After over 19 years of homeschooling, I have reflected on a few things … I would love to share what I have learnt and wish I knew when I started homeschooling ~
Join me in a new series ~ “Letter To Me“
Starting homeschool is going to feel like you are starting a school, but it will not be the way it ends.
You will have the dedicated schoolroom, the desks, books, and files. But, eventually, your schoolroom is simply the study and craft room, and school takes place everywhere. You will still enjoy decorating your study and create a peaceful place to work and be creative.
You will never stand and teach at that whiteboard you purchased! Your kids will draw and practice spelling on it and it will be a good display board. You will use that nifty white tile whiteboard you made for each kiddie and it will do the job all the way to graduation!
You will buy a very expensive curriculum – no, actually three, one for each child – with all the bells and whistles, and feel secure in the knowledge that you will cover everything … And it will KILL your love to teach! It will be too much! You will actually fall asleep while reading aloud because it is just exhausting! You will try again the next year and promise to “make it work” and it will be just as stressful. But don’t worry! You will save money! Homeschooling will cost a fraction of the cost of good private schooling. In the next few years you will re-use those purchased curriculums over and over and over again (yes, three times), and they will be worth every penny spent! You will learn to stretch out a program to 18 months instead of following the schedule and you will love the extra margin of time for all the fun hands-on activities, crafts, projects and scenic stops along the way.
Finally, in your third year, you will teach all three kids on one new core curriculum. It will be compact enough to fit into a small suitcase, which will be important because you will all travel around South Africa for a year and a half. During this time, you will finally find your own rhythm and pace, and forget about “school-at-home” but create a lifestyle of learning. And you will learn not to judge a curriculum by its size, but by its content!
By your fourth year, you will create your own curriculums. They will be a perfect fit for each child because you will tailor-make them according to their learning styles and delight-directed interests.
You will begin school very strict about everyone’s timetables, demand neat work, excellence and results. In the end, you will keep it simple, give everyone more freedom and only diligence will be your focus.
You will fail … and it will still be okay. Regardless of the days of distress and nights of silent tears, this is a journey of great joy!
This is a great blessing in your life! You spend your life with your children and will know them intimately and enjoy them.
Above all, you will learn to trust in the Lord. He will never fail you if you keep trusting in Him.
References to curriculums:
Sonlight A wonderful curriculum, I used when I started my homeschooling. Just type “Sonlight” in the search bar for all my other Sonlight posts.
Footprints on our Land A South African literature-based homeschool curriculum
- Footprints – A South African Education describes my experience using and re-using it for my middle school children
- Footprints into 21st Century which I used for my high schoolers