Looking back at this time of year and this season in our lives, Tracy (T) and I (P) discussed some things we wish we’d known about homeschooling…before we started!

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1 – (P) I wish I’d known that homeschooling can be challenging to a marriage…and to other relationships as well.

It’s really easy for moms to become laser-focused and then neglect being a couple with dad. Finding a way to include him in the homeschooling day is crucial – keep him in the loop, even if he isn’t involved in “regular” teaching mode. Single parents, too, can suffer from this, when they neglect to reach out, interact with, or get feedback from another adult with whom they’re emotionally vested.

2 – (P) I wish I’d known that learning could become a lifestyle…and not something that we “play” at!

what I wish I knew

3 – (T) I wish I’d known that learning could be simple and FUN!

Anytime you can teach your kids together and make it fun, DO IT 🙂 Tracy’s famous homeschooling formula is finally in print here:

  • Academics – 25% – This includes “the necessaries” for the college-bound
  • Downtime – 25% – Crucial to this time is that it is not tech-centered. Encourage your kids to widen their horizons, develop their creativity, and dream…
  • Chores – 25% – This includes oh-so-many skills that will enable them to be responsible and capable adults.
  • Volunteering – 25% – “It’s not about me” is a lesson that we all should take to heart. And giving back through volunteering is a life-altering activity that can bring that lesson home to roost.

4 – (P) I wish I’d known that it’s important to take care of ME.

Mom self-care” is not selfish, as I’d always heard and told myself. But you can’t pour from an empty pitcher! This includes getting enough rest, having quiet time/prayer time, and having your own joys. Do whatever it takes to fill your tank, and then do it as regularly as you can!

5 – (T) I wish I’d known how much learning comes from “just” reading!

There is a LOT of learning that happens in everyday reading. And reading in different formats is important: reading aloud, silent reading, reading-for-fun

Experience-tip: Discussing the topics and subjects that teens read can be a great conversation starter.

6 – (T) I wish I’d known to ask my kids more questions

Not just general questions but questions that will enable them to take ownership of their learning! Ask them about the homeschool schedule and see if it “fits” their internal clock and interests. Be seriously and consistently curious about them and their growing selves!

7 – (P) – I wish someone had told me that we were raising adults

This really isn’t as obvious as it may seem. Our kids have their own learning styles and need to develop their own time management skills and life skills in general. Remember that it’s not just about what’s going on today. Think about how what you’re doing now is going to play out in the future – their future.

8 – (T) – I wish I knew that I needed to be the example of what I wanted for my kids

  • * You want your kids to be curious? Be curious!
  • * Do you want them to get exercise? Get out there with them!
  • * Want them to be a part of the community? How and where are you involved?
  • * Insert your desire here…and you know what to do…
  • * Then wash-rinse-and repeat.

I’m sure other veteran homeschoolers might have more or different “wishes” to add. And, quite frankly, if you’ve been homeschooling for at least a year or two, YOU might have some to add, as well!

What is one thing you wish you knew prior to starting homeschooling? Feel free to share it with us in the comments!

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