10 Things I Wish I’d Known About Homeschooling

10_ThingsIn conjunction with our “I Can’t Homeschool” series, I’d like to take a step back and ponder things I wish I had known before homeschooling. Little pieces of wisdom I didn’t yet know, lessons I’ve learned along the way, and tips for making my own life easier.

Here are 10 things I wish I had known before we started homeschooling:

  1. This isn’t a one-man show. I wish someone had told me at the very beginning that I wouldn’t need to stress over every decision being made about my children’s education. My husband has a great deal of input and the Lord does the leading. I’m not in this alone, and I’m not expected to complete the task single-handedly.
  2. Believe in the gap theory. Every student has some gaps in their learning, every single one. I need to stop stressing over this and just accept it as fact. Does this mean we don’t give it our best and pursue as far as we can? Absolutely not! We firmly believe in mastering our studies. However, it also means we understand that I can only do my best, my kids can only do their best. Gaps are bound to happen.
  3. Plan routines, not schedules. I love schedules, really I do. The danger with schedules, however, is that they tend to be rigid. Instead of a set schedule, I need to have a routine, which changes and flows with the family unit. It’s okay to have a plan in place, as long as it’s not set in stone.
  4. Being a good teacher does not mean I’ll always be treated well. I used to equate my teaching with how well my kids treated me. The Lord had to teach me a lesson. My kids are sinners, too. They make mistakes, they are unkind at times, and they are still learning patience. I can be the best teacher there is (I wish I was) and they might still have an off day. This is not a personal reflection on me as a teacher or parent, it’s just human nature.
  5. One bad moment does not a bad day make. Sometimes I can get caught up in the moment. A stressful situation can cause a shadow to be cast on the entire day. I need to take each moment as it comes. I should extend grace, accept repentance, and move forward as if the day was new. Often that one moment passes with the remainder of the day being lovely.
  6. Repetition is not a bad thing. It can be disheartening to teach a particular lesson again, and again, and again, and again, only to have our child still not understand. We can often mistake this for poor teaching on our part or a problem with our child. In truth, it might not be either. Our child might be easily distracted, this could be a difficult concept to grasp, or a change in approach might be needed. Instead of losing heart over how long it’s taking to teach the lesson, I need to be encouraged that my child still wants to learn and remain focused on the objective. Repetition is a good thing. i_cant_homeschool
  7. Finding friends can be hard. I wish I could say we are surrounded by tons of close friends. While we do have some friends we are blessed to fellowship with, this hasn’t always been the case, nor has it always been easy finding them. Through prayer, time, and many group outings, this area is improving.
  8. Sometimes it’s okay to spend money. I tend to be a penny pincher. If I can make it, why buy it? However, I only have so much time in my day and so much patience. If I have the option of buying something for a reasonable price, saving myself time and energy which could be better spent with my kids, I’m going for it. It’s okay to be frugal. It’s also okay to see the greater good, more time spent with my family.
  9. I need to take care of myself. While I’m a firm believer in taking care of my family and serving in ministry, I also need to make sure I’m not neglecting myself. I tend to eat last, hardly drink anything, sleep very little, and do too much. It’s okay to admit I need help with various tasks, take a moment for myself, and restrict my volunteer work. Being a good keeper of my home does not mean I need to run myself into the ground.
  10. There are days I will feel lost. No matter how long I do this, the enemy is still going to creep up on me, whispering in my ear, “You can’t do this. What were you thinking? You’re in over your head.” It’s in these moments the Lord reminds me of the truth: cannot do this. On my own I am over my head. The beauty of the situation is that I am not alone; He is my strength. While I cannot do this, God can do all things. He is my compass, my True North. With Him, this is possible.

