Your children grow and change. You grow and change. Your homeschool will look different two years from now and ten years from now. This is part of the beauty of homeschooling. And it can also be part of the struggle. Just when you get comfortable in your curriculum choices and routine, the baby is now a toddler, or the sixth grader is now in high school, or you are a working homeschooling mom.
Part of getting comfortable with homeschooling is the ability to find your groove. And your groove will change over time! Embrace the journey.
Many thanks to our panel of homeschool bloggers who share what that change has looked like for them.
Mom of 4 kids
Blogs at Hope In The Chaos
When we started I was very much attempting to “do school at home” rather than homeschool. We had a plan and a schedule and nothing was going to take me off my course… boy was I in for a rude awakening! I learned the hard way that my children don’t fit into a mold. That they are individuals with different interests, different attention spans, and different learning styles. My approach was all wrong and it almost caused us to abandon our journey early on.
I put a lot of time and effort into learning about homeschooling. I read everything online I could find, found books at my local library, and joined several small groups on Facebook. It took me a couple of months, but I was determined to make this work.
We have had a couple of other changes over the years, and each change helps for a season. It makes us better as homeschoolers. I am always reevaluating how well a particular curriculum is working. If it is, it stays, but if it’s not we move on. I have walked away from a few curriculums I love because even though they were great, they were not working for the kids.
What started out as a pretty strict schedule has morphed into a more lax routine. Instead of starting our days together, the kids are free to start when they are ready. Some choose to start early for the opportunity to complete their lessons early, and others choose to start a little later in the day and work until later. We currently use a mix of both independent learning and group learning for the older two (who are in middle school) and the youngest student is still primarily learning one-on-one. In a year or two, the youngest will begin her formal education as well and we will reevaluate our routine then.
The biggest change is in our ability to adapt. If a lesson takes longer than planned, we go with it. If a doctor’s appointment causes us to miss a subject, we simply catch up later. We are more interested in the quality of the learning rather than the quantity of assignments completed – and this change has been monumental to helping us success.
Mom of 4 kids
Blogs at Spiritual Gift Institute
I am 100% confident in lifeschooling, an approach that focuses on life skills instead of academia. Now that my oldest is 16 and succeeding in community college, I feel a sense of relief. I no longer try to teach them anything unless they ask me. I trust that they will learn what they need to without my constant nagging.
Mom of 2 kids
Blogs at ADHD Homeschooled
I’m still pretty new but what I do know is the Internet changed everything. Also, the stigma isn’t as prevalent as before.
Mom of 8 kids
Blogs at Maggie’s Milk & Lisa Tanner Writing
As a certified teacher, I definitely started by doing more of a “school at home” method. However, over time one of the benefits of homeschooler is I don’t have to do it a certain way.
This freedom, from my own expectations, has really breathed new life into our schooling. It’s allowed us to mesh together several methods of learning into a learning filled, customized model. I love it!
Also, since I have a child with severe special needs, and Pica, I’ve integrated way more technology into our homeschool than I ever thought I would. You see, these materials can’t get destroyed and eaten, like many of the more traditional school supplies.
Mom of 6 children
Blogs at Raising Royalty
When I first started homeschooling, I was very involved. I would sit and actively teach, and direct, and play, and read.. Then I had children close together (4 babies in 5 years) and then my marriage ended. And I was sooo frustrated because I couldn’t sit and read, I couldn’t interact and play, we couldn’t do crafts or experiments — the toddler would get into the glue, the baby would cry, and no one wanted to sit with me anyway!
Now I use workbooks and assign pages. I push reading and writing early, and I focus on teaching the skills to be independent. Then I became more of a facilitator giving feedback than direct teaching. I’m always available to answer questions, to explain concepts, but I am no longer directly teaching, as much as possible. And now.. we can do crafts. We can do experiments. We can do involved unit studies. We have more time for conversations and I can share my love of connections and stories. Using workbooks freed me from my expectations, and they grew older, and I’m able to do what I wanted anyway.
The beauty of homeschool is the freedom to grow and change with our kids! My homeschool looks much different than it did ten years ago with all littles.
How has your homeschool changed through the years? Share in the comments below and share this post with a homeschooler who needs encouragement.