What I learned my first year homeschooling

As we begin to see our first year of homeschool come to a close there has been so many things I've learned. And hopefully a few things my kids have learned (giggle). There have been highs and many lows.
This year has been a year of learning how to teach my kids, parent with more patience, and discipline with more kindness. It has been a year filled with joy, tears, laughter, and love.
I've got to know my kids in a way I never would have otherwise. And for that alone, it has all been worth it.
I grew up excelling in school. It came very easily to me. I skipped school, barely ever did homework, and was usually the kid goofing off in class. But in all that I rarely got a bad grade. This was nothing I could take credit for, God just gave me a mind like that. Maybe just for a time like this.

But this made homeschooling quite challenging for me. Learning to guide a child that isn't designed that way was very difficult. I had to learn patience on a whole new level. When he wouldn't grasp basic concepts I would catch myself wanting to say things like "Why is this so hard for you, when it's so simple?"
I'm beyond grateful for a sister who openly shared her struggles of being in school with me because I really do believe this gave me the insight and compassion I needed to step back and change my mindset. This took time for me though, and I'm still learning.

When we stepped into this I was also so overwhelmed with where my kids were actually at. Even being an active parent in their education before, I really did miss a lot.

I remember feeling like giving up so many times and feeling like this just wouldn't work for us. But I always sat back and reminded myself of why we started in the first place, reminded myself of the deep relationships we were developing, and reminded myself that while it feels like we've been at this forever, it's only been a few months.

I don't want to raise kids who quit when things get hard so I have to set an example of that.

One of the biggest things I learned this year was to start slow and small. If you know me you know that I'm a jump in the deep end and don't plan for it kind of girl. I definitely proved this when we started schooling. I was so eager to teach the kids absolutely everything. I remember watching YouTube video after YouTube video of veteran homeschool moms advising newbies like me to take it slow. I did not head this advice very well.
A majority of the plans I had were pushed aside and we eventually got down to the basics. So take their advice and start small.

Another thing we learned the hard way was how to not replicate the classroom at home. I honestly just didn't know how to practically do that. My whole experience with school has been a teacher led classroom. I wanted to make this transition more smooth for all of us but I just didn't know how. As I look back I think I wouldn't change that either. I don't think I would even know what to tell myself six months ago. I think the best way to go about implementing this advice would be to just start and bend and mold things to what is actually working.

I want to encourage you, that we are in a great groove now. And it happened a lot quicker than I thought it would. It doesn't look like what I expected and it doesn't look like other homeschools. But it works for us, our kids are excelling, and the push back and tension have decreased significantly.

Give your kids time to adjust to a new life because it does change the dynamic of things. Their perspective of home will need to change and their perspective of your relationship will need to change. And this takes time and struggle. But the storm is settling on our side and it's looking very sweet.
I expect to learn many more things as we continue and I still feel like a baby in this world but for now we've done ok. We are happy and learning.

If you are starting this journey, or even just curious about it, I want to leave you with some hope. I didn't think we'd make it this far. There were many times I started to prepare myself for the heartbreak of putting them back in school because I felt so unequipped. All these emotions are so normal and you will most likely feel them too. But know that you can do this and will never regret it.
If you have kids you know that time is in fast forward so take some of it back.

<3 The Tinyhousewife

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