Written by Lora Lynn Fanning of Vitafamiliae
One of my favorite questions to ask homeschool moms who are ahead of me on the path is “What would you do differently? If you could go back, is there something you did that you wish you could change?”
As the calendar year draws to a close and we all reflect on the way we’ve spent our time, here’s a collection of thoughts from several “been there, done that” homeschool moms:
1. From Mary Ostyn, author and mother to ten kids:
“As a brand new homeschooling mom 16 years ago, I spent a lot of effort putting together a ‘classroom’, right down to the chalkboard, American flag, and desks. What I didn’t know then is that homeschool doesn’t have to look like traditional school to be effective.
The couch is the coziest place in the world for reading class, and math can be done perfectly well while lying on your tummy on the bedroom floor. Eventually we gave away the desks, and took down the chalkboard to make room for something homeschoolers really need: more bookshelves!”
2. From Jamie Martin, author and our fearless editor of Simple Homeschool:
“I would spend far less time worrying….about anything. I often felt, in the very beginning, as though I had to have a plan in place for my kids from preschool through high school-before we’d even really started. Now I recognize that type of homeschool thinking is a panic attack waiting to happen.
But I’ve found that when I just focus on “What should we do tomorrow?” I almost always know the answer. And only planning for the next day or week (as opposed to the next decade) lessens the feeling of responsibility homeschooling parents carry. As a result it lessens our worries as well–and I’m all for that.”
Photo by Jimmie
3. From Angel H., a homeschooling mother of seven:
“If I had an opportunity to do things differently, I would be more content with my curriculum choices instead of constantly wondering if there was “something better” than what I had chosen.
The frequent changes I made in the early years with our curriculum and teaching approaches (especially in math) were disruptive to my children’s learning process and caused them to fall behind in some areas. They would have done much better if I had completed the programs we had chosen and not made so many changes, especially in the middle of a school year.”
4. From Sheryl T., a work-at-home homeschooling mother of four:
“I would look for homeschooling veterans who are honest about their struggles and weaknesses. I would sit with these moms and soak up their wisdom!
In retrospect I would use the majority of my day encouraging my children to learn, to serve and to be content. I would search out curriculum that centers on God’s Word–everything else will fade away, but His Word will last forever! You may never use the quadratic equation or the periodic table when you are 30, but you can always use wisdom, service and contentment!“
What would you say to a new homeschool mom who approached you and asked, “What would you do differently?”