After home educating my children over 23 years, I came across some sound wisdom from others who had gone before me. Homeschooling is not just about teaching academics and a few manners, and then your kids getting a job at the end. That’s a school life (though the manners bit is debatable). How many times have we all said: “If I knew back then what I know now, things would be different” ?
So here’s a list of some homeschool wisdom I learned from others that helped me succeed in educating my own kids, stay on track and continue the journey through both challenging and good times.
You are family, not a school
Getting out of the mindset that schooling is separate from family life is difficult for most parents, after all, we were all brought up in the system. But it is liberating when you can let go of the schooling regime, with its inflexible schedule and adult peer pressure. Homeschooling is so much more enriched when you just take learning as part of your everyday life.
If you’ve taken your kids out of school, this may be particularly challenging at first. A good remedy is to de-school for a few months. Going on a holiday during school term when all the school kids is also a good exercise in shifting your mind.
Just do things as family and put the “official” learning aside for a while. You’ll probably find that learning opportunities will arise naturally while you are de-schooling, and probably won’t involve a textbook.
Homeschooling is not radical, it’s basic
This fact was a game changer for me and our family. We were surrounded by doubters and being constantly questioned about our choice to homeschool. The mindset of the day was that to subject your kids to anyone other than an “expert” for their education was radical, if not foolish. We disagreed. A parent’s role is to nurture and educate their child. Teaching a child to read is simply a natural progression from teaching a baby to feed himself, potty training and correct speech. Teaching your own children is basic to parenting.
Socialise as a whole family
If you want to combat peer pressure, then don’t constantly put your child in a peer group to socialise. We socialised mostly as a whole family, where our children interacted with people of all ages, learning how they all got along. They learned how other parents treat their children, and how to respect older people. They learned from adults with life wisdom instead of constantly being informed by their peer group.
You’ve probably noticed that where parents have things in common, their children often do also.
Doing community projects together teaches your family how to work better as a team, and vice versa, having strong and cooperative family relationships helps you serve the community better.
Parents need to stay in step with each other
Often it is one parent who does the homeschooling, with that parent the one who is up to date with the latest homeschool methods, curriculum and news about homeschooling. It’s easy to just let that parent go for it and the other to just support them. However, it’s vital that both parents try to keep in step with each other. It’s important for your children’s security and learning to know that it’s not just “mum’s thing”, but it’s both of you helping each other on this journey.
Most parents feel inadequate when they start out homeschooling, especially if it’s something they are doing out of necessity. However, you do not need to be a maths whizz or know everything to teach your own children. I got my education all over again alongside my children, except I was always a few steps ahead of them. You can learn how to write an essay properly this time around, and your kids will learn it properly the first time.
If the curriculum you are using is good enough to teach your children, then it’s certainly good enough for you.
New Syllabus Primary Maths (2nd Ed.) 2A Workbook$ 26.00
New Syllabus Primary Maths (2nd Ed.) 2B Workbook$ 26.00
New Syllabus Primary Maths 2nd Ed. 3A Workbook$ 26.00
New Syllabus Primary Maths 2nd Ed. 1A Workbook$ 26.00
New Syllabus Primary Maths 2nd Ed. 3B Workbook$ 26.00
New Syllabus Primary Maths 2nd Ed. 1B Workbook$ 26.00