Part 3- I’m Done Homeschooling: “10 Things I Would Do Again”


Last post I told you about 10 things I would do differently, right from the start of homeschooling my children if I had the opportunity to do it over again.

This time, I want to share with you these 10 things I would absolutely do over again- just maybe MORE so!

  1. Study my child to learn their passions, desires, what inspires them, what discourages them and teach accordingly. Plan what I see my child as needing to study, not some prescribed program.

I certainly didn’t start my homeschooling this way, but it wasn’t too long before it was clear to me that each child had unique strengths and compelling interests. It became a delight for me to see those passions develop and seek to provide them with tools, materials, animals sometimes to let them explore those areas of interest. I found that as one child passionately pursued their area of interest, we all learned and grew with them. From keeping rabbits, to building bookcases, to raising guppies, to being involved in civics, to photography, etc etc. our family learned right along with the one who was so interested in the topic.

  1. Listen to and ask for their input on how they learn best or which curriculum to choose

School Books

Some curriculum that worked well for most of my 14 kids, was horrible for some of the others. Kids think and process information differently. There isn’t a cookie cutter way to teach that fits everyone. I learned so much when I asked my kids who were struggling with a subject, how they could learn better, how I could teach better. It moved us more “out of the box” but it worked. Do what works. It doesn’t matter how they teach it in school! If your child is more invested in what curriculum he uses, he’ll try harder to learn.

  1. Let them explore their interests and passions

I could write a book on interests my kids explored! ¬†Sometimes they were wildly interested in something for a short time and then moved on to something else. That’s ok. They are exposed to more things that way. Sometimes their interest lasted years or into adult-hood. That’s fine too. God gives us those desires to learn and explore. Use them. Don’t squelch them. Some of the things my kids were interested in: genetics, garden ponds, bird houses building, rabbits, chickens, photography, writing, politics, history, building bookcases, fixing things that break, wildflowers, baking, candy making, etc etc.

Continue reading Part 3- I’m Done Homeschooling: “10 Things I Would Do Again”


Part 2- I’m Done Homeschooling: “10 Things I’d Do Differently”


In my homeschooling journey of 37 years, I learned a LOT and changed the way I approached education as well. When I started out, I had a pretty traditional approach to education and never questioned that what was in the book was what my child needed to know.

Here are some conclusions I came to and things I would have done differently from the start had I known.

  1. Don’t feel like I have to teach everything that is in the book or finish every book.

Don’t be afraid to scrap a book mid-year and try something else. Some books that worked well for most of my kids, just frustrated others. What works well for one doesn’t necessarily work well for the next child. Kids just learn differently. If you’re rolling along and find something included in the book that you don’t think your child will ever need, feel free to skip over it. Or if you’re in mid-year and the book you’ve chosen just isn’t working, try another. It’s okay. It’s not only okay, it’s the wise thing to do.(Here are 5 tips for choosing curriculum)

  1. Don’t assume that a government school course of study is best for my child

I just automatically thought that government schools had studied kids and knew what was best to teach each child at each level/age. That just isn’t true! You know your child so intensely. Don’t be afraid to follow your instinct, or better yet, God’s leading for each individual child.

  1. Don’t hold my child to standards of “where they’re supposed to be” or hold them back because they are learning too quickly

I allowed each of my children to progress at their own rate in every subject, at least after my first few years of teaching them. They may be a couple grades ahead in history and a year “behind” in math, but that’s okay. They need to be free to progress at a rate that challenges them but not overwhelms them and that that will be different for each child.

Continue reading Part 2- I’m Done Homeschooling: “10 Things I’d Do Differently”


I’m Done Homeschooling


Frustrated with Homeschooling?

This was an emotional post for me to write! I guess I’m just weird. I hear people who graduate their last child and are so relieved and happy- wanting to throw a party for themselves. I’m happy, but I’m sad too! I am just wrapping up my 37th (and last) year of homeschooling. Kasey will finish up probably this month. (She took a little “intermission” to take an intensive class in order to attain her private pilot’s license). It’s not that I won’t know what to do with my time, not that at all. I’ll actually miss what has become a life-style for me- getting up in the morning and “doing school”.

Can’t believe it’s been 37 years, and I can’t believe I won’t be doing that this September!¬† I’m going to do another blog post sometime sharing some of the things I’ve learned over the last 37 years and how I became a better teacher as I learned about learning in general. I’ll share what I’d change if I could and what I’m glad I did the way I did it, but for this post, I just want to encourage you that if you’re overwhelmed by homeschooling and feel like it’s dominating your life, that’s totally normal and the day will come sooner than you might wish that you’ll be wrapping up your journey in homeschooling too.

Rick teaching our little guys- in the early ’80s
Our oldest boys doing schoolwork- around 1988

I just want to list for you what I LOVE about homeschooling and what I’m bawling about as I write about how I’m going to miss it.

(you can see 14 more reasons Why I’m Glad I Homeschooled, here)

Continue reading I’m Done Homeschooling