We’re well into our first year of homeschool. And I must say that it’s been a real learning curve. It has been nothing like I expected it would be. But at the same time, it’s been so much more than I could have hoped. In this post I look at 6 things that have surprised me about our first year of homeschool.
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1. The First Year of Homeschool is about Deschooling
The kids definitely needed a period of deschooling. When we started the year, I was determined to follow the syllabus, to reach the milestones and to get on with it. The boys did not respond well. I was so stressed and so were they. So I took a step back and just let them play and enjoy themselves. It has made a world of difference in our homeschooling.
2. The First Year of Homeschool is about Flexibilty
This year has mostly been about what works for us as a family. This has included how the kids work. But also how to balance homeschool, work and family life. Homeschool is wonderfully flexible. But you also need to be able to dedicate time to it. This has meant that I have had to really think about work and my priorities. So I have opted for a more flexible and less stressful job.
3. The First Year of Homeschool is about Letting the Kids Lead
My children do not like to be forced to do anything. This can be a pain, especially when it comes to tidying their rooms! But when it comes to learning, this can be an advantage. They are naturally curious and want to learn about new things. But they need to do it at their own pace and what they want to learn. And I have to accept the fact that they don’t like papier-mâché.
4. The First Year of Homeschool is about Life Skills
When the boys were going to school, mornings were so stressful. And they were so exhausted at night that we just let them be. Now we have the time and they have the energy to learn important life skills. They can brush their teeth, make their beds and make their own lunch. We’ve also had the chance to take them shopping, which we used to dread before. The shops are quieter and less overwhelming. And they are learning to positively interact with people they meet.
5. The First Year of Homeschool is about Learning what Works
We use computers to teach the boys because this is what they respond to. This year is about teaching them to read, do math and write. The reading and math are covered with Reading Eggs and Maths Seeds and ABCmouse. The boys can work at their own pace and are rewarded for their lessons. And lots of library visits, read alouds and examples we see around us. When you homeschool, everything becomes a learning opportunity! Writing is a bit problematic but at least the boys comfortably know their way around a keyboard. Writing will come when they are ready.
6. The First Year of Homeschool is about Bonding as a Family
Before I started homeschooling, I never realised how much time you actually spend together. And there have been some other homeschool truth bombs that have been surprising. This might seem obvious, but the reality is something you need to get used to! But I also never thought it would bring us so close together as a family. We are lucky enough to see our kids grow up. And to spend these precious childhood years together.
How was your First Year of Homeschool?
For seasoned homeschoolers, what did you learn in your first year of homeschool? Was it what you expected? Where there any surprises? And for those starting out, what are you hoping to achieve in your first year? I would love to hear from you. Please drop me an email or comment below.