We have been homeschooling for 3 years now and I started with my son in Pre K he is now is 1st, and I have a daughter in Kindergarten and I am working on ‘Tot school' with my 3 year old. I am by no means an expert at homeschooling comepared to others but I want to share with you what I have learned in my homeschooling adventure.
What I Have Learned Homeschooling My Kids
My biggest lesson that took me until this year to learn was don't plan too far ahead. I spend my first 2 years taking the first 2 or 3 weeks before we started and planning everything, planning lesson plans and whatwe would do everyday. I would then find with in the first week we wouldnt be able to do everything I had planned each day. By the first month I was tossing out curriculum that didn't work and replacing it with ones that did and I had already tossed out that carefully planned lesson plan. By month 2 we would already be behind a week from where I wanted due to sick days or change of plans. So I would have a game plan, what curriculum you want to use and what check points you want to hit when to give you a goal but take it day by day!
My kids have love for learning. My kid actually get UPSET when we take a day off and not to school work! At the end of the day when I would try to tell them to go play, they asked for more school work. I was worried about burn out but wanted to keep them learning. So I turned play time into learning games, matching, treasure hunts ect. Then my son would start teaching his sisters what he was learning and my daughter would do the same so they play teach to this day every day after school time to share what they ahve learned with each other.
Each kid is different. My son went into Kindergarten reading and took right to handwriting and did a great job, He struggles more with math facts. My oldest daughter is better and remember facts like math but struggles in her handwriting. They both also learn differently. While my son can learn by listening and participating my daughters learn more when she is relaxed and then can do it on paper and practice. You have to adapt to each kid's way of learning and the fact that we CAN do that is the best part of homeschooling.
Homeschooling is a way of life not a 8am-3pm thing. I didn't realize homeschooling was a way of life until the middle of year 2 before I realized we were learning everywhere. I was doing math with my kids at the grocery store, we spent time reading at the library, even going to visit Hershey Chocolate world we were talking about the history of Hershey and Milton Hershey on the drive. This has continued now being on the read so much we talk about things we have seen in the car on the way home.
I love hands on learning. I love being able to get my kids to learn about something and then get to experiance it hands on. We did a lesson on dinosaurs and then went to a museum and to see my kids connect the dots from the books, picture and papers to what they were seeing was amazing to me. It lit the fire under me to get going on our roadschool dream because now we get to do that every day!
I STILL hate math. My son is in 3rd grade and is memorizing his addition and subtraction families and i realized while this stuff I get and undertand I STILL hate math. In high school I almost failed math in 11th grade. 12th grade math wasn't a requirement (we needed to have algebra, geometry, and algebra 2) so I swear my math teacher passed me just so she wouldnt have to ahve me again the next year, she tried to explain it to me 5 different ways and nothing clicked. While I dreading highschool math this is where the next point comes in.
I need to ask for help. I thought I HAD to do all the homeschooling on my own. It turns out sometimes when I couldn't teach my kids my husband could. He could come in with a fresh prepective and work with them. Like teach my daughter how to write or my son on sounding out words. He is also great at doing the tedious task as well like flashcards while I work with my other kids. Having him help even a bit speeds up our day!
Homeschool laws SUCK. Being military we lived in a few REALLY strict homeschool law states and even now it' more of a pain then it should be. Because of a few bad seeds that use homeschooling as a cover up to abuse their kids we are all paying the price. In reality more abuse goes on in the Public School system. Again another subject for another day.
I'm sad for the families that send their kids to school. Let me add .. AND are happy about it. I see memes in my facebook newsfeed often during back to chool about parents partying when they send their kids back to school. Throught the year i see them about how happy they are to have their alone time. I feel sad for these people. They don't know what they are missing, things like the way their kids face lights up when they get something, the joy of that child finally understanding what you were exaplining. The bond of being who they go to for help and the person they are learning from is just something many public school students don't have with their kid and this makes me sad.
I wouldn't trade it for the world. If you had told me when my son was born or even when baby #2 was born and I would be homeschooling them I'd have told you that you were crazy. I went to public school, my grandma taught at public school, my kids were GOING to go to public school. Then my son went to pre-k and pick up some HORRIBLE habits from some undisiplined kids and wasn't learning anything. So I saved my money and taight hime myself. Come time for kindergarden he was already reading and the public school wouldnt test him to advance him. Knowing he'd get bored and that wouldnt cause home to fall behind I tossed around the idea of homeschooling, and once hubby said to do it I ran with it. I got him on a more advanced curriculum and now he is months ahead where other kids in his grade are and I couldn't imagine sending my kids to public school with all this common core stuff going on.
Sometimes life takes unexpected detours but they turn out to hold some of the best results you can imagine.