Are you feeling discouraged?
As a veteran homeschool mom of 6, I know that homeschooling is hard. Sometimes the kids jump off the wall and refuse to study. There are days you’d rather sit and drink coffee than wrangle the kids to the kitchen table.
There are weeks when nothing seems to be going right. And nothing sounds better than curling up and spending the day watching TV with your kids.
So here are 8 truths about homeschooling to inspire and encourage you!
Truth #1: Homeschooling Educates You
You start out homeschooling thinking that you’re educating your children. Perhaps you’re stressed about how you’ll ever teach high school.
But the first truth about homeschooling is that you educate yourself!
You get to explore Ancient Egypt and study the Roman Emperors.
I know, your kids are also learning the information. But they’ll forget much of it because they don’t have the pegs to attach the information to.
You’ll learn new math concepts and finally understand the Pythagorean theorem.
You’ll study history and explore science. Learn new art techniques and discover new artists.
Head outside and learn about the nature around you.
What types of birds are in your area? Can you find deer tracks? Have you eaten blackberries fresh off the bush?
Yes, homeschooling is to educate the kids. But the wonder you bring into your homeschooling will give it life.
You’ll end up with the education you wish you had growing up!
And by the time your children reach high school, you’ll be ready!
Truth #2: Homeschooling Happens Everywhere
Another one of the truths about homeschooling is that homeschooling happens everywhere!
I know, the name homeschooling implies that you should be home.
Indeed I’ve found for my family, it’s easiest to homeschool at home.
But you’re not stuck at home. Unless you’re in lockdown.
Homeschool at the park. Homeschool in the library. Or homeschool in a doctor’s office.
Homeschooling happens anywhere, even on a beach.
The trick is simply being a bit organized and a bit flexible.
Give car schooling a try – especially if you’re on the road a lot.
Listen to an audiobook while you’re driving. You can listen to the Story of the World in the car.
Listen to your favorite read-aloud. Listen to good children’s literature.
Sing along with Latin or math drill songs.
Plus memory recitation also does well in the car.
Recite your favorite poems. Review your grammar memory work. Recite Latin conjugations.
And remember that you can homeschool outside the home just as well as you can at home.
You simply need to be creative about your approach.
Truth #3: Homeschooling Requires Blinders
The worst thing you can do when homeschooling is to compare yourself to other homeschoolers.
It’s bad. It’s ugly. And it’s the most important of the truths about homeschooling.
You try to keep up with the Joneses. But you can’t.
Because you’re not the Joneses and more importantly, you don’t have a complete picture of what the Joneses are actually doing.
There’s always going to be someone doing something better.
You’ll find other homeschoolers whose kids are writing books, studying calculus, or creating artistic masterpieces.
Your children will never measure up to these impossible standards.
Because you’re not looking at what your kids ARE good at.
Instead, you see all the areas where your kids don’t measure up.
Because your kid loathes writing, is only at grade level in math, and doesn’t know what to do with a paintbrush.
So you don’t see the jewelry your child makes. Or listen to their original piano compositions. Or see that your child soaks up science like a sponge.
It’s vital you put on the blinders and ignore what the other families are doing in their homeschool.
And concentrate on doing a good job educating the children you do have.
Truth #4: Homeschooling Requires Discipline
Yes, I know, discipline is hard.
It’s hard to get up in the morning and fight with your kids through writing.
It’s hard to get up and consistently sit down and complete a math lesson. Facebook is calling. And there are field trips and other activities.
Now that being said, the discipline required does not mean that you have to put your nose to the grindstone 6 hours a day.
It simply means you need to be consistent.
And consistency is much easier than discipline.
So keep your homeschool short and sweet. And keep it easy to be consistent.
You’ll slowly see the lessons start to pile up. Your kids will complete math lessons, reading lessons, and history projects.
And you’ll feel good about what you’re doing.
Truth #5: Homeschool Requires Flexibility
Another one of the truths about homeschooling is that you need to be flexible and adapt to the changing needs of your children.
