Jump to content

Menu

Homeschool Parents, Please Answer My Question


Recommended Posts

1. I needed to be more relaxed with academics for K and 1st grade so that DS could play more.

 

2. I shouldn't have bought all of the levels of a program before I knew if it was a good fit. (And, even then, only a year or two at a time.)

 

3. I didn't remember until 5th grade that I should teach spelling. (But at least I remembered!)

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. Too stringent academics too soon. My girls needed stuff to do, but I pushed too hard despite advice to the contrary.

 

2. Too few breaks. We needed more jumping jacks and running laps between subjects or when the kids got frustrated.

 

3. Related to the other two, letting my ego get wrapped up in the academic success of my kids. It's tempting and oh so easy when your life is homeschooling, but it also means that failure becomes personal blows, struggles are frustrating, and the successes are not given their proper context. This one is hard to let go, truth be told!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

# 1 biggest mistake:  Not realizing that our Aspie would not be able to simply move through the path to adulthood like the avg person.  I REALLY wish we had taken a completely different path than a college prep one for high school.

 

2- Learning the financial aid/college application/college admision process/guidance counselor role "on the job" vs. researching and understanding the ins and outs ahead of time.

 

I'll have to think about a third one.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Only 3?  I could go on and on . . .  :huh:

 

1. Buying ahead - assuming I'd have a clue want we would want to use by the time we actually got there

 

2. Planning too far ahead

 

3. Expecting my oldest to be ready for more advanced stuff too soon.  Forgetting she's (10, 11, 12) and expecting high school level skills, output, and reading ability

 

Hmm, I'm sensing a pattern . . .  :lol:

  • Like 12
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. In the earliest years -- desperately trying to fit ourselves to a method instead of making the method fit us. (took me about 3 years to realize my mistake).

2. Buying too many things, trying to do them all, feeling so much guilt about not doing them all. (took me about 5 years to overcome the guilt).

3. Not insisting more strongly about physical fitness (took me about 5 years to realize my mistake and now he is not given a choice on this anymore).

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. not studying ahead for myself in my weak subjects. I knew we wouldn't have the budget to outsource and I didn't study as much as I should have to be a better facilitator. What I did study was helpful, but I could have have done more. 

 

2. Expecting that my personal life wouldn't change. Homeschooling high school can be a full-time endeavor. I didn't expect a divorce or my going to college. The whole thing upset our homeschooling more than once. Not everyone will experience chaos, however you should have a backup plan in case of those personal situations that throw you off. 

 

3. Thinking ds would be excited about a subject simply because I was enthusiastic about it myself. I saw that from the opposite in my second semester in college. I was taking a class where the professor was obviously passionated and asked if I had considered a major in that subject because I was doing well in the class. I hated the subject and was only taking it because I had to. It helped me understand ds's viewpoint a bit more. 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. not studying ahead for myself in my weak subjects. I knew we wouldn't have the budget to outsource and I didn't study as much as I should have to be a better facilitator. What I did study was helpful, but I could have have done more. 

 

 

 

This.  And as an offshoot, assuming that "open & go" curriculum was literally "open & go".  No, I still needed to read ahead and become familiar with layout, progression, rhythm, etc.  And it took me an embarrassing amount of time to figure that out  :crying: .

 

 

Being too soft.  I wish I had grown a spine and told them to suck it up earlier.

 

 

And this!  I spent too much energy trying to make to make everything fun and some things just aren't fun but still have to be done.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1)  Assuming that what works for one will work for the rest.

 

2) Assuming that what didn't work for the first won't work for the rest.

 

3) Doubting my mommy-instincts on when they are ready for the next level.  Jumping the gun on some things, and waiting too long with others.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1) not doing major decluttering before we started. We have space but my kids and I are all big personal space people so we keep encroaching on each other's space. Library is a lifesaver as we can each have a table to ourselves before 3pm.

 

2) not budgeting for "babysitting" before starting. We end up putting kids in parents night out whenever we were exhausted. Siblings can have too much time together and "civil war" happens

 

3) hubby underestimated kids ability :lol: until he had to answer all the whys (math, science,politics). If your child has traits of SPD, ADHD, autism, even if the child doesn't get a label, the advice in self help books still come in useful for us. Testing was useful for us even if it is to eliminate stuff.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Believing my older son when he said at 9yo that he wanted to go to MIT and then continuing to believe him when he said it was the only place he wanted to go.  Since I was the only one who was taking the academic aspects of that plan seriously, I drove us both crazy for several years.

