Jump to content

Menu

Homeschool Parents, Please Answer My Question


Recommended Posts

#1- trying to make sure my kids were grade level even when it became clear that there are LDs and SN issues that require we take a different path

 

#2- not adjusting my expectations to our reality quickly enough

 

#3- allowing my average student to coast as all my energy/attention was consumed by the students with SNs (something I am still working to right and find balance in)

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Not spending enough time on memorization and narrations when the olders were in elementary.

2. Not being at peace right away with making changes away from my ideals when they became necessary.

3. Forgetting that character training is only learned when practiced.  Reading about it, no matter how much, doesn't count as learning it, it counts as introducing it.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

can I add #4 - overcomplicating things - looking at every possible curriculum in an attempt to find what is THE best, and then stewing over decisions, and second guessing myself, and then going back to the boards and spendning hours researching other curriculum, and spending oodles of time weighing the pros and cons of everything, to the point that I don't have the energy I need to get down to business :-/

  • Like 9
Link to post
Share on other sites

Comparing! To public schoolers, to other homeschoolers, to the other sibling... It's never good.

 

Sleeping in too often. My KIDS are often ready for school and waiting on ME. :(. Its so shameful and so true,

 

Over scheduling outside of the house. So many opportunities for enrichment! But we need to be home every once in a while to homeschool.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

1. telling other people what he was doing...they started comparing instead of being happy for us and throwing labels at us. I should have had short shallow answers ready.

2. worrying so much about socializing him...lol I spent so much money on soccer, t-ball, coop, worrying about swim lessons, camps, etc and he prefers cuddling to a readaloud and taking hikes and hunting/fishing.

3.

 

I can't think of 3 at the moment but we are young

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Not seeking out help. I have two friends in real life who don't read books on homeschooling, don't talk to others about it, and would never join the hive because you don't "know" their kids so you would be no help. I have learned *so much* from this place and that's after my entire mom/homeschool life was changed by reading books on classical education and CM. I parent differently. I teach differently. I'm more at peace. Those two women are so burnt out and frustrated that it hurts to watch them.

 

Eta: I'm saving my big mistakes for later. ;)

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure I could list tons more, but these are the ones that bother me the most.

  • switching math curriculum repeatedly
  • being too relaxed--I feel I've let them get away with too much (obedience wise)  and haven't been as consistent as I should have (school wise)
  • getting upset to the point of yelling when my kids don't understand something or aren't listening 
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Universal Minds

1. Trying to work through the summers. I really wanted to school year round, but it never worked for us. 

2. Not giving my kids enough independence. When I had a bunch of little ones we followed more of unit studies approach and I spent too much time trying to combine them. Also to go along with this, at that age, almost all the outside activities we did were together and they needed more time away from each other. 

3. Finding a balance between outsourcing classes and doing it ourselves. This happened as we realized the first one and I still struggle with it. My kids tend to love them and it's easier on me, but I don't want to miss out on the teaching and fun parts of homeschooling. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mine are totally typical of newbies---

#1---k need only take 39-60 min. (Not 4 hrs.)

#2---homeschool needs to work around your life (not the other way around)

#3---don't worry so much about keeping up with other homeschoolers (really, they 'll be ok if they can't read at 4!)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

My three biggest mistakes have been:

 

1. Scheduling too much to do during the school year.

 

2. Forgetting that my DD is 12 and probably not capable of handling college-level science yet. So, I guess that means unreasonably high expectations.

 

3. Losing my temper over stupid crap, such as careless work or the kids slacking off.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

My biggest mistakes

1 not following enough rabbit trails my kids are interested in, making their education their own and learning more fun.

2 not realizing early on that my kids learning differently and may need different curriculums to meet their specific needs

3 over scheduling and leaving less time to just be and have fun as a family.

  • Like 2
Link to post
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.

 

That's exactly how I feel!!!!!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

1. buying a small, fixer upper in a good school district: homeschooling takes space. If we hadn't picked a fixer upper and all the rooms were available, it would have been tight. With having a room or more constantly under construction, it's overcrowded and impossible to organize, keep quiet enough for kids to concentrate. Maybe if I had an only, maybe if I didn't have small kids, maybe... but I wish we had bought a bigger house in a worse school district, since we aren't using the schools anyway

2. letting my kids have too much input. I'm not saying we should completely dictate to our kids, but I let my oldest choose to attend kindergarten and she was way, way too young for that kind of decision

 

We've only been doing this a few years, so I'm not sure if I have more regrets than that, yet.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

You guys are AWESOME!!!!

 

And convicting. I was reading a lot of these thinking to myself, "Uh. That's what I do too."

 

Thanks for all of your help!

 

Please update this thread when you have added your thoughts to your blog.  I'd like to see what you came up with.  :thumbup:

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

#1 Not starting (pulling them out of ps) soon enough.

#2 Having unrealistic expectations.

#3 Working for perfection - anything that was wrong we corrected. My kids translated that into a belief that they can only win my approval by being perfect - not even close to true. :(  

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

It is interesting to see people on here state the exact opposite mistakes.

 

Too relaxed vs. too strict, too much research vs. too little research, etc.  I don't know if that is comforting or scary.  

 

1. Comparing

 

2. Overanalyzing

 

3. Making decisions based on fear (probably also related to the first two)

 

I really wish I had enjoyed my kids more earlier.  These mistakes are still the same ones I continue to fight against constantly....

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Failing to trust my instincts and knowledge as a parent, and thus putting too much stock in what other people say or think.

