I can honestly tell you that I believe homeschooling is just as much a learning experience for the adults as it is for the children! I have been homeschooling for three years, after having spent 11 years teaching middle school, and I have learned SO much about myself, my kids, and homeschooling in general! These are f ew of the things I have figured out (in no particular order!)
- Teaching your children at home is not the same as (nor should it be the same as) teaching 30 kids in a classroom. As a former teacher, I had to move from having everything scheduled to the last second, thus draining the flexibility and joy from our learning, to a more relaxed approach.
- It’s perfectly okay to not always finish everything you had planned for the day, in fact, I think it’s good for kids to learn that in life, you have to be flexible. Things will NOT always go as planned, and learning how to adjust “on the fly” is an important life skill.
- You don’t HAVE to join every possible homeschool group/co-op etc. that you can find (unless you want to). Honestly, a few well-chosen and enjoyable activities will give your kids PLENTY of socialization. Children are in fact, naturally sociable creatures, and if you just let them be and give them chances to meet people, they will be just fine.
- There is more to curriculum than just textbooks. Don’t be afraid to step outside the box!!
- At the same time, if textbooks work great for YOU, then use them!!! It is, after all, YOUR homeschool and you know what suits you and your kids best.
- On that note, do NOT keep comparing yourself to the other homeschoolers you know. It is very likely that what you do will be very different from what they do, and that’s okay. The point of homeschooling is to make your homeschool reflect the needs of your kids. If all homeschools were uniform, then we would be no different from public schools!
- Be aware that each of your kids has their own style of learning, and just because something worked great with child A, it may not work for child B.
- Homeschooling is a huge responsibility, and for someone like me, that can be stressful. I remind myself daily to “not sweat the small stuff” and just enjoy the time with my kids. I know they are learning the “book stuff”, but to me, the “life stuff” is what’s most important.