VACATIONS and TRAVEL HAPPEN WHEN IT IS CONVENIENT FOR YOU: One of the biggest advantages of homeschooling is that you set your own schedule. If you want to start school at 6 am, noon, or 6 pm, that is entirely up to you. You make the decisions about which months, what days you have off, and when you vacation. Our family never took snow days; instead we had sick or dead animal days. We spent time taking care of a sick animal or grieving over a lost pet. We also have set our vacations for off season. We have seen the country, and we travel when it is convenient or when there is a business trip. I know many people that say, “but I have no problem pulling my kids out of school to travel.” And then their children get to middle school or high school, and the vacations, trips, or time together dwindles to nothing.
BE CAREFUL WHO YOU TAKE ADVICE FROM: One mom talked like an expert. I thought that she knew so much more than I did, and I devoured everything she said. It turned out she was just homeschooling a couple years longer than me, and her methods and teaching style were not in line with how I wanted to parent and homeschool. Today we are living in the era of everyone has an opinion to share. I have seen blogs by parents who haven’t even started homeschooling yet. Their children are still in public school and yet they are sharing their thoughts about what is best. It is similar to people telling you, “When I have kids they will never. . .” I think we all know how that ends up! There are also people who say, “I have homeschooled for 6 years” and their oldest is 9. Raising your children is not homeschooling. When looking for advice, make sure you talk to people who have faced challenges and overcome them.
REMEMBER TO JUST KEEP SWIMMING: It takes a long time to raise a child, but you blink and they are married with children of their own. I remember moments of being scared and overwhelmed, and the next moment I was on the top of the world. It seemed like the first several years were touch and go. I was never really confident. In fact, it wasn’t until my oldest son graduated with his Bachelors Degree in three years with a 4.0 that I thought, “I can do this.”. So far I have three adult children who are in the work force and are productive citizens. But if I had thrown in the towel in those early years, I would have missed out on so much joy, laughter, and learning.
REMEMBER TO PRAY: When you feel like giving up – Pray. When you feel defeated – Pray. When you want to send your children to military school – Pray. When you can’t find the curriculum to match what you are looking for – Pray. When you are taking care of your sick children, your husband is away on business, and you haven’t had a shower in 5 days – Pray. No matter what your question or issue is, praying will help you through every situation. I certainly don’t have all the answers, and I feel like I am still learning, but I know that my faith in Jesus Christ has been my best resource in this journey.
Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
And My DIRTY SECRET – THE LAUNDRY, DIRT AND CLUTTER ARE NEVER ENDING: If you are homeschooling, your children will track in dirt, they will have more laundry than their public school counterparts, and you will have books, science experiments and art projects taking up every surface of your kitchen, dining room, and living room. They are seldom away from you so you will never have an empty house to get all the cleaning done at once. It is a fact of life that you will eventually accept. Accept it now and make everyone in the household happier!
When people look at my family and see my three adult children, they say things like, “You are so blessed.” And my husband and I know that we have been blessed. We are still working on homeschooling the last two, and this journey has not always been the easiest, but it has certainly been an adventure!