We are coming the end of year one of homeschooling. It’s been an adventure! I started this year with so much fear and trepidation. So concerned if I was making the “right”choice. It turns out my fear was somewhat warranted, this year felt like a huge leap into a new land for our family, yet on the other hand it’s been way better than I imagined.
Better in ways I didn’t expect. Better in that we had more time together. This matters. I got to soak and savor five with my boy in a way that other school options would have not allowed. He talks non-stop, which has drawbacks lol but I’ve been there to talk through his so many interesting questions. Just the past two days he asked if the future was real and we did an impromptu lesson on world religions! Who knew five year old’s could come up with such tough questions?
This year has been better in that formal learning time has taken less time than I anticipated. One to two hours MAX is all we have needed to finish our curriculum…Also it’s all we can collectively stand to do in a day.
I totally underestimated the power of unstructured learning time. I’ve seen my boy learn so much through having a home that creates learning opportunities. We listen to books, memory work or language learning DVD’s in the car. We have building toys galore. We explore nature centers, zoo, parks and the backyard on a regular basis. We try to throw in some educational shows. We read so many books. We do science experiments just for fun. These simple things have created the breading ground for learning beyond math facts and phonics. We talk about, look up and read about animals, plants, history, science, etc. because it comes up! It’s cool and I’ve actually learned a lot too.
I’ve also loved the homeschooling community around us. I feel like we’ve just begun to form relationships that hopefully will carry us through our homeschooling time. Homeschooling takes a lot of effort. The families that dive into this world tend to be super cool people. Not saying homeschoolers are all amazing or that there aren’t amazing non-homeschoolers but the people we’ve rubbed shoulders with have been truly great. We are thankful!
The harder parts about this year for me have been owning our choice. I’m a people pleaser and over thinker. Taking this step off the mainstream has been something I’ve had trouble owning. I overthink how my choices my make others feel. I had to grieve moving forward into this new world of schooling while many of my friends are on different paths. You’d think by 31 I’d have a bit more confidence in my pocket. I’m working on it.
Finding down time has been another struggle. I have three kids. One in Kindergarten, one fun 4 year old and a one year old (she is wild). Their differing needs plus normal momlife/houselife upkeep and working part time have filled my days to the brim. I’m thankful that new jobs will mean next year will allow for more free time in the years to come. I think this is gonna make a world of difference for me!
In summary, we are thankful we took the plunge this year! My take away has been homeschooling taken more of me than I anticipated. Success in this world is hard to quantify. Something about this lifestyle has felt right for us. It’s not for everyone. It may not work for us forever.
If your praying about what you should do my advice is give it a try. If you do one year and you say it’s not for you, little is lost! Much may be gained, like a year full of togetherness and many unconventional learning opportunities. Also if you try it…try it with people. Homeschooling is isolating. You gotta find some folks.