Oil Of Joy: Homeschool constantly changes....


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Homeschool constantly changes....

We are in our 15th year of official homeschool. I can hardly believe I have been educating my children that long. I have my eldest in college, working on his second year and now applying to the local University, I cannot believe how fast those years went by.

Our youngest is now in her Freshman year of high school, enjoying the journey and learning in a quite different way than her brother did.

My biggest piece of advice for all new homeschoolers is to be open to change. Don't get stuck with one way of doing things...explore and be willing to change your path as the need arises.

That is so much easier to tell new homeschooling mamas than it is to actually do it.
However, I still feel this is an excellent piece of advice and I remind myself regularly. Each child is different, they learn different, have different likes and dislikes and concepts to explore through different avenues. My son loved to be read to, we would spend hours reading literature and non fiction books together. We started our day, all three of us together, snuggled in my bed as I would read a chapter or two of what delicious piece of literature we were working through. It was wonderful. He loved to have long conversations and in depth discussions about topics and ideas we drew from our study or current history and even our time in Bible. My daughter being the younger one always learned whatever we were learning about. She used the same curriculum as our son...but I quickly learned as he grew more independent that she learned differently than he did.
She is unique. :) I love that and that's one of the reasons I love to homeschool. Her style is more independent. She would get frustrated when I would read aloud and ask questions to have a discussion about our reading and she couldn't remember what was said. She would end up re-reading the same passages so she could gain the information, but it was a waste of time for me to read to her, then have her read the same exact material again.

She likes it quiet.

Very, very quiet.
My son was fine with me bouncing around the house getting chores done, working out etc while he did more independent sections. Our daughter, no way! She needs for there to be no distraction. She still loves to discuss what she's learned, but we do that after she has studied the material and starts to share about what new things excited her in her studies. It's quite natural, and very enjoyable.

While we used to wake up with literature and relax for an hour or so before getting really going, we now get out of bed, enjoy breakfast together and she goes off to her quiet, beautiful retreat of a bedroom. She brings the computer and works on math first thing, gets her least favorite subject out of the way.

We have found this new method of study for her has greatly cut back her time studying each day. It has opened up her day to pursue more of her other passions....photography, writing etc.
I have gone through numerous changes in our homeschool career, different curriculums, half used, barely used and intensely used. Sometimes it just about drove me batty to give up on a product I had purchased only to find it did not fit our needs and it felt like a waste of money. It wasn't a waste, it was a learning experience as well.

I think there is only one bit of advice I would give that is even more important than being willing to change.

Cherish this time as much as you can. Yes, it can be hard, yes there are tears, yes there are days you are sure the public school system is a much better option than you. It's not true and before you know it, they will be off to college. Cherish it, enjoy it, be flexible and take time to just enjoy your children. One of the greatest blessings of homeschooling, is time...lots of time to spend with the most amazing people I have ever known. <3


  1. Tina, you have told my story! Our kids are 25 and 20 1/2. We homeschooled the entire way except a 3 month break during 3rd grade for the oldest. They each had their own way of learning and I wish someone had told me 20 years ago that I could change things up at any point. I didn't have to stick rigidly to a set curriculum, especially if it was causing conflict. I finally realized that when the youngest was ready to think about school. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  2. I hope I have the chance to tell new homeschool mamas to relax and and be flexible. I think many of us can relate to this exact story. Thank you for your sweet comments. :)