It seems that I have so many friends that are starting up homeschooling, and I find that I am biting my tongue with all the information that I want to give them. The #1 thing being – don’t try to make it too much like “school.” But, then I started thinking about the things that I would do differently if I were to have a magic time traveling Dellorian (I have no idea how to spell that) and could start over again at the beginning.
So, if I had it all to do over again, I…
Would skip private “preschool”
At the time, it made so much sense to me – put them into preschool (ages 2 – 4) for early socialization skills and then we would move on to homeschooling for Kindergarten. Yeah, the problem with that is that they are also getting all kinds of bad information at their most impressionable age. I have had to undo reading training, build up self esteem, and a whole world of other things that I can’t really remember right now because of this mistake. It would have been so much more fun to have spent our days together just experiencing the world.
Would not buy one of those little school desks for each child
Wouldn’t buy even one of them. Not that the desks themselves are bad, but they were a symptom of what I was trying to do. For some reason, I had it in my mind that homeschool was supposed to be just like the school that I went to – only at home. After all, I turned out great, didn’t I? I was just doing it at home because of all the negative influences out there. So, while my own schooling was adequate and I learned a lot, I realized that it was not the only way to learn – it IS possible to learn about a new math concept while snuggling on the couch or learn about sea animals while walking on the beach.
Would not buy any workbook that looked like busy work
Oh, my goodness, how I used to love the workbook. What a simple way to find out what they know, right? Wrong – it is a way to make them realize all the things that they do not know. Now, we much prefer the Charlotte Mason practice of narration to discover what they truly remember. If they don’t remember much, then it’s my job to find a way to present it in a more interesting manner or consider that maybe what they remember is the most important part.
I would have read aloud more
I would love to have those days back and just snuggle on the couch with them reading the day away. I was way too focused on getting them to be able to read for themselves as early as possible instead of realizing that it would come and it wasn’t a race to see who could get there first.
I would have taken them on nature explorations more
I wish that we would have gone to the beach or for a walk on a nature trail more – wouldn’t it have been so much more interesting to experience nature instead of just reading about it.
I would have done more projects
I wish I would have known about lapbooking back then. I really think that would have been something that we would have enjoyed doing – but, now they tell me they are too old for such things.
I guess, what I’m saying is that if I had it to do all over again, I would have just flat ENJOYED my children more – not that I’m not enjoying them now, but I hate looking back at all that wasted time trying to recreate a school environment at home instead of celebrating learning in a HOME environment.