We never set out to home-school. That was never part of the plan… Never a part of our plan anyway. Through a series of events, a whole lot of prayer, spending almost a year
bombarding consulting home-school moms on the pro’s and con’s, researching a bazillion different curriculum options, and wondering if we were crazy; we finally decided to go for it. I thought I’d share a few things I learned the first year while it was still fresh in my mind.
- You’re doing to much.
Seriously. The first year I should have stuck to the basics. Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic. There is a rhythm to every day. It would’ve been much easier to find ours without trying to jam in extra subjects. I tried to do all the extras right away. We didn’t miss a day and rarely took a break. Come April, not only did spring come, so did major burn out. We were cranky and done! By we I mean mostly me.
Part of the beauty in this journey is being able to meet your child right where they are
- Do you.
Don’t worry about what curriculum everyone else uses. The choices are so overwhelming. While intentions are good, everyone else has their opinions too. Why you have to use this math curriculum. Or why that writing curriculum won’t be sufficient. The truth is you may find the “perfect” curriculum that you love and your child hates, and vice versa (True story).I had to let go of what “grade” I thought she should be in. Part of the beauty in this journey is being able to meet your child right where they are.
- Find a mentor.
Someone who has been there. Who won’t mind (or will at least pretend not to mind) the many questions you may have. Including the “is this worth it?” They will be there to encourage you. Ask someone you know who has used or is using something you are considering. They may have and insight or tips that can be valuable. I have a few and am forever grateful for their gentle guidance and encouragement.
- Try try again.
If something isn’t working try again later. If it still isn’t working try something totally different. My daughter did not like handwriting practice. So we tried a different program that incorporated drawing, which she loves. It worked! If it hadn’t I would’ve continued searching.
- Enjoy it!
Somedays it’s easier said than done. We celebrate learning new things. Getting to see the “light bulb” moments and how proud our children are to learn something new. We take last minute field trips and enjoy “sun” days off vs snow days. While some days are pretty ordinary or even hard, we try to take things one day at a time. Hard moments will pass and are usually followed by pretty great moments.
Just breathe! There is no perfect curriculum, although it is possible for you to find something that you both like. If it doesn’t work you can change it! When all else fails remember why you are doing this. Know you are capable. WE GOT THIS!