6 Lessons from Homeschooling My Boys

By The Petite Plantation - February 23, 2019

Lessons Learned from Homeschooling | You don't need a homeschool room!

When I first began homeschooling my youngest his junior kindergarten year in 2014, I wasn't really sure why I wanted to homeschool, what I needed to do, what method of homeschool was best, or what homeschooling required of me, but I was certain I wanted to be the one educating our all future children!

We've been homeschooling for a few years now and have really fallen into a rhythm or groove with our own style of homeschooling but it didn't come easy. Our first year of homeschooling was totally ruined by this newbie homeschool mama trying to do 'school at home' and missing the whole point to homeschooling. I felt like a complete failure and fraud!

Needless to say, my children weren't the only humans getting educated in this homeschooling journey of ours. I have learned so much and I want to share it all right here with families who are considering homeschooling and to encourage families who are just beginning to home educate their children.

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You don't need to have it all together...

Homeschooling is a lot of work and it will take time before you fall into your rhythm so don't feel like you have to have it all together, all the time. Subjects will be forgotten, pyjama days will be had, you will be late, you may fall behind in your studies, and you may never drink your morning coffee hot again but.. this is important.. learn from this. 

All of these things that seem like they are going wrong are actually all signs, cues, and directions to what your homeschool rhythm needs to look like. If you are over scheduled and are having a hard time getting everything done in your day, stop and listen to the cues, re-evaluate and adjust your homeschool schedule. 

Just because you may not feel like you have it all together like a Pinterest mom, it does not mean you have to, or that you aren't finding your own unique homeschool rhythm when it may feel like you are failing.

Lessons Learned from Homeschooling | You can do what works for your family!

You can do what works for YOUR family...

There are all kinds of homeschooling methods out there. Montessori, Waldorf, Classical, School at Home, Charlotte Mason, and Unschool, to name a few. If one of these styles aligns perfectly with your homeschool beliefs or values and will work well for your family, dive in and have fun with it! But, you don't have to pick one. It isn't written anywhere that you need to pick one of the above methods and stick to it, to homeschool your children. 

Do what works for your family. If you are unsure of how you want to home educate your children, do a little research on each of these methods and see what speaks to you, what you like about each method, and what will work with your family dynamics. This could mean that you are pulling your favourite parts out of each method for an eclectic homeschool.

When I first started homeschooling, I went with what looked School at Home but what actually works for our family, and what our children thrive with, is a mix of secular homeschool, Charlotte Mason and Unschool!

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You will find your people...

The community has become more and more diverse over the few years we've been homeschooling, but in the beginning, I couldn't find a homeschooler in our small town I could relate with if my life depended on it! But now, with billions of social media accounts and more families choosing to homeschool, the online community is quite large and diverse. So start there.

Once I found a local homeschool group on Facebook that aligned with our values, we had so much more moral support, a community of likeminded homeschoolers, and our children made those priceless long term childhood relationships we feel are incredibly important.

Homeschooling can be isolating so you will want to find your people, and you will, and it will feel magical!

Lessons Learned from Homeschooling | You don't need expensive curriculum!

You don't need to pay an arm & a leg for curriculum...

Sound the alarm because you can homeschool for little to no money spent on curriculum! When we first started homeschooling in 2014, we started shopping for complete curriculum programs that would have set us back $750 a year, but what we have learned over the years is that you can actually homeschool, for very little.

I mean, if you have the money to spend on curriculum, and it works for your family, go for it! But if you want to save the money so your spouse can work less, there are all kinds of resources out there and Pinterest is a homeschooler's treasure trove. What we would rather spend our money on is national park passes, admission to museums, and travel expenses so we can explore nature studies... out. in. nature!

We spend very little on curriculum each year because we love to use Chalkboard Publishing. You can create an account and get access to their digital library of thousands of worksheets, workbooks and activities on all kids of different subjects! I can easily find what I'm looking for and print it off at home without breaking the bank! Here is an in-depth review of Chalkboard Publishing if you want to learn more about their affordable curriculum.

Here is a huge list of free or inexpensive homeschool resources!

Lessons Learned from Homeschooling | You can homeschool anywhere!

You can homeschool anywhere...

When we first started homeschooling we had a three story town home with an entire basement to peruse while we learned. I felt obligated to fill this space with fun and educational toys, letters and numbers but now we live in a tiny home and we are homeschooling a second child in a fraction of the space.

What I have learned over the last few years as I became a minimalist and homeschooling at the same time is you don't need a dedicated room, you don't need baskets and baskets of manipulatives or toys, and your classroom doesn't just exist around the kitchen table. Take a look at this list of what a minimalist homeschooler actually needs.

Our best homeschool days have happened in aquariums, museums, and walking on the ocean floor with a notebook! Don't let space hold you back and don't limit yourself to a classroom.

You will learn so much about yourself...

Sure, you'll learn a lot about your children. They'll let you know what they enjoy or don't, what they are great at, what they struggle with, and what really lights them up but homeschooling will teach you so much more about yourself.

I can't tell you what you will learn about yourself, but for myself, I have learned I needed to be more patient with them, to listen to what they are saying and what they weren't saying. I've learned that it takes everything I have to stay consistent with their studies. I have learned, although I still doubt it from time to time, that I am a great mom and that I absolutely love homeschooling!

You may also enjoy: Reasons why our family chose to homeschool our children..

6 Lessons I learned from homeschooling my two boys!

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