There are many things I wish I knew before homeschooling and these are just the top three. Many things in life including homeschooling is a trial and error kind of a thing. For no one shoe fits all!
1. Homeschooling doesn’t have to look like “School at Home”
When I was first thinking of homeschooling I had this picture in my head; of all my kids in desks, looking up at me, with a big chalkboard behind me covered with notes and a pointer stick thingy in my right hand. I imagined me just lecturing away on whatever the topic may be for that day. I kid you not, the room was covered with educational posters, maps, ceiling lined with the abc’s and a number line, the back wall was covered floor to ceiling with books and more books.
Man could we be further from that picture now!
Every now and than, I do get all caught up in this vision of what I thought our homeschool would look like. How it is the "right way" and my kids NEED to be taught in a more structured setting and so on...
THE REALITY IS WE LEARN EVERYWHERE!
If you are seated at a desk great, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do that same learning on the couch or on a blanket in the grass out back. Just because you call it, “school” does not mean it needs to look like a scene from Anne of Green Gables.
In our current schedule of homeschooling we start off in our playroom, move to our kitchen table and in between having a few recesses we are on the couch snuggled up with a book. Please remember no matter how you do “school” it does not have to be in a "desk" or traditional school setting. Learning happens everywhere!
2. Each year of homeschooling seems like our first year.
This is our 4th year homeschooling and as the new school year approaches all the same butterflies come back, like I have never done this before. However, in my defense when you are homeschooling littles every year is different and that is hard! I struggle with this for I feel like, I do this year after year, I should have it down by now. NOPE!
Having little's you have babies whose schedule changes every few months and toddlers who get older and then you are adding kids into your school each year. Meaning as mom/teacher you now have to figure out how to juggle more children in your classroom. Not to mention your oldest is in a new grade now and that alone is new territory to navigate.
3. The amount people ask you, “How do your children socialize?” is astounding.
Okay I saved the best for last. I get this is a question every non - homeschooler has. BUT GIVE ME A BREAK! I cannot go anywhere without this question. I heard once that forced socialization is not socialization. I want to scream this to the rooftops. put a sticker on my car or make a shirt with this saying!
At first I am sure I once asked the same question I suppose, but we are such a active family it’s not something I sit and wonder or think about. I do not sit and plan out math, history and for socialization we are going to do such and such… nope it doesn’t go down that way. I also think too what bugs me the most is family members ask this question or people on our sports team. My response is the kid is playing soccer with your kid, "that right there they said "hi". O' yea that is called socializing."
Be prepared as you homeschool, this question is one that you need to be prepared to answer a lot (not that it’s anyone else’s business)!
I now say, “We are an active family and they see other kids outside our family daily through sports and the neighbor kids.”
I hope my top three things that I wish I knew helped you be prepared before you start homeschooling. If you already are a homeschooler, I would love to know what is one thing you wished you knew before you started this journey in the comments below.