I had so many fears about making the leap to homeschooling. I still have some of these fears, since not all five of my littles are home yet.
It’s been about a month and a half so far, and I have learned so much already. About my children, about my kids and societal expectations that we live in.
I have had the advantage of having a great tribe of beautiful mamma (and one papa) friends that are seasoned homeschooolers. They have been involved in the local homeschooling communities for over 10 years. Their support and guidance has truly helped with the ease of this transition. The best advice so far has been “Don’t stress, you are doing it right, and they are learning”.
- I am Calmer and less stressed: I don’t feel as rushed. I am not hurrying to make lunches and breakfast before 7:30 am. We aren’t rushed to fit homework in between after school activities, dinner and evening routines. I feel a lot of the stress to get things done ‘before school on Monday’ disappearing. As a result, my kids don’t feel rushed and hurried. Our house is experiencing more peace and everyone is breathing a little easier.
- We own our schedule: Our schedule and routine is now our own. We follow our own holidays and breaks. We follow our daily schedule. We take yoga breaks when needed, not when the clock tells us too. We don’t have to rush to get permission slips, weekly folders, and homework checked off. No more rushing out at the last-minute to bake cookies for the bake sale or buy supplies for a project due the next day.
- Leaning happens everywhere: Many of our friends told us “You are already homeschooling with all the educational field trips that you go on”. We are in control of their education, and this means we can create learning opportunities everywhere, all the time. Learning is happening all around us, if we take the time to see it. I know exactly what they are leaning and can bring this into our daily conversations and activities. I am now the one that gets to see their faces light up when they learn something new, or feel accomplished. I am loving being part of their education process.
- It takes less time: A normal traditional school day often consists of a lot of lining up, quieting everyone so that the teacher can be heard, re-direction, turning in work, retrieving supplies. This doesn’t happen in homeschool, or if it does, very little time is spent on these activities. This frees up their school day. Actual work only takes about three hours. This frees up the rest of the day for creative play and activities. (Free time does not mean video games. They have a list of educational games and activities that are allowed before 4:00 pm).
- Spontaneity is the name of the game: Being in charge of our school day means that we can have a spontaneous field trip, or we can decide to move around our studies. We have a co-op we attend once a week, but the rest of the week is ours!
- BONUS! I am leaning so much! We could all use a refresher in our studies. I love that I am learning right along with them!
The biggest thing about homeschool is that there really isn’t a right or wrong way to do it. This is the part that my friends have stressed to me. Just enjoy this time, and if a favorite song comes on, by all means stop what you’re doing and have a spontaneous dance party!