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I have one year left as an active homeschooling parent. As I near the end of my youngest son’s senior year, I am constantly reflecting on the years that we have had together. Our homeschooling experience has been absolutely wonderful. It has been rewarding, exciting, monotonous, exhausting, and fulfilling. All of those things are true. It has been a 19 year journey that has blessed all of us. But it has not been perfect, and if I knew then what I know now, I would definitely have changed some things.
I realize that no one’s homeschool experience is perfect. And there is a different between making mistakes and just making better choices.
I am sure I could have chosen different textbooks and better read alouds; however, even if I could have made better choices, I don’t consider the choices I made to have been mistakes.
The reality is I did make mistakes. Many mistakes. Today I am sharing my top 5.
Mistake Number 1: I should have included my husband more in our routine homeschooling days.
My husband usually stepped in and helped with upper level math that I was rusty on. His job keeps his math skills up to date. He also stepped in when my oldest son couldn’t learn to read by phonics. He threw our son into the deep end of whole word reading via a children’s Bible. I would never advocate that approach, but for this whole to parts child, it worked.
My husband interacts with the world much differently than I do, and I think had I gone to him more with little things, rather than just the “bigger” things, his approach may have been an asset to my kids.
Thankfully, he was and is a very involved parent, as much as I am. I just think he had more to give than I made time to incorporate into our routine homeschool days. it’s somewhat understandable since he worked every day, but had we been more organized rather than just struggling to be organized, I am sure that my children would have benefited from it.
If I had to sum up his role, it was the rescuer. He rescued me and our homeschool when I couldn’t take anymore or when I was at a loss for what to do next.
Mistake Number 2: I should have taken better care of myself.
There were many days that I struggled to make it through the day. And I was sometimes fatigued and burned out by homeschooling. And burned out by the pinched nerve in my foot that caused me to limp for 3 years. And then caused damage to my knee on the other leg. There was so much that I wanted to do, but I was so limited.
When I needed medical help, I should have gotten help earlier.
I also should have worked out a way to make a little more time for me. I felt as if I were stealing time from my family in order to have a moment alone. Or to work on books. Again, had I been more organized, I would have had a more balanced schedule. A schedule that included time for me. Sacrificing myself beyond what was necessary didn’t bless my kids. Nor my husband. Nor me.
Mistake Number 3: I should have been more organized.
I am not an organized person. My brain doesn’t work that way. When I imagine an ideal learning situation, I imagine me sitting in a chair with file folders covered by images floating and swirling around my head. I would be able to reach up into the air and grab the file that I wanted and absorb the information. Now imagine all of those file folders dropping on to the table. That’s my desk. That’s pretty much how my house is half of the time. Honestly, most of the time. I have to work HARD to be organized.
And that lack of organization has cost me time for me, time for me and my husband to plan, and time for our homeschool. It is a heavy price to pay for being disorganized.
Mistake Number 4: I should have given my children more projects.
Life is more about solving problems and working on projects, and less about textbooks. But because I am a lover of book learning, it’s my style, I used that style with all of my kids. That was a huge mistake. I had a kinesthetic learner that I should have given more hands on project type learning. And even for those that had other learning styles, I should have added more variety into the way I taught lessons. That would have given them more experience.
Maybe this is the area that my husband should have been more involved in. He’s definitely a project type guy. He did things with them like dissect snakes just cause it was fun. That’s quite the project, lol.
Mistake Number 5: I should have served a green salad at every dinner.
This seems unrelated, but it’s not. I am trying my best not to need blood pressure medication, and one of the things I am now doing is trying to eat my 4500 mg of potassium every day. I am doing great if I’m getting to 3000 mg. I now eat 2 salads a day. Even if it’s just a green salad so that I get the vitamin A, vitamin C and more of the potassium that I need.
I learned the hard way that our kids can only function as physically as they are able. Meaning: if they’re not as healthy as they can be, they’re learning may be compromised.
One of my kids was sick for a year, undiagnosed, with mono. It was hard to watch this child suffer. We went to 5 doctors, and they all missed it. Eventually a wonderful doctor ordered the proper tests and took care of my child.