Because unlike an elementary, middle school, or high school teacher, you’re not teaching a class of 3rd graders every year. Or just English.
You’re teaching a growing, changing, and maturing child over the course of their childhood.
And what works one year will not work the next.
Even when you start over, like I did, with a new set of children rising through the ranks, life still changes.
You have different responsibilities.
You have different needs.
And your children are different people.
So you must be flexible.
You may need to change the curriculum. You might need to adapt your schedule. Or you may need to learn how to homeschool on the road.
Don’t get so locked into one, perfect method of homeschooling that you forget to adapt to the changing needs of your family.
Truth #6: You Need a Portfolio
I know, I know, you live in a state that doesn’t require a portfolio.
But I can’t tell you how many people I’ve spoken to recently are frustrated because they have nothing to show for their lessons.
Their kids sit down and work.
They read tons of books.
But nothing is recorded, because, well, nothing is required to be recorded.
And so at the end of the year, they’re frustrated.
They spent hours working and have nothing to show for it.
And then husbands wonder exactly what their wife and kids do all day. Grandparents lift that eye-brow.
The answer is to keep a portfolio.
Write down the books your children have read over the year.
Now you want a motivational list, there’s one for you! You’ll be amazed at how many books your kids read.
Keep a 3-ring notebook available.
Either write down what your children do each day or toss any written or physical work they’ve completed into the portfolio.
If it’s a project that won’t fit on a paper, take a picture, print it, and jot down a few notes about the project.
Introduce notebooking pages to your kids.
Your children can draw a picture and write a quick blurb about what they’ve learned. Or you can write the blurb if needed.
The goal is to have a satisfying portfolio of your year’s studies at the end of the day.
So you can pick up the binder, thumb through it, and see everything you’ve done this past year.
And I’ll lay dollars to doughnuts that you’ve done more than you think!!!!
Truth #7: Homeschooling Gives You Freedom
The next of the truths about homeschooling is that homeschooling gives you freedom.
Not just the freedom to educate your children how you think best but also in other areas.
You can travel to places while other children are in school. Simply because you’re not tied down to an outside schedule.
You can enjoy field trips and outings during school hours and take advantage of times when the places are empty.
Of course, this leaves you feeling invaded when the public school kids are out on vacation and come to join you at your spot. At your time.
You can take advantage of setting your own vacation days, choosing your own curriculum, or simply taking a day off because, well, you can.
Homeschooling gives you the freedom to live your life without an outside force dictating your activities.
Truth #8: Homeschooling Gives You The Best Years of Your Life
And the final one of the truths about homeschooling is that it’s given me the best years of my life.
Being able to sit down with each child, tutor them, and chat with them is wonderful.
These are years you’ll never get back.
Years when you can spontaneously head to the beach. You can take off on a quick field trip.
Or simply brew tea, bake cookies, and spend an afternoon reading great books together.
And if you’ve never held a spontaneous reading day, you’re missing out.
A reading day is when everyone grabs a good book, you pop popcorn, order pizza, and curl up in the living room to read together all day.
You read. Your children read. And everyone enjoys a day curled up with a good book.
Now don’t get me wrong.
Yes, homeschooling is hard.
And homeschooling requires discipline.
But at the same time, homeschooling offers rewards to compensate for the difficulty.
Homeschooling gives you an amazing relationship with your children. You enjoy the satisfaction of seeing your kids master a new concept.
And have time to simply hang out and enjoy each other’s company.
Yes, the final one of the truths about homeschooling is that the childhood years fly by.
Too soon your kids will be heading out the door.
So for now, savor your homeschooling years.
They end too quickly.
What truths about homeschooling have you learned?
- Homeschool Bravely
- Teaching From Rest
- You Can Do This: 21 Days of Encouragement for the Weary Homeschool Mom
- 10 Bad Habits You Need to Break for Successful Homeschooling
- 14 Homeschool Lessons Learned Over 14 Years
- How to Be Done Homeschooling By Noon
- 51 Reasons to Love Homeschooling
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