Now that we are nearing the end of our first year of homeschooling, I feel like Makenna and I have finally got our groove. She is on track to finish the year early and enjoy a long summer growing goats for her 4-H project.
I am looking forward to next year already. Mainly because I learned so much being her teacher. If you are considering homeschooling, here are some insights I have picked up that might help you make that decision:
- You need even more patience than you think – Homeschooling is not for the weak. It is tough being together everyday all day. Planning ahead and talking through the next day’s lessons and expectations helped us tremendously.
- No one wants to learn about fractions or decimals – Trust me. It’s not any fun to teach it either! But the blessing of homeschooling is that you can try different approaches. For example, Makenna baked her way through the fraction section. And as a reward for a fantastic essay on the Civil War, she got to go to a theatre one afternoon and see “Lincoln”.
- I ❤ biology – This I didn’t actually learn, but remembered about myself. I had as much fun doing experiments with worms and rocks as she did. And that made it even more fun for Makenna. Get in there. Get your hands dirty. See if you can correctly answer the story problems. Your kids will appreciate the effort and seeing you struggle like they do.
- Taking a break is okay – Yes, we may get behind in grammar or spelling, but knowing when to quit for the day and when to push through that last lesson will keep you both sane.
- Never underestimate the power of printing – We picked our curriculum because of all of its online features, but we have gone through a ton of ink cartridges this year. There are certain times when you really do need to see it on paper to make it click.
- Socialization is KING! – We have attended many events for homeschooled kids. So many of the other kids are lacking even the basic social skills like just introducing themselves at these events. It is a sad sight to see 45 kids skating independently at a rink because they are too shy to say hello. Giving your kids the confidence to start a conversation with someone new is a life skill they will always thank you for instilling.
I would highly encourage anyone considering the move to homeschool to talk to other parents and kids first. There are so many programs out there and lots of flexible curriculum. Take time to find a program you can stick with and enjoy.