Everything You Need to Know About Homeschooling in One Post
I’m on my 4th year of homeschooling 4 little boys (ages 7, 5, 3, and 1). Prior to this journey, I was a public school teacher. I taught various elementary grades over the course of 5 years. That will give you some perspective as to where I’m coming from.
I do not have middle school or high school-aged children. However, I’m going to guess that what I’ve learned in these early years will most likely hold true throughout your homeschooling journey.
You ready? This is so NOT groundbreaking, but it’s really hard to stick with this mindset day in and day out. This is really everything you need to know about homeschooling in one post.
Slow and steady wins the race.
“What reading level is he on?”
“You only cover one concept a week?”
“Unschooling?” Aren’t you concerned about how they’ll do in college?”
“We’re two grade levels ahead.”
“EVERYTHING we do is hands-on.”
It is very difficult to go slow these days. Whether it be iPads, Facebook, Pinterest, the abundance of homeschooling blogs, or the overwhelming choices when it comes to your local homeschooling co-ops. It seems like we are always keeping up with the advice someone else is giving us. This is especially true when homeschooling. We inherently need support on this crazy journey we’re on. However, with support comes a rigorous schedule and lots of conversation with others. We research and worry about how our children are doing.
I know some of you might disagree. Some of you may have overcome the comparison trap. However, I’ve come to realize comparison isn’t all bad. But RUSHING is. Rushing equals ruin in any homeschool.
Slow down. Go at your child’s pace. Combine that with your pace. Then add in your other children’s pace. This is your new level of slow.
I struggle greatly with slow. I want to get it all done, every day. Then, when we’re finished, I want to charge through and get ahead. Fast. Rush. What’s next?
I’ve finally realized that slow isn’t bad. Slow isn’t going to make my kids stupid or behind. Slow is simply a time frame in which the learning can be absorbed. A time to observe, converse, and enjoy our children. This is the main problem in public schools, in my opinion. With so many children in a class and the timeline set forth, slow isn’t an option.
However, without steady, slow means nothing.
Next, add in steady.
This is equally important as slow. You could go slow all day Monday, then, slowly only finish half of your goals on Tuesday and Wednesday and then totally get lazy on Thursday and Fridays. Slow without steady will eventually ruin my advice. You’ll end right back up at:
“DO. YOUR. WORK. NOW!”
“DO YOU WANT TO GO TO PUBLIC SCHOOL?!”
So first, always go slow. Keep that slow pace every single day. You may not always start at 8a.m. Co-op might throw a wrench into your Fridays. However, I URGE you to keep the tortoise pace. A little bit every day is really the ticket to avoiding burn out, stress, and tears.
That’s my golden ticket. I even stay slow and steady on the weekend. We do Bible study, read, and play educational iPad games. It’s not as scheduled as my week day schedule, but I sneak it in so that I can stay slow during the week.
Illness will pop up. Kids will whine. Newborns happen. Curriculum doesn’t jive. Adjust to those things, but keep a slow and steady pace. You’ll win every time! It’s everything you need to know about homeschooling!
Do you agree? Disagree? What is your ONE THING that you stand by no matter what?
Totally agree! My girls are only 3 (soon to be 4) and 5. I was putting so much pressure on myself because they aren’t reading yet. They enjoy books. They love me reading books too them. They love the library. My oldest understand letter to picture correspondence. So what am i so worried about? I was just trying to rush her. So we have taken a break from traditional sit down schooling and just let them explore during the day. They prefer that anyway. Adjusting to their needs is what homeschooling is all about!
This is really good advice. You have to find your rhythm.
“Newborns happen.” LOL. I cannot stop giggling at that sentence. 🙂
Well-written, Liz! As the mama of one now in college and another soon-to-follow, I can heartily cheer you on as you run the race with slow and steady determination.
So true! Thanks for sharing. I’m experiencing this now…trying to state our case to people that just don’t get it! Gonna keep on keepin’ on!
I would say that it is a lifestyle. Everything we do all day long is learning.
But stay the course. The middle school/high school years is challenging but so worth it with all the TIME I get with my teenage boys. Love it!
Awesome advice Liz! I’m learning this is the key. And I sneak it in all week – including the weekend too…or in the evening. I’m sharing this with my friends!
Great article for the advice! Slow is easy to fall into and so is too slow. Steady is that rhythm we’ve found with a 6, 8, and 1 year old! It’s been 3 years homeschooling and I relate to all that you wrote. Steady is proving results and I think it’s been more effective than push, hurry up, and public school. Thx again and God Bless
Great advice Liz… slow and steady even for middle school. It does get more intense and when we get behind… we are REALLY behind. But the advice is sound up through these grades as well!
I like the idea of “steady” as well. I tend to freak out when we get going too “slow”, and that just makes everyone else freak out and not have fun. I remind myself over and over again that it’s a marathon and not a sprint, and education is more than how many pages you finish in one week.
Newborns happen…lol, roflmbo…totally cracking up…I’m dying over here…OMGosh
busymommyof8 [at] gmail.com
Ahh… the steady is so hard! We schooled through the summer to be able to enjoy fall, but I still get caught in the “we are not doing enough” trap!
Great advice. The one thing I stand by is when I see my son struggling and his confidence begins to tank, we take a breather. We stop, we go out, we walk, ride bikes, or…we just pull out a read aloud and switch gears. Then go back, and begin again. It gives us both time to decompress.
I fully agree, it’s so easy to get caught in the “behind” trap, and also easy to fall off the steady wagon. Thank you for the reminder that life happens 🙂