Just read a blog where a mom shared 10 things she's learned after 10 years of homeschooling and thought I'd jump on the bandwagon... of course I've only been homeschooling for eight (though sometimes it feels like longer) so you only get eight this time. but stick around for a couple years and I'll have ten by then. ;)
in no particular order...
1. Don't forsake the day that can't be graded on paper.
Learning happens ALL the time; Academics are only part time. Our schooling revolves around our life, not the other way around. and that's ok. academics are important, but they aren't everything. its good to take time to serve others, to meet needs, to rest, let me repeat that one... it's good to rest. to have fun, to snuggle, to laugh, to have a movie day, to read out loud in British accents, to watch documentaries and to ask the tough questions, to learn to forgive. to go on a picnic. to paint all day. to build legos all day. to sit around the table and tell jokes over and over again. If we're facing a challenge, whether it's a bad attitude, disobedience,
sibling conflict, etc... it's always worth stopping to work on the heart
issue and the relationships involved. always. the book lesson can be
picked back up again, but the heart lesson is time sensitive and needs
the attention in THAT moment, not when the schedule says so.
2. You don't always need a schoolroom.
We had one and honestly it was more work to keep it set up like a schoolroom than to just live life and utilize what worked practically (like the couch or a bed or the floor or in the car, ha!). Though there is some benefit to having everyone in one spot if you have a few young ones, but all the schoolroom decor and such... man, just save the cash for a trip to the zoo and extra pencils.
3. You don't need expensive or brand new curriculum.
pretty much you need paper, pencils (lots of pencils) and library books. the rest is just fluff. fluff is nice, dont get me wrong, but it isn't necessary. you have years of experience and knowledge to pass down to your children. If you can read and can teach your children to read, you're already ahead of the curve. Besides, education is about discovering and understanding the world around you, and you don't need a perfectly written and packaged lesson plan for that, you just need time to explore and ...well, more time to explore. we've had our share of "tight" school budget years and my kids didn't care if they had a 40 year old math book or a 2 year old math book. they didn't' care if their science for the day came from a free online seminar or from just being outside digging in the dirt.
4. You can never have too many pencils.
yeah pretty much because they disappear at a rate of 3.7 pencils per second. where do they go?!?!? i dont know.
5. You can also never have too many pairs of scissors.
and tape. always have tape. an endless supply. and string. and cardboard. and markers. and a secret stash of chocolate just for you.
6. Math is DEFINITELY easier the second time around.
I wasn't' a terrible math student. i mean, i passed highschool calculus, but i didn't always understand why something worked. but I actually understand it now as i tutor/help my kids along. so if you're feeling a little inadequate cause you weren't a great student growing up or you never felt confident in a certain subject, give it another try! and if you still aren't good at something, it's ok to say "i don't know". you don't always need to know the answers, its not our job to know everything; it's simply our job to help our kids learn how to discover the answers for themselves.
7. Every homeschool family looks different.
Don't waste time comparing. Yeah, be open to glean wisdom and support from one another, but don't measure your homeschool success with someone else's seemingly perfect daily routine.
8. Be the example.
Your kids are watching you. always. your words simply reinforce or contradict what they've already seen, which do you think they'll remember and emulate themselves? yeah, I'm thinkin' it's the things that actually line up in word AND deed.
so i guess that's a taste of what i've learned so far. 8 years down, 9 to go!!