the surprising transition from school to homeschool

What was my experience of going from school to homeschool?

I brought two of my kids home from school when my oldest finished grade two and my second daughter finished kindergarten.

Since I knew we were moving provinces and making a huge shift in our family life, I didn’t take my kids out of school until almost two years after I decided I wanted to homeschool.

But when we began homeschooling, one summery July day (because I was that motivated to start), I had a few surprises. (PS I share why we began homeschooling here.)

  1. I had to learn not to be preoccupied by what other people think. Because when you do something unconventional like homeschooling, people will share their opinions.
  2. I had to deschool. I had to recreate my notion of what an education is anyways, and engage my kids differently: not do school at home, even try to unschool. By the way, I’m still trying to deschool after fifteen years.
  3. I bought in to a simpler, less culturally influenced lifestyle. There were fewer fancy clothes (though there definitely were more Yoga pants and kids’ PJs), and no indoor shoes required.
  4. I could schedule extracurriculars in the middle of the day because I could.
  5. I could shop and do errands during the day. (And find a way to make it a learning opportunity too!)
  6. I could homeschool any time I wanted: I could start homeschooling in summer, start in October if we were travelling, not do formal academics at all, but travel instead, or school all year.
  7. I learned that grades didn’t mean anything. I didn’t have to assign my kids grades, but I’d make sure my kids knew they had a “grade” just not to freak out random public bystanders.
  8. I learned to respectfully answer the “S” question: what about socialization? Thirteen years later, I smile stupidly and internally roll my eyes, instead of externally rolling my eyes, and let them know that my kids do indeed have friends, they have loads of extracurricular options (more than most schooled kids), and you can see that yourself, because they’re lovely human beings.

Naturally, I’ve learned a few things along my homeschooling journey: here are ten things I’ve learned in the first ten years of homeschooling.

If you want to be a fly on the wall, you can check out our homeschool one day in the middle of our academic year. And if you want to hear how to spend eighteen years with your kids, I share this with you.

PS You don’t have to commit to more than a year of homeschool. You don’t need to overthink your long-term plans: just be present, learn about your kids’ learning and interests for just THIS year.

Are you considering homeschooling your kids?

I’ve got a free mini-course that introduces you to me, so I can get you from “I don’t know where to start, to I’ve got a plan.”

I’ve got a full course that inspires you to consider what an education is anyway, and get you thinking and planning for your child’s education.

I’ve got a course that will get you from “I don’t think I can do this, I’m too uncertain, nervous, or afraid” to “I know I can do this, I’ve got this girlfriend.”

How to Homeschool 101 will give you Everything you Need to Know to Get Started, Create a Personalized Education, and Gain Confidence in Creating your Routine.

Check out my book Homeschool Mama Self-Care: Thrive, Not Just Survive

Teresa Wiedrick
Teresa Wiedrick

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