Sunday, January 27, 2013

Thirteen Things I Wish I Would Have Known About Homeschooling When I Got Started

Earlier today I was talking with a new homeschooler and she asked me this question:  
What do you wish you would have known when you started homeschooling?
GOOD QUESTION!!!, I thought.

So I got to thinking about things that have become second nature to me, things that have changed in me, and things that have become a part of me from living this wonderful lifestyle.

First, You will become a life-long learner.  (If you're not already one.)  Because you will spend so much time on the computer you will become extremely proficient at researching and seeking knowledge.  You will find that you are perfectly capable of finding out anything you want to know!

Secondly, you will learn to do things for yourself! If you can't find a drama class for your child, you will eventually put one together yourself and offer it to other children!  If your child wants to experience a garden you will research one together and get one going!  Somehow you will get your kid into Space Camp.  If there is no group in the area, you will go out of your way to create one!

Third, somewhere, sometime, someone will show you new curriculum that you have never seen before and you will, AGAIN, review your homeschooling materials.  In fact, you will probably never stop looking at new materials. Is there something better somewhere?  Can we find a better fit for our family?  Hmmm, should I write my own???

Fourth, that leads us up to books.  You will own so many books you won't know what to do with them.  Your Christmas list or wish list will always include the notation more bookshelves.  And, still, you will find more books you, that you NEED.

Fifth,  you will worry.  Am I doing my best as a homeschooling mom?  Is there more material out there I can find for my child(ren)?  What are we missing?  How can I get my child's needs met.  So, sure, you will worry.  But you will also get on with it and get it done!  And you will learn the importance of letting go of the idea of "perfection" and, instead, get on with the business of loving the children you have.  Leading us to:

Sixth, you will amaze yourself with what you are able to accomplish!  You will have golden days when you tumble into bed knowing that today you accomplished Great Homeschool Mom status!  And you have become a Can Do, strong woman and mother!

Seventh, your children will blow your mind!  You will watch them move from learning how to properly grip the pencil to writing amazing stories.  You will watch them progress from looking at the moon to being able to find stars in their telescope.  You will see their growth from reading their address to reading source historical documents!  You will see them becoming themselves...

Eighth, you will have days when you want to throw up your arms and throw in the towel.  Too much conflict with unsupportive people, children who aren't always fun to be around, learning difficulties, hard-to-find resources, self doubt, watching the bus drive past your house leaving your surly child giving you the eye, just plain exhaustion, or a million other reasons.  Some days just suck.  But you will stick with it and tomorrow will be better.

Nine, you will purchase ten different sets of curriculum and, still, you will prefer the books you found at the library for free and trips out to the science center and Netflix documentaries.  It is common for families to spend terrific amounts of money in the earlier years and to spend almost nothing in the later years.  Eventually nearly everyone learns that living is learning and spending more cash isn't necessarily necessary.  And when that wonderful day comes, that day when you throw out someone else's idea about what your children should be learning, you will love it!

Ten, spending time with other homeschooling families can take away your insecurities.  You might be fretting over your daughter's inability to hold her pencil the correct way, but other moms may have great advice OR their own kids don't use pencils yet at all.  You will learn that the comparison, while calming and comforting also reinforces that popular Doctor Seuss wisdom "If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree..."  And you will find that being a part of a group is wonderful because you begin as a novice and you progress into the Knowledgeable Homeschool Mom status!

Eleven, you will earn more about wisdom, intelligence, and learning than you even knew existed.  Learning styles, what it means to be truly educated, truly wise...  There is so much to learn and you will do it because it will help you know how to work with each of your children.  

Twelve, homeschooling will become second nature.  It will take about a year of homeschooling before the anxiety and fear stop living in your skin and knocking at your door every day.  About a year before you realize that the effort, the wandering, and the love are paying off:  you are homeschooling!

And, Thirteen, and most important, you will change so much!  You will be grateful for that day when you and your family chose this path and lifestyle:  homeschool.

Truly, How have YOU changed?  Are you surprised by it?
What would your list look like?

If you enjoyed this post you may also like to read:

The Case Against Homeschooling
A Case Against Homeschooling, Really
In Retrospect


  1. Awesome post! So honest, and so true.

  2. Great list! And what a beautiful illustration - I want a yellow backpack! Even if our yellow flowers won't bloom for several months here in New England...

  3. I love this list. Great reminders of why we homeschool.

  4. Out of your 13 points, I can identify with ALL of them. :) It was as if I had written the list. That is one of the beauties of homeschooling, being to learn and grow.

    I found your blog through Hip Homeschool Moms. I noticed you have a link for on your sidebar. I have some friends who are members there.

    Thanks for sharing.



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