It's hard to believe that this is year number of five of homeschooling. In all honesty, I often still feel like I am fumbling around, not knowing what I am doing. I still worry that my kids aren't learning what they need. I still feel inadequate. I still get sidetracked by others and convince myself that I will never measure up. I often wonder if I took a tragic wrong turn the day I withdrew my kids from school.
Taking your children's education into your own hands — it's not easy. It's not without trial and error. It's not without gaps in learning. It's not without days dreaming of a yellow bus that will pick the kids up for eight hours every day.
However, through all the hard bits and the days that I think I may go literally insane for lack of quiet, this is the path we are on. It is one we chose and yet also one we feel called to. We trudge through the valleys and marvel at the peaks. It's hard work, but I am thankful.
As we begin our firth year of homeschooling, I thought I would share a few things I have learned along the way. I am by no means a homeschooling expert, not do I ever envision myself to be one. I imagine I'll still be fretting about not doing enough in my 20th year of homeschooling if the Lord keeps us on this path that long. However, I am somewhat of an expert when it comes to homeschooling my children. I have learned what works for us, what doesn't work for us, what is important to me, what I could take or leave. I have become more convinced and comfortable in the approach we are taking, even if it doesn't look anything like anyone else's approach. We're on our own journey, and some lessons have been learned in the process.
Over the next few days, I will some lessons that have helped shape us into the homeschooling family we are. Always keep in mind, though...these are our lessons. This is what we have learned. If it helps you in your journey, great. If not, that's great too. You might be on a different educational path (homeschool or otherwise.) Each of us have a different route to take to get where we are going. Rather point out how different the road, let us cheer one another on as we seek to do the very best for our kids.
I'll dive into these more over the next few days, but for those overly eager ones, here are ten lessons I am thankful for (in no particular order).
1. The best curriculum is the one that gets done.
2. Every family is unique in its situation, resources, size, personality, time, support, and passions. Because of this, rarely will two homeschooling families look alike.
3. In schools, grade levels serve a purpose. At home, they are just numbers.
4. In order to feel confident that your children are getting what they need, you need to be convinced in your own mind of what exactly those needs are.
5. You have to be okay with interruptions and imperfection.
6. You have to admit how little you know and be willing to learn alongside your children.
7. The greatest education (both in amount and in importance) happens outside of "school" time.
8. Memorization is a beautiful thing.
9. You have to take the bad days to get the good ones.
10. I am ever-thankful for Philippians 4:13.