 

Sending my younger son to school for two years starting at age 10.

 

Not supporting/orchestrating my kids' social lives as much as I should (ongoing).

 

 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll add this as number 3: I started off thinking not creating a strict school calendar meant we would have more freedom and be more efficient. The opposite was actually true. Creating a calendar had all of us working harder and more efficiently and our vacations were well-earned. We ended up being far more productive long term.

  • Like 19
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Forgetting to enjoy my kids. That's 1, 2, & 3.

 

Academics are important but my first job as a mother is to love my kids & that requires a good relationship. Sometimes that got sacrificed in the name of "education".

Oh. This is ouchie true.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll add this as number 3: I started off thinking not creating a strict school calendar meant we would have more freedom and be more efficient. The opposite was actually true. Creating a calendar had all of us working harder and more efficiently and our vacations were well-earned. We ended up being far more productive long term.

That is SO bang on. Nothing had improved our homeschooling consistency and rigor more than a simple calendar and the accountability of checking things off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

#1: Forgetting to take off my teacher hat.  Homeschooling is something that we do, but it doesn't have to be our whole life.

 

#2: Giving in too easy when it gets hard or we are tired.  Occasionally is fine, more than that just breeds laziness and lack of progress.

 

#3: Not taking time to know our lessons ahead of time so that we have our supplies and any tweaks that are needed.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1.  Should have taken more pictures of the kids with their projects.

 

2.  Should have taken video of the kids when they began reading - maybe each month a new little video.

 

3.  Second-guessing my ability to teach - I'm graduating my first this year & she earned an academic scholarship for college - we did it!!

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll add this as number 3: I started off thinking not creating a strict school calendar meant we would have more freedom and be more efficient. The opposite was actually true. Creating a calendar had all of us working harder and more efficiently and our vacations were well-earned. We ended up being far more productive long term.

Your number three is a nice combo of my number one and two above!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. Trying to fit in too much.  

 

2. Purchasing all of a curriculum and multiple levels before knowing if it were a good fit.  Luckily it has been for the most part, but I realize that I could have really blown it.

 

3. Pushing to finish something by the end of the week.  This is my own control/organization issue, but I like to start out each week fresh.  However, I need to relax a little (well probably a lot) to allow my kids to get into something.  I start to get impatient when I should be reveling in their desire to explore and learn more about something.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Not scheduling time for me to regenerate and refresh ("me time") rather than being haphazard about it.  It would have headed off burnout when I was dealing with a kid with sensory issues.

On a related note, not asking for help/accountability for taking better care of myself.  I have Seasonal Affective Disorder.  If I had an accountability buddy to make sure I did the self-care before I needed it, I would not have had so many difficult winters.

Not emphasizing how hard work counts as much or more than talent.  I think this would have helped my math-phobic kid to not feel so inferior as well as encourage my more academically talented kids to have higher goals and be more proactive for their futures. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Really, I can only think of one at the moment that seems shareable. I wish I'd focused more on handwriting when my boys were in kindy. I wish we had used the traditional three lined paper instead of HWT - it fit them better. I wish I'd made them do more coloring to support those small motor skills.

 

There are a lot of little things I wish I had done differently with my anxious kiddo. Mostly I guess I wish I had seen sooner that his anxiety was going to be something worth seeking outside help for. It built so slowly though. It was hard to know for a long time.

 

The big thing everyone is saying - too academic or too relaxed or whatever feels to me like we've mostly had the right balance and adjusted as needed.

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me, I was more lax in the early years and didn't get the "Grammar of education" down. As the kids grew older and I had more desire to move toward interest based education, we found many holes. This second time around we are putting a lot of effort into the Grammar stage for a strong foundation so that we may enjoy those teen years. Exploring, volunteering, sampling, to really figure out where they want.

 

Not traveling tons more.

 

More messy fun like science, art, dancing in the rain, mud fights, river floating, & etc.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. Viewing everything as "school"

When I have made this mistake, it meant that everything was conceptualized (by me) as "school." We take a walk, it's "nature study." We bake cornbread, it's "life skills." We go to choir practice, and I think of it as "music instruction."  :banghead:    I am getting better at not doing this.

 

2. Not taking care of myself enough

When I have made this mistake, it has included such things as staying up too late (to plan, of course!), not exercising, skipping lunch so I can get more done, not taking time to schedule my own medical appointments, and just not taking time to rest or recover when I've needed to. I would say it has also included a heaping helping of GUILT for (at times) having less energy than I would like, even though a large part of that has been reestablishing a good level with a new thyroid hormone (I have no thyroid). I have had to learn that I am not a machine, I am a person, in a body, and that body needs good care. And guilt, what does that accomplish?

