I don’t know If I can really call myself a homeschool veteran just just yet because I have not graduated a homeschooler. I have however, gotten my kids to the high school stage and am continuing to homeschool them. 75% of homeschoolers (my best bet)decide to stop homeschooling by this point. This is not a condemnation, just a fact, as each family must do what is best for them.
If I had to do it again, as in start from scratch with a new child in Kindergarten, I would certainly do things differently. There are also some things I would do the same.
First, I would never have started them out in public or private school. I would have let them be kids and explore the world around them. At age 2 1/2, my son was already using Reader Rabbit CD-Roms to teach himself, so we really shouldn’t have worried so much about putting them in school. They were learning on their own.
I would have used the same program we used to teach reading,Headsprout.com. We may not have been us such a rush to use it, but when we assessed reading readiness, we would have used this site that gave the my daughter instant reading success. (The site has now expanded beyond reading and into reading comprehension.)
I still would have used the resource program that my kids use for arts, drama, history, and music that gets them out of the house one day a week… I love the fact that they can get all of their arts covered in one day without tons of driving. They are also part of a close knit community that had proven the whole socialization myth wrong.
I also would have use the Time4learning program that got our kids so easily through the lower grades. I think the coolest thing about time4learning is that the kids got through their education time quickly and were able to get back to fun and independent study.
I would have done middle school differently. I think I panicked when my kids got to a certain age. I wanted to make sure they would be ready for college and since their arts program also had a tutoring day, I threw them into EVERY class that was held. Sure they learned alot, but it also stressed them out and they learned to do the bare minimum possible to get by.
Looking back, I should have worked more on critical thinking skills encouraged lots of reading, and focussed solely on math while finding as many outings as possible related to science and history… and there are lots of them.
Now that my kids are both homeschooling high schooling, I can look back and so I don’t have many regrets. They are still thriving. They are well on their way to college with my son already having six college credits under his belt at age 15 and I am no longer worried.
Unfortunately, I think it takes this many years for most homeschoolers to settle into a comfortable homeschool routine and a sense of peace about it. For those with large families, the younger kids definitely benefit from it. Me, I have a small family, so I am passing on this information hoping someone else will learn from it.
If you liked this you should also read my blogs at the home blog, the parents blog, and the frugal blog. You can read my recent posts here.
* Have you seen the homeschooling curriculum glossary?