Confessions of a Homeschool Mom: 12 Lessons I’ve Learned

Our family started homeschooling 11 years ago.  And while our children have certainly learned many valuable lessons.

So have I.

Here they are in no particular order:

   1.Homeschooling is more about character development than academics.

We all learn academically (and I relearn many concepts), but we also learn about each other, ourselves and the Lord. I half jokingly call it part of my sanctification process.

   2.  Flexibility is absolutely necessary.

I aspire to fully embrace the wise proverb: ” Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.”

  3. Being pregnant & adding a new child or toddlers to the homeschool environment will always affect the flow of the day.

Over the last 11 years of homeschooling, our family size has grown from 4 to 9 children.  Which means routines & schedules change every few years as we adopt a new normal during the transition (See # 2 for further explanation)

  4.  Schedule breaks & times when you put away the “homeschool teacher” hat

My husband encouraged me to set a certain time when I’m “off the clock” for being a teacher, which meant the children could no longer ask me school-work related questions.

5. Write lesson plans in pencil (or erasable ink).

Some days (okay most days) don’t go as planned on paper.

The baby needs multiple diaper & wardrobe changes, or is fussy because of teething, the toddler disappeared quietly & made a mess in another room…again & then someone is having a meltdown over math.

Yes, that’s a real life scenario from a day in the chronicles of our homeschool.

6.  Home-education is a priceless gift I’m giving to our children.

The return on the investment of time & money spent is well worth it in the end & I’d gladly do it over because of the fruit we’ve seen in the lives of our children.

And it doesn’t hurt when your college aged child has professors telling him to make sure he thanks his mother for the way he was educated!

7.  Have clear, realistic expectations (for yourself & your children). 

And write them down.  There’s nothing more discouraging than having a “do it all” mindset.

And I have over-achiever tendencies, so this is definitely an area that I’ve prayed through over the years.

8. Don’t allow the opinions of others to affect your decision to home-educate.

While our family has only experience this on a small scale, the truth is there will always be naysayers.

Stand confident in the decision you’ve made for your family, as believers living our lives in obedience to Christ means His opinion is the only one that truly holds any weight in the matter.

And by God’s grace the fruit of the seeds sown will be evident to all who have eyes to see.

9.  Teacher’s Manuals are a guide not a task master.

So if you have a different approach from what’s written & it’s working for your child or your family dynamics, then go for it!

I no longer feel guilty if my younger ones don’t get to experience all the hands on activities in a school year.  Especially if doing those activities is going to leave them deficient in building blocks like phonics, reading & math.

  10.  I’m the teacher, but I’m also a student.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had my own “ahh-ha” moments where I learn something I didn’t know or finally understand something I was taught but never mastered.

And by embracing this mentality, I model for my children what I hope they become, life-long learners.

11. Standardized tests don’t paint a complete picture.

Now, I’m not devaluing standardized tests. Our children take them from time to time, and the older ones took the ACT/SAT for college entrance.

In the younger years I learned from veteran mothers to use these tests to help me see which areas needed more attention for the next school year.

I found this advice very practical and comforting at the same time, especially because first year test results with one child had me feeling like a complete home-education failure.

  12.  Blogs & Books are no substitute for talking with others who are on the homeschool journey.

I certainly appreciate my readers and this platform that God has given me to share & encourage others.

Yet, there is tremendous value in being able to have a phone or face-to-face conversation with another mother who can relate to what you’re experiencing.

Which is why I’m so excited to announce that later on this year I’ll be officially launching my homeschool consulting business.  Make sure you’ve subscribed to my email list so you can get all the details when that happens!

 

Which of these lessons resonates with you the most & what are some lessons you’ve learned in your own homeschool journey?

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. This will be really helpful to save as I’m starting out with my two littles very soon! Thanks!!

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