 

3. Getting (occasionally) frustrated with my children, especially my firstborn

Poor kid, she is bright and an absolute sweetie pie, but sometimes she can be a flake. Following directions is not her strong suit, and there are days when I need more patience and empathy with her than I can find. Sigh. We work it out... but there are a few things I wish I could take back, you know? She is in 4th grade now, and just the other day -- dare I admit this? -- she mentioned that sometimes I say things that hurt her. "For example," she continued, "when I was in 3rd grade, and was having an off day, and you said, 'When will you EVER learn subtraction?' well, that just broke my heart." Tears, moanings, apologies (on my part), and hugs and kisses. So that wound was over a year old, and I had no idea it was even there. Wow, this is hard.

 

So, Chelli, those are my top three, but of course there are many more where those came from. HTH.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. Viewing everything as "school"

When I have made this mistake, it meant that everything was conceptualized (by me) as "school." We take a walk, it's "nature study." We bake cornbread, it's "life skills." We go to choir practice, and I think of it as "music instruction." :banghead: I am getting better at not doing this.

 

2. Not taking care of myself enough

When I have made this mistake, it has included such things as staying up too late (to plan, of course!), not exercising, skipping lunch so I can get more done, not taking time to schedule my own medical appointments, and just not taking time to rest or recover when I've needed to. I would say it has also included a heaping helping of GUILT for (at times) having less energy than I would like, even though a large part of that has been reestablishing a good level with a new thyroid hormone (I have no thyroid). I have had to learn that I am not a machine, I am a person, in a body, and that body needs good care. And guilt, what does that accomplish?

 

3. Getting frustrated with my children, especially my firstborn

Poor kid, she is an absolute sweetie pie, but sometimes she can be a flake. Following directions is not her strong suit, and there are days when I need more patience and empathy with her than I can find. Sigh. We work it out... but there are a few things I wish I could take back, you know? She is in 4th grade now, and just the other day -- dare I admit this? -- she mentioned that sometimes I say things that hurt her. "For example," she continued, "when I was in 3rd grade, and was having an off day, and you said, 'When will you EVER learn subtraction?' well, that just broke my heart." Tears, moanings, apologies (on my part), and hugs and kisses. So that wound was over a year old, and I had no idea it was even there. Wow, this is hard.

 

So, Chelli, those are my top three, but of course there are many more where those came from. HTH.

Your first kiddo and mine sound identical. I am trying so, so hard to rectify this before it does any damage. Big hugs to you both!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1) incorrect expectations - too high, too low, based on public school, based on my experience, comparing to other HSers, forgetting learning differences, etc

 

2) letting our flexibility tie us into knots - allowing other things to encroach on school time, over scheduling, and letting people take advantage of me/us during the day instead of saying "no"

 

3) not taking care of me - really this is stupidness mistaken for selflessness

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aside from putting her is PS K-2nd?

 

-Not taking enough time off to transition. We really only took the summer off, and jumped right in to school in the fall-looking back, I wish we had just unschooled/not focused so much on the school part of HSing our first year.

 

-Focusing too much on meeting outside standards/expectations. Though I swore I didn't want to school at home, i found myself doing just that our first year, and even this year have caught myself falling back on bad habits and wonky thinking at times.

 

-Looking back as we near the end of our 2nd year, I would say overal the biggest mistake was rushing into it-feeling like I had to pick the perfect curricula, start the perfect schedule, do ALL THE THINGS. I should've just listened to the part of me that pulled her out of school in the first place-the part that said she was burned out on school and needed to go back to the way we did things before I sent her off to school (no curricula, a daily routine (but not a rigid/frantic schedule), lots of trips to the library and parks, reading, reading and more reading).

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I swung too widely from rigid Classical schooling to uber-relaxed eclectic schooling.  The U-turn back to the middle has been rough.

 

I wish I hadn't tried to push for independence so early.  I let their *desire for independence win out over their *ability to work independently.  Now there are some power struggles.

 

I wish I could go back in time and buy a house that's more homeschool-friendly.  Getting middle schoolers to focus while reading with an elementary kid and chasing a preschooler in a tiny, open floor plan is extremely stressful and I feel like nobody has a chance to really concentrate on what they're doing. ETA:  If my teenager was homeschooling high school right now, I think I'd lose my mind.

