Reflections on Our First Year of Homeschool

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Homeschooling Family
I have been doing a lot of reflecting lately of our homeschool. I am always thinking about it. Am I doing enough? Am I doing it the right way? What could I improve? Is he learning what he needs to learn? Am I doing what God wants me to do? I think that it’s a good thing to reflect on what you’re doing, but then there is the point when you just need to accept it and move on.
Here’s what I’m talking about. I am the type of person who will over-think things to the point of being paralyzed to be able to do anything. I mean, I can get to the point where I am so obsessed about what I’ve done and what I think I should do next, that I won’t be able to do anything at all. That’s not a good thing. The problem that I have is that I don’t “do” homeschool like anyone else that I know. I am not a traditional teacher; never have been.
Even when I was teaching in the public schools, I didn’t use our textbooks all that much. We aren’t unschoolers because we don’t just do what he’s interested in even though I do create unit studies around things he likes and include the objectives he needs to learn. I’m not a workbook-teacher manual type of teacher. I am an activity driven, hands-on teacher who has an activity-driven, hands-on type of learner. Thank goodness we match! We have a routine, but a flexible schedule (if that makes any sense). We take advantage of teachable moments throughout each and every day. In the eyes of others, it looks like we aren’t “doing school”.
I am fighting a battle that I can never win. But, I don’t have to! I have come to the conclusion that we are doing what’s right for us and that’s great! I think too many homeschooling parents “do” homeschool the way their neighbor does it, and then wonder why it’s not working. Our homeschool is working and I need to stop obsessing about it!
As I look back throughout our first year of homeschooling, I have mixed feelings. I am proud of what we have accomplished and what my son has learned. We have grown closer as a family and that, to me, is priceless! We have done so many things and have learned a ton. Things weren’t as “organized” and “structured” as I would have liked, but it’s a work in progress. We were trying to figure out how we want to homeschool and what works for us. Juggling a little tot along with trying to “do school” was a challenge as well. I have learned that I need to “structure” some “unstructured” play for my little tot. What I mean by that is that I need to have some options for him. I also need to involve both boys in learning at the same time, as much as possible.
Summer is getting closer and I have been getting the question, “When are you ending for the year?” That took me off guard because I honestly I hadn’t even thought about it. I have come to the conclusion that we are going to continue through the summer, just with some breaks and flexibility built in. If an opportunity comes up to be able to “play” with our friends, we are absolutely going to take it. But, I know my boys and they also need some structure throughout the summer. So we will play and do school throughout the summer.
So what have I learned through this first year of homeschooling? Here’s a short list that I have come up with:

  1. Pray for God’s guidance in our homeschool. He knows what’s best.
  2. I am so glad that we homeschool because I get to have so much time with my family!
  3. I need to stop obsessing about what others are doing.
  4. We need to do what’s best for us.
  5. Relax and enjoy!
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