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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

What An Adventure We Had !

     As this year is coming to a close so has my "job", my homeschooling that is, with 4 of my 5 kids and what an adventure we've had these past 16yrs.  I can't say that it's been easy but I can say it was the right thing to do and it was well worth it.  

   3 yrs into our homeschooling

     We never really did what other homeschoolers around us did.  We followed our own path.  I did what I felt was right for them no matter how many spoke against our choices.  (I'm so thankful that alot of homeschoolers don't know what it's like to not have support for this choice to homeschool.)  It's a large responsibility that is so much more easily carried with a good support system.

     So as my many years of homeschooling are coming closer and closer each year to an end, I would like to leave some words of advice.

  • Study to show yourself approved....  don't jump into homeschooling on a whim.  Check out books on the many forms of homeschooling, speak with men and women who have homeschooled for many years and whose outlook on it is positive but based in reality.  In essence, get educated yourself.  You need to hear about all the good that can come about through homeschooling.  You also need to hear about the hard times that homeschooling parents have had and how they worked through it.  This will help you come up with reality based expectations.
  • A three fold cord is not easily broken....  don't jump into homeschooling all alone.  That doesn't mean that single moms and dads should not homeschool.  It means you need to surround yourself with those who support your choice and are willing to get involved with you.  This doesn't mean they all need to be willing to teach or tutor.  No, it means they are willing to come along side you and help where ever needed, as they are capable.  Sometimes all this means is someone who is willing to take the kid(s) to give you a much needed break.
  • Don't become so heavenly minded that you're no earthly good..... Part 1: With your child(ren) -- don't make everything about education and learning something.  It can be so easy to turn everything you do into a lesson.  You need to be very careful here.  This is something that can easily be done with younger children and they don't even realize they are learning.  But older children are more perceptive and need down time that has nothing to do with "learning."  
  • Don't become so heavenly minded that you're no earthly good....  Part 2 : With other adults --  Even though you are so heavily invested in homeschooling you need to be able to talk with others about something other than homeschooling.  Your adult friendships are important and much needed.  Not only do you need support from them but they need support from you.  If you are so wrapped up in homeschooling and can talk about nothing but it then you'll soon see relationships dry up.  They won't dry up because they stopped loving you but because a relationship is about give AND take.  It's about relationship and conversation.  How would you like to talk to someone who can only talk about one subject, that's it?
  •  You are your own worst enemy....  Don't put unreal expectations on yourself or your child(ren.)  This is unhealthy for both of you.  Do your best to love and teach but remember... as your child(ren) grow up, the choices they make are not a reflection of how good a parent and/or educator you've been.  You cannot judge yourself as successful or as a failure according to what your children do.  Your children's choices are their own and they will make mistakes and flat out wrong choices just like you did.  Their choices and actions will show you their character and their moral compass.  While you have them with you do your very best to lead and guide them then release them back into God's hands.
  • Simon says.....  Don't make choices about your children's education based upon what others think is a good way to homeschool.  Take the time to find out how your children learn and teach to their strengths.  Don't just use a homeschool curriculum because everyone around you uses the same one.  If you do this you may be doing a great disservice to your child.  Study the different kinds of learners and take the time to find out what kind your child is.  Once you have done this you will have found a key to bettering their education.  
  • Fly by night.....  Don't chose to homeschool for the short term.  Don't decide to try it on and see if it works.  Make a commitment to a specified amount of time at the very least.  It's like marriage, if you decide in your heart that if it doesn't work out I can just easily get a divorce and get out of his mess then you are less likely to work things out.  The same goes for homeschooling.  If you don't make a commitment at least to a specified amount of time then as soon as you hit a rough spot you'll be looking for the exit as fast as you can.  Homeschooling is not a picnic.  It takes time, work and dedication in spite of the rough spots that you  KNOW are going to come along.

Homeschooling is an amazing privilege and a huge responsibility not to be taken lightly.

2 awesome comments:

  1. Great post! Everything here is so very true. These are some really hard lessons to learn, and it's such a shame it takes so many years and so much experience to learn them :) We have homeschooled our five children too, and are graduating number three this year. Oh, the lessons we've had to learn through the years :)
    Thank you so much for nominating me for the blog award! I plan to get on that asap., and let you know as soon as my post is up :)

  2. Thank you for your words. You're right, it is such a shame that it takes so much time and experience to learn these lessons. I only hope that these words will be helpful for those new to homeschooling, those having trouble or those looking for information.

    You are more than welcome for the award. You should be able to get it off my site if you want to display it on yours. I can't wait to see who you nominate!


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