big job. And you are likely doing much better than you think. You care about your child. Why else would you put forth this much effort? Just remember that in order to give your best to your child, you need to take care of yourself too. Follow these tips to give yourself resources, little joys, and a heap of grace. You’ve got this, mama.
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