For those who don't know me or my blog, I am a homeschool mother of 3 sons. 2 have graduated and the last one is entering 9'th grade after Labor Day. This will be my 14'th year homeschooling.....boy, that went by fast! Anyway, I wanted to encourage you to keep going forward with your homeschooling even if you make mistakes. We all make mistakes and as long as we learn from them, it's ok. My goal in our homeschool is to make sure my boys are ready for real life, love and serve the Lord and can be an asset to our community.
Ok, here we go.........
5 MISTAKES I'VE MADE SO FAR
When someone says "grade level", you have to think about where these requirements or guidelines for grade levels came from. They came from the public school system. They needed to set guidelines for the children so they could determine which grade level to place them in. Ok, so.......
THEY DO NOT APPLY TO HOMESCHOOLERS!
I chose to homeschool for many different reasons but one of those reasons were because I wanted my children to learn what they needed to prepare them for 'real life' without all the worldly influences and other 'stuff' that I would consider useless information. When you homeschool, YOU are the one who takes control over your child's education right? YOU are the one responsible for what they learn and how they learn right? Then YOU are the one who will be setting the guidelines for each grade level. You see? I'm not saying that you need to set expectations for each grade ranging from K to 12'th grade and mark them off once achieved. You may even have different guidelines for different children! They have different strengths and abilities so why give them the same guidelines? I'm just saying that you decide when they are ready to move onto the next topic/subject/grade. Stop dwelling on grade levels, they are NOT important.
#4 Comparing yourself to other homeschoolers.
Big mistake! I remember looking at a friend of mine, who I admire highly, and thinking to myself....."Wow, I wish I could follow her example and homeschool like her". That is not a good thought. If you start comparing yourself, you will start feeling like you are inadequate and that you are failing to educate your children. You aren't. Every family is different. You don't need to follow someone's example in everything. Look at what you like about that other mom's homechool and ask yourself what you can pull from it. Maybe it's just a scheduling issue you lack or a routine. Maybe it's just a certain curricula that you might be able to implement in your homeschool to make your day flow better. But don't feel inferior to someone because of how "successful" their homeschool days are. Success is measured individually. What works for one family, may not work for another. Besides, what looks like a "perfect" homeschool, may not be what it seems. hahaha. I can guarantee that a fellow homeschool parent is not perfect and there are flaws in there somewhere. The grass is usually NOT greener on the other side. ;)
#3 Don't sweat the small stuff.
Oh my gosh! Jane can't get her multiplication tables down! Why can't she memorize them? I don't get it? What is wrong with her? lol. Been there. Some children don't memorize in sequence. My 2 younger boys could never quite memorize all the multiplication tables. But it's ok. If I ask them what 7x6 is, they know. That is what is important. So they can't say their 9 times tables: 9,18,27,36,45,54...... who cares? They know how to multiply and THAT is important. If they just can't memorize something, it's ok. As long as they know where to go to find the answer to something, they will be fine.
#2 Spending money on curriculum.
You have to find what works for your child. I remember going through 3 different Math curriculum's one year until I found the right one for my son. I purchased one of the well known math books and it just didn't click. Then again, found something else, didn't click. Then it happened......he got it! I found the one that he could understand. He hated math so this didn't help when trying different ones, but the funny thing to this story is that he went on to college and got A's in all his Math classes! I asked him one day why he keeps taking so many math classes (some he was taking as electives) because I knew he didn't like math. His response was priceless. He says, "I don't like math, but I'm good at it". That right there was a SUCCESS! He was realizing that he needed to put aside his dislike and take these classes that he knew he'd do well in and get the A's. Very proud moment there for this homeschool mom. Yes, tooting my own horn.......toot toot!
#1 Don't give up!
I have to confess that I did give up one time with my oldest. He wasn't listening to instruction and every time I needed an assignment corrected it was a fight. I ended up fighting with him more than homeschooling. He was in the 8'th grade and was working independently at this point, but fighting with him over correction and schedules was taking away from homeschooling my other 2 sons. So we made the decision to place him in the public school system starting in 9'th grade. He did fine academically. He held a great gpa. However, the things he was exposed to and taught we did not agree with. I don't want to go into detail but if I had to do it all over again, I would have found a way to overcome the issue. Not sure how I would have achieved it, but I would have!
I have made more mistakes, but I thought 5 was torturous enough for me to admit. It's not easy to admit that I make a mistake, but again, if I learn from them and can pass on the wisdom so you don't make the same ones, it's worth it.
Note: These are my opinions based on my homeschool experiences. Every family is different and what worked for me, may not work for you. God Bless and Homeschool on!