Do you regularly engage in professional development as a homeschool mom?
If you don’t, why not? Is it because you see yourself as “just a homeschool mom?” Maybe you don’t feel that professional. You might not get dressed up for work each day like when you had a “real” job, but let’s not let that self-defeating frame of mind continue, okay?
If you’re educating your kids at home, you are a professional home educator. It is your calling. And you should be improving in your skills and knowledge. This doesn’t have to happen in an overly formal way, like a masters degree in education. But little by little, ten minutes here, ten minutes there, you can be growing into your profession.
Here are five key ways to work on your professional development!
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You can grab Homeschool Mom Book Lists in my members-only resource library!
Not only is it good for you to read, it will encourage your kids to see you reading too.
But what if you don’t have the time to sit down and read? Then this next option is a perfect solution.
I am a podcast junkie! As I do mindless tasks around the house or in my Etsy shop, I can still be actively engaged with a podcast. I love to listen to many genres. Here are some of my favorites at the moment:
- Christy Wright’s Business Boutique >> If you’re homeschooling but also trying to start a business on the side, then this podcast includes the inspiration and practical steps you need to make your dream a reality.
- Organize 365 Podcast >> Lisa Woodruff is a hoot to listen to as she walks you through organizing every part of your home and paperwork! Her organization phases and stages teaching inspired me to write about the The 3 Stages in the Life of a Homeschool Mom.
- The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey >> This is just a fun podcast to listen to when I want to decompress from a long day of homeschooling. Listening in on Jamie’s conversations with a girlfriend each week is inspiring and I always go away refreshed or challenged.
- The Homeschool Snapshots Podcast >> I don’t know if there are any homeschoolers who have not heard of Pam Barnhill’s amazing podcast where you can get a peek into the lives of the homeschoolers next door!
- The World and Everything in It >> This “NPR from a Christian worldview” is my go-to news source each morning. My high schoolers will start listening to this weekly for their current events information, and it will give us much to discuss.
- Homeschooling In Real Life >> This podcast doesn’t have any new episodes, but you can binge on all the older ones. This podcast is refreshing in the homeschool community, because Andy & Kendra Fletcher tackle some “elephant in the room” topics. Always a fun listen.
- Do It Scared >> This podcast by Ruth Soukup helps you face your fears and get it done anyway!
- The Cold War: What We Saw >> This podcast is more like radio theatre, with a great retelling of the ins and outs of the Cold War. Travel back in time and feel what it was like to live at the end of the Cold War. Your teens may like this too.
Books and podcasts are nice, but what if you need more focused help on one aspect of homeschooling? Have you looked into online courses?
Online courses are not just for kids anymore. There are so many platforms and experts teaching about broad and also specific topics, that you are sure to find instruction on just about anything!
Check out platforms like Udemy to find unique online courses to meet your professional development goals.
Extroverts, you can get excited about this next option! Introverts, not so much. Go where the people are with live conferences.
Every homeschooling parent should attend a live conference at least once. We did when we were just starting out with our little tribe, and it was a great experience to meet other families in the same life stage. Browsing through curriculum in the vendor hall can be overwhelming, but it is also super helpful to be able to thumb through resources in person before settling on a style or publisher sight unseen.
Check with your local homeschool group or state homeschooling groups for live and local convention dates. HSLDA keeps a calendar of convention events HERE.
Live conferences can be fun, but you most likely have to deal with childcare issues, time away, travel costs, possibly hotel fees and you have to make it work around your schedule. Is there another option?
If most things in the “real world” can be found online these days, why would we expect homeschool conferences to be any different?
And just in time for the craziness we find ourselves in this year – you can attend a homeschool conference from home!
Check out the 2020 Homeschool Mom Conference!
What’s your biggest takeaway? How will you invest in your Professional Development as a Homeschool Mom?