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What I wish I knew before starting to homeschool

We all start homeschooling for different reasons.  Here are just a few:

  • Disillusionment with the public school system
  • Not able to afford private school
  • Religious reasons
  • Wanting to spend more time with our children
  • Wanting a superior education for our children
  • Wanting our child not to be indoctrinated with pop culture
  • Wanting our child to not just fit in society’s boxes, but to be a free thinker

You could’ve gone into the whole endeavor for any or all of the reasons above or a number of other reasons.

Whatever your reason for starting, we all run into similar issues as we go along our path and some catch it sooner than others.  I have learned some of the lessons in the following articles the hard way and through observing and communicating with lots of different homeschoolers and I am convinced that if you know some of these potential pitfalls at the start, you can more successfully navigate through it, even prevent it all the way, and come out on the other side with well-rounded children and a strong marriage intact, both of which are really important for a fulfilled life as a homeschooler.

I am convinced that more books will be published in the next few years, because as homeschooling matures and becomes more widely accepted, as well as more people reach the point where their children are graduating and they can look back and reflect on what they might’ve done differently.

So, I intend to, in the articles that will follow, let you know some of my experiences and those of others I’ve talked to and observed, in an effort to save you a bit of the difficult learning curve.  We’re busy enough as homeschoolers to not have to waste unnecessary time on stumbling through some potential pitfalls.

Make peace from the onset that you WILL make “mistakes” on your homeschool journey, in parenting, as well as in life in general, but try to see it not as mistakes, but learning experiences and adjust accordingly, as we teach our children as well.  As long as you’re willing to change, there really is no such thing as a mistake.  As long as you don’t expect perfection from yourself, you will do just fine.

There is a poem by an anonymous person that has changed my life and I would like to include it below.  I now live by this poem or I try really hard to and it goes further than parenting.  I believe it is just as applicable to homeschooling.  I think we all start out with some of these as goals, but then in the busy-ness of the whole homeschool journey we sometimes forget this, so read it often to remind yourself where you’re heading.

 

“If I had my child to raise (school) all over again,

I’d build self-esteem first and the house later,

I’d finger paint more and point the finger less,

I would do less correcting and more connecting,

I’d take my eyes off my watch and watch with my eyes,

I would care to know less and know to care more,

I’d take more hikes and fly more kites,

I’d stop playing seriously and seriously play,

I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars,

I’d do more hugging and less nagging,

I’d see the oak tree in the acorn more often,

I’d model less about the love of power …

And more about the power of love.”  – Anonymous