Friday, October 21, 2016

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Homeschooling Parent

I've noticed that for a lot of first time homeschoolers, (myself included) that their confidence is a little shaken in the beginning. I think that's completely normal because after all, it's a large jump to what you may be used to. Even so, it's always nice to have someone reassure you and let you know that things will be okay. These are things that I wish someone had told me when I was dipping my toe into the homeschool waters. I remind myself of each and every one of these at the beginning of each school year. 

1. You will grow as a person.
Compassion, empathy, patience, and overall outlook on life will change. While I don't know every homeschooler (or teacher) out there, I haven't met not one who doesn't think they've grown as a person while working with children. Children have a way about them of putting things into perspective for us.

2. You will feel like giving up.
There will be hard days. Sometimes it'll seem like it's week after week of those hard days but trust me, they'll pass. Don't give up, the best is yet to come!

3. Your kids don't have to be advanced and you can't force them to be.
You will come across many a forum where the topic of discussion is someone in search of a more rigorous curriculum because their child is just so advanced. I used to think that those children were advanced only because of how great of an education they were being provided by their parents. Therefore, in my head, that meant I was slacking because my children weren't on that level of advancement. I've come to realize that yes, part of it is because of what their parents are providing but the other half is those children are advanced because that is how their brains work. Trust me, your kids are smart even if they aren't doing pre cal at 6 years old. You'll also see parents who keep saying that they feel like their kid should be doing x,y,z because kids in x, y, z are already doing it. If you're one of those people, just stop. Stop putting unnecessary pressure onto yourself and your child. They don't have to be where everyone else their age is in order to be progressing. 

4. There is no perfect curriculum.
Stop looking. You'll never, ever, ever find it. Do you know why? Because it's impossible to box up a perfect, uniform way of learning that'll fit every single kid out there. I know you're not going to stop looking though. It's okay, I still do it too. ;)

5. You are smart enough and you are capable.
Can you read? Can you research? Can you do basic math? If you answered yes to those 3 questions then you are in fact smart enough to homeschool your children. The great thing is not only are they learning, you're learning too! Anytime I don't know something I can easily reach out to a friend, the library or my bff Google. Use your resources and you'll never be without knowledge!

6. Learning doesn't mean you must be sitting in a desk.
Every second of every day is a time to learn. Expand on their questions. Look things up. Don't just dedicate certain hours of the day for learning.

(The day we randomly found a snake.)

There are actually quite a bit more things I could add to this list but these are the ones that were pretty important to me. If you go to Google right now and search on this topic you will find list after list from others. I highly suggest to make your own list. Then, go back to it each year and see how much it can positively effect your school year.

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