Thursday, June 25, 2015

10 Truths I've Learned While Homeschooling

  My blog often focuses on what the kids are doing or what the kids are learning while we're homeschooling, but I've learned a lot too over these past few years.  

As our lives go through various changes or seasons, if you will, we adults are always growing, changing, and learning too.  Some of the things I've learned have been due solely to the kids and their interests.  They get so excited about all that they are learning and can't wait to share such wonderful facts with me.  I have learned so much about trucks, hydraulics, animals and Greek/Roman/ Egyptian Gods that it's just unbelievable.

Much of what I've learned is not solely directed by the kids though.

Here are 10 lessons I've learned while homeschooling my boys:




1. I don't have all the answers but Google usually does!

I thought I was intelligent.  I went to school and got really good grades. I went to college and even received my Masters in Education and yet I must get asked at least a dozen questions a day that I just do not know the answers to.  I used to say we'd find a book about it at the library but I've learned that their interests are often fleeting and quick Google search to answer their question is usually all that is needed.  Then if they're intrigued and have even more questions we head to the library.

2. You can plan and plan and plan but you must be flexible enough to let go of the plan when it isn't working

I used to plan out each day, each week and even each year of homeschooling.  But as our days morphed and we deviated from the plans I'd start getting anxious and upset.  My plan book looked so messy by the end of the week and I focused so much on all that we didn't complete.  When I finally tossed the plan and focused on what we were doing each day it was easy to see growth, change, and learning happening.  

3. Kids really don't need to be instructed on everything; they're quite willing to learn on their own as long as they know they can always ask for help

As a teacher I assumed I needed to teach my kids everything.  But I've noticed that so much of what they learn is really self- directed with little to no input from me.  Most of what I teach tends to go in one ear and out the other unless they have specifically asked for my help and are ready to learn the skills I'm teaching.  Kids learn; they're wired to learn all about the world around them.

4. Children's books aren't just for kids!

I have fallen in love with so many children's and young adult books that I might not otherwise have thought to read on my own.  Great authors write books that appeal to everyone and there are many, many, many, amazing authors out there!

5. My kids are AWESOME! and I'm more than happy to be home with them full time 24 hours a day 7 days a week

I always knew I had pretty great kids but I was daunted by the thought of being with them everyday all day long.  I thought I needed the break public school provided to better handle the kids and have more patience with them but in the last few years I've discovered the opposite to be true to me.  We now have so many more wonderful & happy memories & moments to share that it's easy enjoy being with them all day long.

6. Everyone learns differently

I knew this before I started homeschooling but somehow I don't feel like I really KNEW this.  Do you know what I mean?  

I've always said every child is different and learns differently yet used the same set of teaching tools to teach them all.   

Being home with just my three boys has driven that point home so much more.  A textbook or series that works great for one son is a nightmare for another.  One of my boys prefers noise and chaos when doing school and the other needs it quiet and organized just so.  Some like to sit, some like to move; they are who they are and they know how they learn best.

7. Learning can be so simple and fun and happens ALL THE TIME

 It's hard to shake the mindset of "school" time and play time but I have learned that there is no set line.  Learning can be so much fun that they have no idea that they're even learning.  The best lessons are those that we are unaware of and that can happen whenever & wherever.  We don't need a special building, room, or area to learn.  

8. There's always tomorrow

Often I try to plan so much in our day and we just run out of time.  I used to try and push the kids through the lessons and get them all done so I could check them all of my list but I realized I was interrupting valuable learning time.  Now I know that if we're really immersed in something the other things can slide and we can tackle them another day. I also know that if we're all in a funk or the day is going bad we can take a break and tackle it again at another time.  

9. Don't sweat the small stuff

One thing I've learned these last few years is that I have to let go of my fears more often and look at the big picture.  When I'm starting to feel upset that the house is messy, that one of the boys is struggling with a skill, when dealing with separation anxiety, or that the bickering is driving me up the wall I try to take a deep breath and think "will this still be like this in 5 years or even 10 years?"  Usually the answer is no and somehow that helps me feel better and helps me move on.  

10 My best is good enough

I never expect my kids to do better than their best and it's unrealistic to constantly expect myself to do better and to be better.  

But I am a perfectionist at heart.  It's natural for me to read all the other homeschooling blogs and think "I should do that with the boys",  or *gasp* "I forgot to teach them that", "they're doing so much more with their kids (than I am with mine)", "that sounds like a perfect curriculum set, I should buy that and make sure to do it with the boys everyday instead of always forgetting about it and reverting back to what little we do follow"... those kinds of things.  

We all parent differently, we all homeschool differently, we all are different and that's just great.  

The world would be pretty boring if we were all the same.  

4 comments :

  1. This is great! There is so much that you start out believing about homeschool, but once you get started you realize that your approach and beliefs must change. I love this :-)

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  2. Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I often joke with other homeschooling moms that homeschooling is always changing and in flux; once you find a good groove and something that works really well it often starts to all change again.

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  3. Great post! These points are all so true, though I didn't have Google when I started homeschooling! Thanks for sharing at Homeschool Memo Blog Hop :)

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  4. I often joke that I can't imagine homeschooling without the internet; it's such a handy reference!

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