28 thoughts on “5 Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Started Homeschooling

  1. Wonderful insight as usual Heidi. After 4 years of homeschooling and many of your posts, I am finally “getting it”. I have let go of “doing school at home” and measuring our success by comparing ourselves to everyone else and “regular school”. There is finally a sense of peace in our homeschool and in this teacher’s heart! We took our boys on a field trip to Jamestown and my husband couldn’t believe how much they knew. I was delighted, of course, because I could see how much more they learn by relaxing my rigid “school at home approach”. While we were there, we were out to dinner and a woman got up and walked over to our table to compliment us on how well-behaved our boys were and remarked that she hadn’t seen boys behave that well in a long time. I believe we were more proud of that than how much they knew on the field trip. It was a great reminder of how equally important it is to disciple them in life, not just teach them academics.

  2. Heidi, thank you so much for your insightful wisdom. You are so right on! Like Amy said above, I have four years of homeschooling behind me, and the Lord has faithfully opened my eyes to His ways as we press on. I look forward to many more years of homeschooling and growing together in Him. Thank you for your encouragement in faithfully living the Truth.

  3. Love this: “Education is simply the opportunity to shape the hearts and minds of our children. There can be no greater goal than to teach our children to follow hard after Christ.”

  4. God Bless those adults who offer a public compliment when they see it is deserved! That is so uplifting and gutsy! They encourage us to keep on truckin’!

  5. Heidi, what is your go-to source for purchasing homeschooly items… such as maps/globes, desks, supplies, etc? Thanks!

  6. Hi,

    First, let me say I really enjoy and find your posts very helpful. I have three children ages 4 (almost 5), 2 (almost 3) and 4 months. We have decided that I will homeschool our son this year. He misses the cut off for kindergarten by about a month and a half so technically I don’t have to report that I am homeschooling this year but I’ve bought the following curriculum to try: 100 lessons teach your child to read, handwriting w/o tears, Singapore math and five in a row. I tried to do my first lesson from 100 lessons yesterday and I just couldn’t keep my sons interest. We made it through but it was not fun. He was in preschool last year but I don’t think he learned much at all. I’m wondering if what I bought is too advanced for him and if I should start with the letter of the week type curric. To be honest, I’m scared I can’t do this and I’m going to royally screw up my kids. I have a law degree and used to be a full time lawyer but when I had my son I switched to a few days a week and then we got pregnant with out daughter I bowed out completely and now I just do some work from home.

    Any thoughts or advice would be helpful 🙂

    1. If he missed the cut for kindergarten, don’t sweat teaching him this year. The fact that he is distractable is probably more because he is young than because of the curriculum you chose or your method. I started Kindergarten with my first “on time” according to the school systems around us, but the first year, ALL I did was Righstart Math Level A, which we took at a leisurely pace, and I taught him the letters of the alphabet using Explode the Code Primers. That’s all for “official” school. We read books and talked about things we encountered in real life. Answering their questions about nature is “science” at that age. He’s now entering third grade and right on track. My second son, when school district would have put in Kindergarten, was too distractable and I could tell he wasn’t ready, so we waited and he’s starting Kindergarten the month before turning 6. I don’t regret it one bit, having seen the change in maturity and attention span in the last year. If I would’ve started him last year, it would have been an exhausting battle. This year, he’s inquisitive and able to follow through with instruction much more readily. Do not fear. I only have a high school diploma, no college, and am loving this learning journey. You’ll do fine, mama.

    2. Another way to look at homeschooling the younger years is to embrace the fact that curiosity is the fuel that runs learning. Curiosity makes learning easy and enjoyable. Learning without curiosity can be as hard as pushing a car up hill. This is just common sense, but we have to stop and think about it in order to realize it.

      Curiosity is a normal part of the creation of humans, very likely experienced in the womb. We do not have to make it happen, but we can interfere with it (e.g. sitting at a desk or table, being told what to be interested in and for how long – sound like school?). Children learn to talk and walk because of curiosity, not curriculum. Let that process continue for as long as you are comfortable. Some say to start an organized, prescribed education plan in the age range of 8-10 (read the book, Better Late Than Early, by Dr. Raymond Moore). Others have discovered that it works very well all the way through high school.

      Homeschooling provides freedom for our children to learn at their pace and according to their interests. Two ingredients needed for this freedom to be used most effectively is a resource-rich environment (e.g. a library) and examples to observe (e.g. parents who love to learn).

      ~ From the perspective of a father who has been homeschooling for forty years

  7. This article and several comments and replies were encouragement for my weary schooling mom heart. With 5 kids and counting age 10 and under I’m always busy and tired. Good reminders of what I already knew and have practiced. Thank you for the beautiful encouragement

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