12 Lessons I Learned From Homeschooling

In honor of us completing 12 years of homeschooling,
I thought I would share my ponderings about the topic.

1.  Quality matter more than quantity:
Ideas are endless when it comes to homeschooling, from styles to techniques to ideology to creativity.  Don’t get sucked into “doing it all”

2.  Bible:
um, yeah.  As lovely as some Bible curriculums are (and some are quite spendy at that), truly the actual Bible is the best resource on this topic.  The biggest lesson to share is daily devotions.  To be the example and read the Bible daily ourselves.  Let the Holy Spirit whisper the “lesson” into your child’s heart.

3.  The 3 R’s:
To read, write, and do math… that is the path to success.  Learning then becomes limitless.

4.  Consistency matters:
Wishy washy makes a homeschool setting become washed up quickly.  Make a plan, and stick with it.

5.  Attitude & Effort:
Set the example yourself (let’s face it, we have our blechy moments, right?), and be a guide for those attitudes and emotions we deal with throughout the years with our children.  Some would call this character training.

6.  Expect Respect:
How do we gain our children’s respect?  By respecting them as a person.  What is that Golden Rule?  Yep, treat your children the way you want to be treated.

7.  Hooray for High School:
Seriously!!  That seems to be the biggest fear amongst homeschoolers.  Guess what?!  If you taught you kids the basic 3 r’s (see number 3 above), your kids gain the ability to think for themselves and can pretty much learn anything they set their minds to.  As the parent is less hands-on for education because the young people are self-learning, we gain the opportunity to mentor through these years.  It is quite priceless.

8.  Don’t get hung up on “grade levels”:
Accept your child(ren) wherever they are at… and simply move forward from there.    I am not going to hold back a child because she devours her learning quickly, but let her pace herself; just as much, I am not going to push a slower paced child simply because society (public school) has their own agenda and quotas to meet.

9.  Do Read Alouds:
All ages included.  Sitting as as a family to listen to a story is valuable.  It creates memories, prompts good conversations, stretches the attention span, and enhances creative thoughts.

10.  Create a Rhythm for your Days:
Be flexible, because honestly, life happens.  However, a flow of expected activities make the day run smoother.

11.  Perfection is not an option.
There is no perfect curriculum, perfect lesson plan, perfect child, nor parent.  Practice does not make perfect; practice makes better.  Our child(ren) are valuable regardless of performance.

12.  Enjoy the process:
We’ve all heard it, and it’s true… it all goes by oh.so.very.fast.  Celebrate the small victories along the way.  Feel free to journal the “ah ha” moments, the cute sayings, the accomplishments, the heart-smile moments.  Homeschooling, it’s a beautiful thing!

I can not believe we are entering our 13th year homeschooling (and our 26th year parenting *gasp*), and I have to say I am grateful that I still get to enjoy the journey for another 12 years.  I feel so blessed to grow and learn alongside my children.

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5 thoughts on “12 Lessons I Learned From Homeschooling

  1. Hi Sheri,

    I have a question and I hope that is ok? I understand that you do a read aloud everyday. So besides the read aloud are all your children also reading a literary classic and other type books silently throughout their day also. I was wandering how many different books they can read each day, maybe a chapter out of each subject, before it is too much confusion for them? Remembering each book? Thanks.

    1. Stephanie, I think that is a great question. Yes, we implement other reading. Basically the fluent readers (currently my 7th and 12th grader) do 60 min history (a biography, not a textbook) and 30 min of a science related book. The read alouds this year will be classics. (last year they read classics and science, and we did history read alouds). As for our learning-to-read crew (1st & 3rd grade) they do a phonic lesson (10-20 min) and a reading lesson (10-20 min), then listen to the classic read aloud. Often they also have a separate read aloud, sometimes w/ dad in the evenings. =)

      1. Sheri, Thanks so much for responding. I know RC recommends 2 hours of reading a day. So do you put all the different reads into one 2 hr block or do you break them up throughout the day. This will be only my 2nd year homeschooling. I have a just turned 13 yr old who is currently going thru vision therapy, he is not on his grade level for reading comprehension. So last year reading from the RC book list any higher than Jolly Robin he would not retain. I also have a 9 yr old DD. Last year we did 1 hr silent read with RC books and it was just trying to get them into “liking” to read, so I had to resort to some CM book lists to help with this. This year, like you, I plan to do more of an RC morning and a CM afternoon. I think narrating will help with comprehension also. The more I dig into CM the more fascinated I am with her methods but I still agree with Dr. Robinson on the 3 r’s. The kids just do not like the LONG time frames and the challenging math.

      2. I tend to have the kids break up their reading. Math, read (history bio), write, read (science related) followed by a literature classic read aloud. Feel free to e-mail me sherihollinger@yahoo.com if you feel like you would like a more detailed answer, as I am more than happy to help =) or friend me on facebook.

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