There are currently over 2 million homeschooled students in the US. It's no secret that homeschooling is growing at astounding rates, but it goes without saying that not all homeschools are successful. In fact many homeschools are closed each year because for one reason or another, the family just could not make it work.
I've spent a great deal of time studying the dynamics of homeschool families. I've spoken to families who run successful homeschool and have graduated multiple students who have then gone on to prestigious colleges and have successful careers, I've also spoken with many former homeschool parents who have closed their homeschools and pursued alternative educational avenues.
I've noticed that there are a few key attributes that successful homeschool families possess, and if you're in this homeschooling journey for the long haul, I suggest you take a look at your homeschooling family and ensure that you are working to embrace these qualities:
7 Habits of Successful Homeschool Families:
- They are flexible. Yes, flexibility is key. A successful homeschool family realizes that life happens. A baby is born, someone loses a job, illness plagues your home, and the list goes on and on. The fact is just when we think we have our homeschool schedule all figured out, something will happen that turns our best laid plans on their head. Flexibility gives us the power to embrace whatever the Lord sends our way and to stay the course. Successful homeschool families also know the value of trial and error. They aren't afraid to toss out a curriculum that isn't working for their family.
- They institute a lifestyle of learning. Ask any successful homeschool family and they'll tell you that learning doesn't stop outside of “school hours”. Being a homeschool parent means you are always teaching. These parents instill a love of learning in their children that will take them far beyond a diploma or degree.
- They don't fall into the comparison trap. Playing the comparison game will kill your homeschool and successful homeschooling parents know this. While receiving encouragement and advice from fellow homeschooling parents is helpful, never ever compare your homeschool or your children to theirs. God placed you in your family because He knows that's where you are meant to be. Run your homeschool according to the needs and uniqueness of the family He has given you and you'll succeed.
- They know the value of community. Sometimes, we just need to vent to someone who understands. Sometimes, we need curriculum advice. Sometimes, we simply need someone to say I've been there, we got through it, and so will you. These are benefits of being part of a homeschool community. Real life friends who understand the homeschooling lifestyle. They encourage, support, and advise one another on the ins and outs of homeschooling. Not only do homeschooling parents benefit from communities, but homeschooled students do as well.
- They know when to ask for help. Homeschooling is hard. Successful homeschool parents know this and they accept it. They are able to recognize when a struggling child needs more help than they can provide and they find the help needed. Successful homeschool moms realize they aren't Wonder Women. They aren't afraid to ask for help with chores. They aren't shy about speaking up when they need a few hours to themselves.
- They know when to say no. Effective homeschooling parents know the benefit of building white space into their schedule. They have the wisdom to turn down seemingly good opportunities because they know their family and they know the point where adding just one more thing could be detrimental. I've heard many homeschool families say that they have a hard time fitting homeschooling into their busy schedule. This my friends is a recipe for disaster. Homeschooling isn't just something that we fit into our day. It must be among the most important parts of our day, and sometimes this means saying no to friends, family, and opportunities.
- They understand the power of prayer. Not only do they understand the power of prayer, they are constantly calling on the power of the Living God to assist them in their days. Successful homeschool parents realize they cannot do this on their own. They recognize that they were called to this homeschooling journey by God, and they boldly approach His throne each day and ask for his guidance in assistance in fulfilling their calling.