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been happy with our balance of academic and fun. I feel like my boys have gotten a good education. I've liked the curricula we've used. Homeschooling has really been the only option for my older boys. Academics haven't been the sticking point for us.

 

Instead, I see limitations to homeschooling in general. I think it can be isolating and parents need to do a lot to make sure their children are interacting with a wide variety of people. Not just going to a coop three times a week, or going to church, or whatever. Those all provide a lot of socializing, but it's hard to break out of the parents' socioeconomic, religious, and ethnic circles and really see how other people live. Public school at least puts kids together from a wide variety of backgrounds unless you live in a very homogenous town and hopefully the teachers are a diverse group too.

 

Even though homeschooling has been the only option, our life situation has made it hard. We've moved a lot, usually without much money, and often internationally. I haven't always had a library, books, decent internet, or friends for my kids. Sometimes I've had a hard time dealing with the moves. Homeschooling overseas means that it's much harder to pick up the local language, both for me and my children. All of those things have limited us even though we've also had some amazing experiences and I wouldn't go back and change much.

 

The last two years have been rough with one of my children here in Mexico. I think we picked a good homeschooling option for him but he wasn't quite ready for as much independence as he wanted.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think most of my mistakes so far have been errors in expectations.

1) Expecting my two boys to be about the same when it came to academic development and skills. 

2) Expecting that I could do it all without building structure first.

3) Expecting that the curriculum would do its job without me. :D

 

Yep. Me and my foolish Expect-itis.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nothing. I think we've done pretty well. Sure, we've made mistakes, but nothing I would say, "I gee, I wish I wouldn't have done that!" Overall, my kids have done well and we're all pretty happy. I'm glad we started phonics in kindergarten, sure we've switched curriculum around from time to time, but I like to think of it more as fine tuning rather than having made a big mistake. My oldest is very difficult, but as it is with most difficult children, you pretty much blunder your way through and do what you think is best.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

#1 Losing my temper with Ds10. We are still repairing the damage.

#2 Being too lax with the kids. They think they are dying if they have to *actually write something down*.

#3 Mismanaging our time. I'm not sure what to do to fix this one.
 

What I probably should regret but don't: many trips to visit family that cut into our school year, long lunch breaks on nice days, and unused curriculum sitting on my shelves (sometimes you have to look at something to know if it will work).

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1.  underestimating the amount of time needed (4.5 hrs/day for the kids = 6.5-8 hrs for me)

2.  over-scheduling activities outside of the home

3.  trying to have a detailed lesson plan for the whole year.  Setting big goals for the year then taking it day by day has worked so much better because kids don't learn according to schedule. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We're still early on so I'm sure I have plenty more mistakes ahead of me. But so far:

 

1. Spending more time researching, planning, prepping, and making sure every little detail was just. so. than actually working with my child. (and that was just for K which probably didn't need a fraction of that research, planning, and prepping)

 

2. Losing my temper over anything during school. This usually ends up with her crying and declaring she hates school. So not worth it, even if she really is being intentionally difficult at the time. I'm trying to recognize that as a sign that we need a break, a different approach, or just to leave that subject alone for the day.

 

3. Stopping Hooked on Phonics. DD loved it, I did not. I felt like it was holding her back because she always knew all the lessons our first time through the dvd. We were going so slowly and I knew she was capable of much more. So we switched to OPGTR and I was right, she was way beyond where we were in HoP. But she hated phonics and reading after that. She asked for a long time to go back to HoP but I didn't do it. She *still* (over a year later) asks but she's reading at about a 4th grade level now. I've still considered letting her, even though it would mean opening the first grade boxes up that are currently still sealed so I'd get more money from them as is. And she's obviously ahead of the material. But she fights reading and she used to be excited about it. :/

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Surely I will have more mistakes as I age! But for now:

 

Slavishly following a curriculum when I could and should have 'tweaked' it.....

 

Not having a strong routine for housekeeping chores!....

 

Overthinking it and working myself into anxiety when I just needed to trust that my choices were solid.

 

Fortunately I *think* I'm all better on these points now!  

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

starting too early

 

doing too much curriculum in elementary school

 

not just studying what they wanted but feeling locked in to the 4 year cycle

 

 

However, I also feel all my mistakes have given my kids a solid education up to this point.  I feel confident going into high school they are on the right track to do well academically and get into college.  Would I do it differently if I had more kids? probably.  It was stressful to me.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...