I’ve been homeschooling officially for 8 years now. Does that make me a veteran?
I’m not quite sure I’ve reached that status. I’m by no means an expert.
But I’ve made a lot of mistakes. Ouch! So many mistakes!
Thankfully, I’ve learned from those mistakes, adapted, made changes, and continued to press forward in our homeschool journey.
I’m sharing some homeschool fails so that you don’t make the same mistakes.
Complicated Planning Methods
When I first began homeschooling, I spent a lot of time in preparation and planning. In fact, I spent more time planning than I actually did in implementing the plan. I spent hours trying to perfect my planning methods.
Nope. That was a huge a fail. Every year I gave up on whatever complicated planning method I had devised for that year within a few weeks.
Instead, I’ve found that simple and quick planning methods work best. I now plan with sticky notes, sticky tabs, and sticky flags. It’s my sticky note planning system. It’s fast and easy, but most of all – I’m consistent with using it. Now I stay on track in our homeschool.
Focusing on Curriculum
I spent hours searching for that elusive perfect curriculum that would make my children into eager learners and would make my homeschool picture perfect.
I was convinced that if I just found the right resources, everything would fall into place, our homeschool would be successful, and we would all love learning together.
Reality check. It’s not about the curriculum. It’s about you and your children – the relationships you forge as you struggle through difficult topics or enjoy the wonder of discovering something new.
Putting your hope in curriculum is a recipe for failure. The perfect curriculum does not exist.
Instead, you need to choose a curriculum that makes you excited to teach your children and one that can be adapted to their various learning styles. Then, jump in, modify, change, and make it uniquely your own.
Doing Too Much
I felt like we had to learn all the things and learn them right now, today, in that very moment. I made the mistake of adding too many subjects and resources to our homeschool day.
Instead of being able to learn at our pace, follow our interests, and dive more deeply into books or certain topics, we were pushed along by my over-filled schedule.
I’ve learned that all kids will have some learning gaps. My goal as a homeschool parent is not to teach them every possible fact, but to instill a love of learning, so that they become life-long learners who never stop searching for answers.
Yes, less is more in this situation. Sometimes it’s best to simplify and allow more margin into your homeschool day to follow those rabbit trails and simply enjoy learning.
I made quite a few mistakes in those early years of homeschooling. And I still make many of these same mistakes. But I’m slowly learning, adapting, and changing – because learning is a life-long pursuit, right?
Find more homeschool confessions and tips on the blog!