We’re a year and a half into our homeschool journey and (likely also due to the new year) I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on what I’ve learned. I’ve learned a lot about my kids obviously. However, I’ve learned a lot about myself too.
- One of the first things I’ve learned is I have to have things organized. There is a popular stream of thought in homeschooling that too much planning and organizing is bad. I’ve gotten the impression (and I really can’t convey this correctly for others), that some people find having a plan, curriculum, approach, schedule, etc. just really kills their school life – makes it “public school at home” which is a big no no.I think without a plan our school life would be way more boring. I’d reach for the same old workbook each day to make sure we got something done and call it good. With a plan, I know when it’s ok to take off for a field trip for the day instead of staying home. A plan allows me to be flexible. Maybe this will evolve more over time.
- Fuzzy and Bear are, like all kids, extremely different from each other. For a while I seriously wondered if this meant I needed to do completely different curriculums and approaches with them. I’ve decided it’s not really necessary (so far!), and I probably couldn’t make it work anyway. Public schools certainly don’t do that after all!What I have done is pick curriculum that appeals to ME and how I think about teaching them, and then apply it to them in different ways. Even though they are at different grade levels and have such different learning styles, so far using curriculum as a “guide” and meeting them with it where they are appears to be working!
- The homeschooling community is really diverse, just like the world. I admit it, I wondered if I was going to meet some crazy folks, and maybe I have, I don’t know, but certainly none more so than I met in our 2 years of public school!! I think it’s been vitally important for me to join a community. I’m still working on it, it’s such a hard thing for me to really connect.As far as other people go, it’s been about what you would expect. Some people started off very enthusiastic for our choice and that has waned. Most people are pretty curious about it. Some people are extremely skeptical of it. That hasn’t changed!
- As for me personally, it’s probably one of the hardest yet best areas of growth. I admit to thinking about what life would be like with my 2 kids both off at school every day (ok, super stressful, but it would be quiet!). Even though it would have a lot of stress (there are reasons we’re not there after all), I can’t deny it would give me more personal time.
However, I’ve learned how to manage my time more, keep going when I’m tired, teach my children when to persevere and when to snuggle in a blanket. I’ve also learned quite a bit about world history that I never knew!
So I’m excited to keep going, I’m actually looking really forward to starting back up school in the new year. I’ve made a few more tweaks to my plan (!) that I think can get us a bit more mileage out of our days. I’m excited about restarting the two coops we’re in and teaching in them. I’m excited to see my boys really click on their reading and spelling (they’ve made leaps and bounds in the past few months there!).
Bring on the new year!