While I’ve learned a lot through homeschooling thus far, I’m sure the lessons the Lord has for me are not yet over. I look forward to all He has in store, knowing it is for the greater good.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11

🔔Time to Chime In: Share the top five things you wish you’d known before homeschooling! We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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29 thoughts on “10 Things I Wish I’d Known About Homeschooling

  1. This whole series has been excellent, but in particular this is one of the BEST blogs I have read about homeschooling. And I have been at this for seven years already. Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing your heart. My favorite part was the reminder that one bad moment does not need to ruin my day. May God truly bless you as you continue to share encouraging words from your heart!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This past year I learned it is okay if a kid struggles with a subject. My daughter is not a failure because she struggles with a subject and I am not failing her by letting her slow down in the subject that brings tears. This lesson was hard for me to learn.

    Liked by 2 people

    • This is a hard area for most of us parents. We tend to associate our children’s progress with how well we are doing as teachers and parents. Unfortunately, if we are not careful, our children will begin picking up our habit and judge themselves according to how well they perform.

      It’s time we stopped assuming all people can be wonderful in ALL areas of study, and embrace our unique learning abilities.

      True failure only lies in giving up entirely and allowing our doubt to control us, instead of allowing God to do a work through our diligence.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Happy. Homeschooling. Housewife. and commented:
    I really enjoyed reading this article. I resonated with all the 10 things–ALL of THEM!! Right now we have one more week of school left, and I am planning next year. This list is helping me breath and embrace the realities (the good and the not so great) of being a home schooling momma. I hope you enjoy this article and as always,
    Stay encouraged & Be blessed!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As a rookie HS mom, those things are all facts I am figuring out. Thank you for putting them to paper. I write and read to make sense so everything, and when I see someone else write down my thoughts and questions, it is validation. We’re gonna be ok. Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. So, so much wisdom here. I was trying to choose a favorite point, but they all resonate strongly as I reflect on homeschooling. If I had to pick a favorite I guess it would be #10, because everything else rests on Mama’s spiritual, emotional, and mental health, as she keeps her eyes on the Lord.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great list! #7 is one that resonates with me. So many homeschooling books and resources emphasize finding a Homeschool Support Group or play group. For a variety of reasons this didn’t come together for us at first. I was rather stunned that former associations didn’t hold up when we began homeschooling. We found some play groups were so well established that they weren’t very welcoming, or we were the wrong age, or the wrong denomination or whatever. In the end our lack of social life enabled us to get well established in Homeschooling, but I spent a lot of time that first year or so worrying about finding friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is a consistent worry throughout the homeschooling community at large.

      We find friends then outgrow the group, or they move, or they leave the group, or… the list is endless.

      Like anything else, life has its seasons, and so does friendship. Our desire is that while some acquaintances will come and go, we have one or two core, solid friendships which will always remain. Our prayer is for everyone to find the same. The lesson is that we understand how it felt to be the newcomer and now become the ones to embrace those who enter our community.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. love this! So many things I find now and tell my kids who are almost grown how I wish I knew this when they were younger. Home Schooling like parenting doesn’t come with a handbook per-se ,every family is different and we all meet different needs, This is a great article for others to see they are not alone, it’s ok to feel lost at times, and to change when change is needed. With change comes growth and Praise God we all grow in him and thru him so that our homes and hearts of us and our children will reflect that. 🙂 love your articles.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It took me a couple years of homeschooling to learn this. I have to say, #4 was easy for me. When my daughter gets upset with me, I’m ok with it. I tell her, “It’s ok. You don’t have to like me right now. But I am doing my job.” When she pulls the “silent treatment” during school, I let her know she doesn’t have to speak to me, but she still must communicate. That’s when she switches to responding in sign-language (well what she knows). I LOVE that. She’s still learning and doesn’t get the concept that she’s still doing school work with each sign she masters!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wonderful post. What a great, gentle reminder that all we can do is the best we can do. We desperately need a daily connection with our Source of life, in order to do this thing right, because strength and patience run dry so quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: 2015’s Top Attractions! | A Homeschool Mom

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