Here are ten lessons I’ve learned in my ten homeschool years that can help you plan for your homeschool year.
Mama self-care is a requirement, not an option.
Sometimes I need to be in my house alone. Sometimes I need to do yoga quietly, or meditate with headphones in my ears, drink a cup of morning coffee without interruption or go outside to do chores for nature therapy. Downtime moments are required when you’re a homeschool mama.
Homeschooling really is an amazing educational and family life option. It’s a whole lot of parenting, but I continue to scream from the mountaintops, If you want to do this, you can do this!Teresa Wiedrick, author of Homeschool Mama Self-Care: Nurturing the Nurturer
I can influence my children, but I cannot control them.
Somehow, knowing that they come out of you means you should be able to give them whatever you think they need, provide for them, convince them what you know to be true, dictate their path, and yet, and yet….there comes a time, say eleven, or thirteen, or definitely by fifteen, where they exercise their ‘independence muscles’ and declare “I’m gonna decide or do or think for myself”. And that was just the way it was meant to be. In a good relationship, I can always still influence them.
Academics are not synonymous with education.
Even in a homeschool. The most challenging thing ever is to get over the notion that formal studies is an education but sitting on a computer learning chess maneuvers is not. Prescribed science experiments are an education, but slime-making is not. Watching soccer on YouTube how-to’s is an education, but watching FIFA isn’t. (Go England!) Learning to edit and create YouTube makeup videos is not, but reading anything from the Sonlight reading list is.
I will, indeed, have to answer the age old question into eternity, or at least for as long as I am homeschooling, or ever share in the future that I once did homeschool: “Are they socialized?”
I am ultimately being asked if my children are being cared for. Glad the public cares. (But the general public, when you tell me I have such lovely children, but follow up with a concerned, ‘but do they ever leave the confines of your home?’ you got to ask ‘how do they be nice, except that they socialize to learn to be nice’) Sigh.
I may have been the greatest educational recipient in our homeschool world.
Geography, philosophy, American history, geology, arithmetic, romance languages, this paragraph could go on and on. My education has been an adult-sized shot in the arm.
There is no way to homeschool ‘the right way’.
Just do it. Observe others. Plan it. Change it. Accept mistakes. Acknowledge failure. Observe your kids. Keep moving. Keep learning. Just like parenting.
I know a lot, and I’ll never know enough, and I don’t need to.
The kids will learn what they need to learn when they need to learn it, if I haven’t already taught them, or found them resources. Gaps are in everyone’s education. Everyones. The end product of my child is not to become God or Google. Life is learning. And continues to belong after they live in my home.
I am seasonally interested in homeschool academics.
Somewhere between September and December, I love formal academics. Somewhere between Christmas and Valentine’s, I am fading in interest. I faded, and am holding on, in February. I decide unschooling is the way to go by May. By July, we’re waking up late on no schedule whatsoever. But just a couple of months later, we all declare we should get to formal academics!
It’s not a cliché: The days are long, but the years are short.
We recently graduated our first child, our seventeen-year-old daughter. Such a pretty baby, and walking down the mall hallway I wondered why everyone wasn’t greeting her. Good thing she was cute, because she didn’t sleep, and she cried a lot. It was an overwhelming start to parenthood. There have been plenty of challenges since then. Now that she’s walking the bridge to adult independence, I can see that these years have been very, very short.
“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”Van Gogh
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Call to Adventure by Kevin MacLeod