 

2. Believing that it is necessary to fit into a specific style or approach of home educating, and feel inadequate because no one approach seemed to be quite right for us.

 

3. Aiming for perfection, resulting in spending too much time and effort reading and thinking about educating, at the expense of actual time working/playing with my children ('analysis paralysis')

 

So the corollary of this - and my best advice for newbie home educators - would be:
1. You know your kids best. Trust your head and your gut, whatever others say.
2. You are "[insert names of your children] educating". It really truly isn't that important whether you are categorized as classical, CM, waldorf, unschooling, etc, or none of those things.
3. Limit your research phase and if in doubt about anything, just try it. Spend time with your kids. Don't expect perfection (remember an 80% perfect plan that gets done is infinitely better than a 100% perfect plan that is never quite finished).

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

can I add #4 - overcomplicating things - looking at every possible curriculum in an attempt to find what is THE best, and then stewing over decisions, and second guessing myself, and then going back to the boards and spendning hours researching other curriculum, and spending oodles of time weighing the pros and cons of everything, to the point that I don't have the energy I need to get down to business :-/

 

Definitely this!

 

and then after spending all this time getting the curriculum *I* thought works the best and realizing what works for everyone else didn't work for my kid :/ and that just because I think it's great doesn't mean my kids will. 

 

As a mom who pulled her kids out of public school I had to realize I did not have to re-create school at home. 

 

I started off homeschooling very relaxed but I realized that we need a schedule, having a schedule and making a year plan has made all the difference in our schooling. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I just wanted to say how encouraging I've found this thread.

 

So, from a beginning homeschool mom to everyone who's posted: Thanks for your wisdom. I know there were some differing opinions, but there were too many people with the same mistakes to chalk all these regrets up to differences of opinions/personalities/philosophies.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

1. buying curriculum too far ahead of time (still tempted to do this)

2. comparing my children to each other

3. not seeking help earlier for some of my concerns with my youngest

 

ETA: Same as pp--didn't see you already posted on your blog! Oh well!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Joining a co-op when my oldest were only in kindergarten. (What was I thinking?!?)

 

Of course I don't know what you were thinking, but I know why I have my 4yo in homeschool swim&gym and am considering putting him in homeschool science next year. Neither of those are co-ops, as they're run by the YMCA and the science museum respectively, but anyway...

 

1) It's a little bit cheaper than signing him up for swim lessons for every 8 week session throughout the school year, and easier since you have to register only once. :)

 

2) Meet people in my area who are homeschooling.

 

3) Socialization/get out of the house a bit (long, cold, snowy winters means not playing outside much in winter).

 

The homeschool swim&gym thing is working out quite nicely that way. Different age groups have class at different times, and since everyone but me has kids in older age groups my kid gets to play in the tumbling room (or at the playground when the weather is nice) with the other kids his age after his class is done. The only downside is that everyone is religious. Which is one of the reasons I'm considering doing the science thing at the science museum (hoping it will attract a more secular crowd). You only sign up for 4 weeks for that as they have different themes, but it's not that cheap (though the Y has spoiled me by being only $185 for a year of swim AND gym). I have a membership to the museum though, so I could just hang out at the museum around homeschool science time and see if I can meet some parents that way (the museum has a nice play area for the kids, so my kids like going as often as I'm willing to go anyway). I guess the reason I hadn't done that yet is because until the beginning of this month my 4yo went to daycare one day a week for my sanity, which happens to be the day that the science museum has homeschool science (which he's too young for anyway - he'll be old enough in the fall).

 

Obviously kind of too early to say much about homeschooling mistakes, but I'm beginning to think that I need to get on top of household chores a bit more. Part of me is like "I'm a stay-at-home PARENT, not a maid", but ultimately, it doesn't matter what percentage of housework I think I should be doing vs my wife... I'm the one spending the most time having to live in the mess. And then that negatively affects me and the kids. At least it's getting easier now that the youngest is not pulling everything off the shelves and out of the drawers *all the time*, and the oldest can do things like empty the dishwasher. Yes, time spent doing chores is time not spent doing stuff with the kids (well, depending on the chores... some do include the kids), but someone once said that a disorganized environment gets reflected in a disorganized mind (or something along those lines), and I'm beginning to think that that may be true and may be bad for the kids (not looking for a neat-freak environment/OCD mind either).

 

Another mistake of mine (although more applicable to my 2nd grade PS kid), is getting too worried ahead of time. Trying to learn that I don't have a crystal ball, and that we'll cross that bridge when we get there. Whatever that bridge is. Although it relates to homeschooling, because probably the main reason I didn't send in the letter of intent to homeschool him last summer was because my wife was flown to The Netherlands to have a job interview for a job she was really likely to get. She didn't get it. But it messed me up, because I spent a lot of time thinking about everything that would have had to happen if we were to move to NL, etc.

 

And, trying to learn to "just do it". At the end of 2013 I dubbed 2014 the year of health, and at the end of 2014 I dubbed 2015 the year of doing. I get too caught up in my head. I overthink things. Again, not specific to homeschooling, but I'm sure it's something I'll struggle with in everything I do.

Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Comparing ourselves too much to others...private, public, other homeschoolers, etc. still struggle with this. The grass is not always greener.

 

2. Planning too much, especially when I feel "behind"

 

3. Not giving myself a break when I need it. I need fellowship and other conversation. Homeschooling is a big part of my life right now, but it's not my entire identity. I need to get out and talk with other people about other things.

Link to post
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.

×
×
  • Create New...