Ever since then, I have been much more intention to add things to my kids’ diets, rather than just limiting sugar and eating whole grains. I think it was a mistake to not have a simple green salad regularly, just a plan salad with olive oil and vinegar with every dinner. That alone would have upped their intake of vitamins and minerals with very little effort. Imagine how much nutrition a little person can consume with 15 years of simple salads.
Extra: Mistake Number 6: I should have limited screen time more.
Computers sneak in and reading slowly dies out. I’m happy that my kids are comfortable with computers. I’ll probably have 3 computer programmers. But I think we allowed computers with school too early. And computer games too early. Eventually my teen boys fell out of love with reading fiction books. They read books for information, and they on line via their tablets. I wish they were reading fun books. Even notetaking for college classes is via their tablets. Maybe I’m just too old school.
There are worlds in books that they probably won’t experience because they are not into fiction. But I remember when they used to be. I think it was the computers.
It was hard to write this blog post. I kept changing the mistakes. There were so many to pick from! lol
Overall, our homeschool experience has been a blessing. And I think my kids, my husband, and I are all better for it.
I hope this gives you something to think about.
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Are you homeschooling a middle or high schooler this year? Some people shy away from the upper grades, but they can be so much fun if you let them! So many options and different avenues of study to pursue. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, a little lost, or just plain confused on where to start and how to make the most of these years, then this giveaway is for you!
Check out this AMAZING Prize package from our sponsors!
|Seasonal Themed Poetry Copywork packs from In All You Do – These are perfect for Middle & High Schoolers needing a simple introduction into the world of poetry. Each pack includes 18 different seasonal poems with plain lines for print and cursive copywork, for a total of 484 pages.|
|All About Plants: Botany for Teens and Adults from Julie Naturally – Botany is arguably the most important science to learn and yet it is the least taught. Spend a semester doing an immersive, project-based, rigorous study of plants with this robust course. Match it with your favorite Anatomy and Physiology course for a Biology alternative credit. Taught by a trained master herbalist and NAHA Level 1 Aromatherapist.|
|Music Appreciation of the Romantic Era for High School from Music in Our Homeschool – The “Music Appreciation of the Romantic Era” online course consists of 36 lessons about the music, genres, styles, and composers of Western Music from about 1800-1900. You’ll learn about Schubert, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Rossini, Wagner, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Stephen Foster, Gilbert & Sullivan, Edward MacDowell, Amy Beach and many more!|
|Grammar Workbook Set from Brookdale House – This Grammar Workbook set includes a middle school grammar and composition workbook for students that are ready for an introduction to more advanced grammar. Also included is an Answer Key. Suitable for students in grades 6 through 9.|
|Nature Poetry Unit Study Packet from Geez, Gwen! – This Poetry Unit Study walks students through a discovery of poetry all about nature. Learners will read moving poetry by famous poets and write beautiful poetry of their own. They will be introduced to multiple forms of poetry, vocabulary, figures of speech, and other useful tools to help them deliver work they can feel good about. Multiple worksheets and activities are included as well as quote cards perfect for displaying throughout their space.|
|Gospel of John Inductive Bible Study Class from Homeschool with Moxie – Are your teens ready to move deeper into studying the Bible? Your students in grades 7-12 can move past just simply memorizing Bible stories and facts to learning how to study Scripture in context. In this online Bible class through chapters 1-12 in the Gospel of John, your teens will learn how to use the inductive method to systematically observe, interpret, and apply the text.|
|Morning Time Teens™: A Year With Lewis & Tolkien from I Choose Joy – These are the morning time plans you’ve been looking for to guide and connect with your middle and high schoolers! Read all the Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit, and the Lord of the Rings. It includes the schedule, discussion questions, and other activities to do alongside your read-aloud time.|
|Creative Writing Journal from Create Your Homeschool – This creative writing journal is the perfect way to get your middle schoolers writing everyday in a fun and engaging way! With over 36 weeks worth of prompts, this journal is perfect for middle school morning time as well!|
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Thanks to these amazing bloggers and brands that love supporting the homeschool community, we’re giving away more than $380 in Upper Grades prizes!
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