If this post, 6 things I won’t regret after homeschooling for 16+ years helps you to make even one tiny step toward homeschool progress today, then it’s well worth it.
Each day can seem to make unplanned demands on our time.
And some days it’s difficult to say the least to decide when to let things go like the house or to not school for the day.
Homeschooling has never disappointed me though I have been disappointed in my own attempts to homeschool at one time or another.
6 Things I Won’t Regret After Homeschooling 16+ Years
Here is what I won’t regret when I faced giants though not always feeling so brave and not always having it together each day.
■ I don’t regret letting go of the thinking that homeschool was something we did on the side and that it was a burden that I added to my day.
For the first five years or so of homeschooling, I really had to fight to carve out our time for homeschool.
Some days I just didn’t feel like the homeschool routine. I had to give myself permission to feel weak at times.
It’s not that we had so much going on all the time, but looking back now what I didn’t realize was that I was building lifelong habits of study. It was hard work.
It was different doing a research project with the kids or even reading to them, but I am talking about enforcing a general start time to each and every day so we could be productive.
It took a lot of energy to form my sons’ habits, but what a payoff I was in store for as they hit middle and high school grades.
My kids were and are the ones now getting off their devices, or cleaning up their messes in the morning so they can start school at 9:00 a.m.
Did I mention, I just follow along now as the boys get our day started?
■ Call me Bible thumping or weird, but I don’t regret one minute of all the time we spent with just fellow Christian homeschoolers at field trips and in co-ops.
Our field trips and co-ops were a time to share the highs and lows about homeschooling with others that were not going to judge me.
And no, I didn’t want to vent to somebody who just thinks that they know what I am talking about when it comes to living the homeschool lifestyle.
■I don’t regret not immersing my boys into association with those who went to public school.
My oldest two boys are confident, strong and determined young men now. And capable of making decisions apart from me.
I didn’t deliberately keep them apart from public schooled kids, it just happened naturally.
Too, I don’t want my sons judging other people for choices they make. Don’t we have enough of that in the world? Public school was just not for us.
However, as you homeschool longer, you appreciate too your schedule is not in sync with the schedule of public school.
Through the many years, I have heard new homeschoolers say it’s important for their children to keep their friends from school.
It really is hard to do that and a lot of it depends on how long your kids went to public school.
As homeschool families, we are not really being off-ish. We just live a completely different life and it’s not running parallel to public school.
For my boys, it wasn’t necessary that they huddle in the evening with the neighbor kids to hang out.
We already went to field trips or co-ops during the day. Evening time was naturally spent with Dad when he got back from work.
■I don’t regret exposing my sons to my vulnerabilities as the teacher.
My boys are not robots of me and neither do they have an overly inflated view of me or my teaching.
I want you to know this because, sad to say, some homeschool parents aren’t homeschooling because it’s the best thing for their children.
Instead of keeping what is best for their children as the foundation of their homeschool, homeschooling can turn into a prove-that-I can-quest.
The mindset what-can-I-do-to-top-your-teaching-method can invade the body of a homeschool mom and she can turn into somebody that she doesn’t even know herself.
Homeschooling becomes a competition instead of a course. Ugly.
The child does get left behind (pardon the cliche) because we can set out to prove that the method we feel is the best is the best.
I learned early on that what worked for me and what worked for my sons were completely different. Look at my article, 5 Signs That You Need to Switch Your Homeschool Approach.
Jumping head first into a teaching style that was opposite of the way I thought I should teach, I showed my boys that homeschooling was about them.
Exposing the Vulnerable Side to Homeschooling
They appreciated that I too struggled and it made me a much more sympathetic teacher with them when they struggled.
■ I’ll never regret using a boxed curriculum when I needed to.
Through the years, I have read many pros and cons about boxed curriculum.
Boxed curriculum can get a bum rap because when it’s first used some homeschoolers don’t use it like they need for their family.
Teaching a child is not an exact science for each child and the boxed curriculum doesn’t really teach anything. You learn that you are homeschooling a child.
However, with the many ups and downs in homeschooling, it has been a breath of fresh air to use laid out curriculum and pick and choose which assignments we will do, which ones we will skip and which ones we will tweak.
By the way, that is how you used a boxed curriculum.
I have no regrets in using all that is available to us as homeschoolers.
■And I will never, never regret all the teachable moments we have had so far together while letting the housework and laundry go.
When I shared this poem below each year at my workshop, I could hardly finish reading it because I couldn’t get through the words without tears or a cracking voice.
It’s hard for me to share it with you today because it reminds me of how fast our journey has gone by.
Homeschool Survivor or Champion?
It has come true in my case because I no longer have babies.
So I want to encourage you to remember that you don’t have long to homeschool. And in the end it is about having no regrets.
Babies Don’t Keep
Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth
empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
hang out the washing and butter the bread,
sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
and out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
but I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.
What will you not regret at the end of your journey? (And yes, I do have tears when I read that poem each year.)
Grab some more go juice below!
- Wipe Out Self-Doubt: 13 Ways to Show Homeschool Progress (And How I Know My Sons Got It)
- How to Go From a Boring Homeschool Teacher to Creative Thinker (Boring to BAM)
- 5 Top Mistakes of New or Struggling Homeschoolers
Hugs and you know I love ya,