Are you a first-time homeschool mom?  You might think you need to know all about lesson planning, or Charlotte Mason, or unit studies.  Maybe you’re concerned because you don’t have a degree in early childhood education or Calculus.  No fear!  The things you really need to know about homeschooling are these simple, beautiful, and direct truths.  This is the list you need to pin for later so you can read it on the day that you have locked yourself in the closet with the chocolate.  Really, we all have those days and it’s quite okay.  So, here’s your list.  Here’s what first-time homeschool moms need to know.

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1. Your plans this year won’t look like your plans for next year.

2. Quality over quantity.

3. Just breathe.

4. Enjoy yourself and have fun with your kids.

5. You won’t be able to teach your kids every single thing that you’d like to teach them.

6. Don’t be afraid to change things up if you or your child is struggling.

7. As much nature time as possible is the most valuable curriculum.

8. Homeschooling doesn’t have to be like a regular school.  That’s the point.  Don’t stress it.

9. I wish I had known about Charlotte Mason from the beginning.

10. Kids don’t have to sit with their noses in a book for 8 hours a day to learn.

11. You are not a slave to your curriculum.  Your curriculum is there to help you.

12. Don’t put too much on your plate.  Stick to the basics.

13. Unit studies!

14. Less is more.

15. Better late than early.

16. They will read… eventually.

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17. Not every “perfect” curriculum is perfect for me.

18. It is okay to mix and match or even make up your own thing.

19. Don’t ruin your child’s love for learning over frustration.

20. More games to learn and fewer worksheets.

21. Go with the flow.

22. I wish I would have listened when people said to deschool.

23. I wish I would have learned not to compare our homeschool journey to others.

24. We’re in it for the long haul, there will be many years to cover everything – you don’t need to do it all at once.

25. Declutter & organize your house before you start.

26. Your journey will never look the same as somebody else’s because your kids are unique.

27. Take your time and explore what works best for your family.

28. It won’t be perfect.

29. Go at your child’s pace.

30. Always praise your child when something finally clicks.

31. You can homeschool on a tight budget.

32. Don’t try to have a public school at home.

33. Let your kids be little.

34. When you’re an adult, no one cares at what age you learned to read.

35. Know your state’s rules and do what’s best for you and your kiddos.

36. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on stuff to give your kids a great education.

37. Focus on your relationship with your kids.

38. Read, read, read!

39. Look at how your child learns and don’t try to change that – go where they lead!

40. If a curriculum doesn’t work for you, sell it and try again.

41. Each kid is different and not every method will click with each.

42. You don’t need to do each subject each day.

43. Take everyone’s advice with a grain of salt.

44. Enjoy your journey because it will be absolutely unique.

45. Focus on hands-on learning.

46. Don’t stress the day today.  Your children will learn way more than you think just in everyday play and life.

47. There is no perfect curriculum.

48. I wish I’d never graded anything and just focused on learning and progress.

49. Enjoy rabbit trails, don’t make it all about work, work, work.

50. You really can homeschool multiple ages… without losing your mind!

51. It isn’t a race.

52. There are so many ways to homeschool.

53. Don’t stress arbitrary benchmarks.

54. Hard days will come and you will want to give up.  Be patient. When things click it’s so worth it.

55. Pick and choose from people’s ideas to make up your own method.

56. You don’t need to lesson plan.

57. It will be hard & rewarding, full of tears & laughter.

58. Be flexible.

59. You don’t need a homeschool room.

60. I wish I’d not been so hard on myself or my kiddos.

61. What you thought you wanted to do may not be what you actually end up doing.

62. It takes years to figure out your own family’s educational style.

63. Realize that making it fun is okay.

64. Life gets in the way sometimes and that’s okay.

65. Every experience is a teaching tool.

66. Focus on the big picture.

67. Keep lower years of light and fun.

68. Don’t make the school space yourself – including the kids’ input to where they naturally are drawn to in the house for learning.

69. There will be good and bad days.

70. You will encounter rude people that don’t understand how you could possibly homeschool.

71. Be confident enough to do what works for your children regardless of if it looks anything like you think school should look.

72. Don’t quit.  Adjust.  Take a step back.  But don’t quit.

73. Relationship trumps all academics.  Kids cannot learn and you cannot be an effective teacher if the relationship is broken. Sometimes we need to put the books away and choose to snuggle, go outside, or watch a fun movie together.  They won’t fall behind!

74. Don’t buy all the curriculum.

75. Sleep late.  You’ll never regret it.

76. It doesn’t get easier, but the journey is amazing.

77. There’s a place called a public library where they let you borrow books for free 😉

78. Calm down and don’t interrupt littles playing to do school.

79. Find joy in the adventure.

80. Be open to change, because it’s inevitable.

81. This stage won’t last forever.

82. Forgive yourself for not being the Pinterest perfect homeschool mom.

83. Remember why you started in the first place.

84. Don’t neglect your passions and interests.

85. You can learn as you go.  You don’t have to know everything when you start homeschooling.  Invest in some books or conferences – professional development for homeschool moms.

86. You can’t do it all.  Know your limitations.

87. You can homeschool high school!

88. You are the expert in your child’s life.  No one knows the