Monday, August 6, 2007

What was the most important thing you learned after your first year or so of homeschooling?

Well, we are not quite finished with our first year of homeschooling, but I feel I can answer this question with only two weeks of counting days to go.

I learned that I can chuck it all out the window and start over again. Always one to finish what I started, this was a hard lesson to learn. It is nice to know that if a certain math is not working, find another and try again. Or supplement. Or chuck it all for a week and do math in everyday life instead. If a book we are reading is just not working, we now go back to the library and chose another.

(Contributed by Dawn)


To go at my child's pace and not the program's or anyone else's. This has meant that we really can't use Lesson plans as-is, but I do feel the children have learned more effectively this way. In some areas, they already knew what they were supposed to study, (e.g. learning letter sounds isn't something you need to do all over again) -- in others they needed some extra prep work. That's one of homeschooling's greatest strengths in my view. (Contributed by Suchi from Washington)


I'm nearing the end of my second year of homeschooling and I have a bunch of things that come to mind. I've learned not to overwhelm our family by trying to do everything. We now try to focus on the basic skills and fit in extras as time allows. I've learned not to judge my own homeschool harshly in comparison to what I see someone else doing. No two families are alike and no two families will homeschool the same way. I would get anxious as I compared my homeschool to my friends and think I needed to add to our schedule what they were doing. But eventually I've realized that there are many "right" ways to homeschool. While there will always be pieces of what others are doing that makes sense for our family, I've learned not to go flying off trying every new thing I hear someone mention if what we're already doing is working. I'm learning to say no. I live in a area with several other Catholic homeschool families. I live near a big city with many field trip opportunities. Too often I find myself saying yes to some opportunity that the kids shouldn't miss, when I really know we just need to stay home. My kids will still thrive even if they don't go on every field trip or playdate offered. I'm discovering that homeschooling doesn't have to cost much money. When I started I bought all the books that were recommended and I bought all the supplies that I thought I might need. Too much of what I bought went unused. It is difficult to really assess what our family needs until we've spent some time with a subject. I'm learning to buy the minimum at first and add on as I need. I'm learning to take full advantage of the library. I've also found being part of an on-line community invaluable. There is so much wisdom out there and I've learned an incredible amount about homeschooling since I joined these groups. (Contributed by Richelle)

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