What I Wish I Had Known

by | May 8, 2024 | Articles, Encouragement

When I First Started Homeschooling

I wish I would have known that homeschooling is not the same as just bringing school home. And what an absolute privilege it is to get to know each of my children, to tailor their education so that they each succeed, to be with them when they reach academic milestones, and how education becomes part of life!  It makes sense, then, that they easily use what they learn in “real life.”  

I also wish I had known that I would learn!  To be patient with myself as I learned how to do this! And that it would all end up working well!

I wish I would have known that *I’m* the parent. *I* get to decide what’s important. If I want to spend April enjoying a Shakespeare unit study that ticks most of the boxes while I dump my traditional curriculum for the month, *I’m* allowed. (And it was fun too!)

I wish I would have known an enriched education doesn’t rely on textbooks and workbooks, especially in the elementary years. Quality education occurs when a child experiences and lives in an environment where learning is fostered through everyday life.  

I wish I had known that “Morning Basket” could help my young children all learn together. The years we used it, we got hymns, prayer, Bible readings, folk songs, geography, missionary story, poetry and other things all done easily. We didn’t do everything each day, but it was wonderful!

I wish I had known how much of an encouragement co-op would be for me. It was wonderful for making friends for all of us, for growing and for finding places to serve. I know co-op isn’t for everyone, but I still feel blessed 17 years in to be attending a wonderful one.

I wish I had known that it was okay to change math curriculums, even more than once, if it just wasn’t enough or wasn’t working. The freedoms we have to homeschool go well beyond being able to change curriculums, but we need to allow ourselves these freedoms.

I wish I had know my late talker and my late reader would really catch up in their own timing and that there really was no need to worry. Yes, we did speech and OT and yes, I think they helped. I wish I would have trusted the process.

I wish I would have known as parents, we are really our child’s first and best teacher.

I’M SO GLAD I KNEW I should raise my children up in the way they should go! Of course I took this biblically as to raise them up knowing, loving and having an intimate and vibrant relationship with the Lord – but also, I raised and schooled them in the way they should go talents, skills, and personal interest wise!!  After seeking the Lord and spending valuable time getting to know my children through teaching them the three “R’s” (reading, writing, and arithmetic), I took that knowledge and tailored their schooling to their interests!

My 23-year-old son started his own lawn care business at age 14 after he researched ways a kid could make money.  He was then able to purchase his first truck and lawn equipment before he was sixteen, bought his first house when he was 17 (which he used as a rental property), and then bought an apartment building when he was 19. During his early 20s he went on to get his electrician’s license. God has gifted my son with the ability to work hard and be an entrepreneur.  

My next child, a daughter, is blessed with musical abilities. We were able to flood her with opportunities to receive lessons both instrumental and vocal to allow her to grow in her passion for music. She was also blessed to have had the opportunity to be on the worship team at church and lead worship as a teenager. She is currently in her third year as a worship major in Dallas, Texas.  

Then we have our third child and second daughter who is insanely talented in arts, crafts and clothing design and construction. Currently at age 17, she has a pretty steady flow of customers for her cottage industry. She has designed and constructed several prom, pageant, and graduation dresses over the past two years. She is currently taking college classes to better prepare herself for her home business.  

One of the greatest blessings of homeschooling my crew is to see them succeed where God has fashioned them!  

I wish I would have known to learn the style of learning of each child.

The one thing I have learned while homeschooling, is to consciously set aside time from the hustle and bustle of your daily routine, to connect one on one with each of your children. They grow up so quickly! Oftentimes, in the thick of it, we get so caught up in the motions of raising and teaching our children that we forget to simply enjoy them in whatever stage they are currently in. It is easy to always be looking ahead and forget to enjoy the now. So allow yourself that five minutes to enjoy a cup of tea with your soon-to-be-high schooler or get down on the rug for a few minutes to color with your first grader. These will be those moments you cherish most!

I wish I would have known that homeschooling advice is just like mothering advice. Take what others tell you with a grain of salt when the other person doesn’t know your kid. I listened to too many people who had been homeschooling for a while and truly were knowledgeable, but didn’t understand the needs of my kids AND me. This is a relationship with two sides and two people’s needs at hand. And those can change. What my kids need from me now is more demanding in some ways, but I have the benefit of all the years of looking back and seeing what worked. Take note of what works. It’s a starting point for figuring out future strategies.

Be flexible!! What works today might not work tomorrow but may work again 3 days from now!!

Life lessons aren’t taught in a book!! Your children will always learn from what you say and do. Teach them how to go grocery shopping…perfect time for math, spelling and other classes! They can add/subtract/multiply/divide the cost (suitable to what they can do at their age.) They can learn to spell by helping you look for items! Also, some stores have big words like “MEATS” on the walls! 

Once they’ve learned “sock” teach them to look for “dos” Spanish (2 socks!) Or if they know “red” teach them “rojo” red in Spanish! There are millions of “life lessons” to be learned! It’s not all learned from books!

Also, teach based on what your child is into! For example: if they like stars and planets, find those items and teach them to count the stars. Like trains? Count train cars – real or toy versions!

Homeschooling is limitless! Enjoy every minute of it; it goes quick!
– Misty

Want more advice from seasoned homeschool moms? Hop on over to the first article we published like this one.