If you’re a homeschool parent, what do you think is the hardest part about home education? Is it keeping the kids on track and motivated to work? Or what about trying to find new and exciting things for them to learn each day? For some moms, what’s most difficult might be how much time it takes to prepare lessons.
Well, what if I told you that there was an option out there that would make all of these issues disappear? It’s called Relaxed Homeschooling! In this blog post, we’ll talk about what relaxed homeschooling is, why you want to adopt it for your homeschool, and how to start right away.
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What is relaxed homeschooling?
Relaxed homeschooling is pretty straightforward. It’s just what it sounds like – a peaceful way to homeschool your children, where you don’t have to worry about keeping them on track or putting in certain hours of work each day. There are no set times that the kids need to be doing schoolwork, and there are few if any rules when it comes to what they should be learning throughout their schooling days.
If this seems odd at first glance, relax! I promise you won’t go crazy with this method, especially if you have a Type A personality and crave structure.
Relaxed homeschooling is more of a mindset than an educational approach, and it’s embracing the fact that we’re at home, not at school, and that we’re our children’s parents first and foremost and not just their teacher.
We focus on relationships and mental health more than academics and checklists, and we allow our children to follow their interests rather than what we think is best for them.
What are the benefits of having a relaxed homeschool?
Now I know what you’re thinking – “How can simply relaxing my approach to homeschooling give us more enjoyment without losing the educational rigor I want for my child?”
So often, kids get burned out from schooling because what they’re learning is either too easy or too difficult. There are no outlets for creativity or individuality with what they’re studying, simply because of how long their lessons last or how little they connect to the topic.
With relaxed homeschooling, you’ll be able to incorporate a variety of different methods into your child’s education. It allows you to add more time for fun, like games, field trips, and outdoor activities, and your children will develop a deep love of learning in the process.
Relaxed homeschooling allows for more flexibility within your day. No more rushing your child to finish a lesson, and you’ll be less stressed when you realize that curriculum scope and sequences are just recommendations and not the rule of law.
You’re also likely to see a decrease in tantrums, arguments, and other behavioral issues since relaxed homeschooling allow for more freedom and creativity within the homeschooling process. Your relationship with your child will improve significantly!
If you’re still unsure about what all of this means or if it will work for your family, don’t worry! You will naturally embrace this approach the longer you homeschool. You just need to give yourself time to deschool and understand how children learn.
How do I get started?
Get started today with a relaxed homeschooling approach by taking a look at your current homeschool schedule and asking yourself the following questions:
- Do you need to cover all of the subjects each day?
- What can you cut out?
- What topics do you want to focus on?
- Do your kids need a set amount of time to cover a lesson?
- Can you find a more hands-on approach to studying a subject?
- Is it necessary to finish a curriculum on schedule?
- Can you move at a pace attuned to your kids?
- What are your children interested in?
- How would they feel if they could spend more time on the things they love?
- How can you help them learn what they love?
- Do you have time to enjoy the outdoors with your kids?
- What outdoor activities can you do?
- Are there field trips you can go on that relate to the topics your kids are studying?
Tips for success in relaxed homeschooling
Here are ten tips to help set you up for success now that you’re ready to embrace the relaxed homeschooling approach:
- Start small: Don’t try to change everything overnight; take it one step at a time, and soon enough, it’ll become second nature to you!
- Be flexible: One of the best things about this type of homeschooling is that you can be flexible with what and how your child learns. So if something isn’t working, switch it up or take a break.
- Make it cozy: Light a candle while working on language arts, snuggle up on the couch and read aloud, enjoy some hot cocoa while working on math. Embrace being home and incorporate the elements you like to utilize to help you relax.
- Go at your child’s pace: Homeschooling allows us to individualize our child’s education, and that includes moving through topics at their own pace. Remember, you don’t have to follow a curriculum’s scope and sequence! It’s just there for reference, and your kids won’t fall behind their peers if they are allowed time to understand and practice what they’re learning.
- Make time for rest: Our bodies and minds need rest, so take frequent breaks and recharge those batteries. It’s nearly impossible to learn if your kids are burnt out!
- Embrace spontaneity: Take a day off from academics and do something fun! Did it snow last night? Go sledding with the kids! Is there a King Tide happening? Go to the tide pools and explore! Is there a rare plant blooming at your local science museum or botanical garden? Go check it out and enjoy your day!
- Stop comparing your homeschool to others: It’s natural to compare your homeschool to what you see on social media, but remember that what you’re seeing is only a snapshot in time. Plus, all those pictures and videos on Instagram and TikTok are carefully crafted and include descriptions designed to promote engagement from their followers. It’s all about the algorithms these days.
- Be patient: Relaxed homeschooling takes time, so be patient, and eventually, you’ll see results!
- Don’t stress out!: This is probably the most crucial aspect to embrace. Remember, it’s not a race, and no one is falling behind; you make your schedule and create your homeschool.
- Have fun!: Enjoy your time with your kids, enjoy watching them learn and have a-ha moments, enjoy the privilege of being able to educate your children!
Relaxed homeschooling is a mindset that makes home education enjoyable for all. The key to successful, relaxed homeschooling is taking the time and effort to be flexible, allowing your children some downtime, not comparing what you do at home against what others post on social media, being patient, and most importantly–enjoying it!
And if you’re interested in learning about other homeschooling approaches, don’t forget to check out my blog post, 10 Different Homeschooling Methods You Need to Know.
Do you think relaxed homeschooling would be a good fit for your family? Let me know!
Xuan Klevecka is a Southern California-based homeschool mom, wife, and sometimes purveyor of vintage goods. She’s an Enneagram 5w4, a lover of good food, and a former middle school history teacher. You’ll either find her looking at road maps and daydreaming about her family’s next epic adventure or perusing recipes and cooking up a feast for the brood.