Homeschooling Regrets-Use Them To Learn How to Homeschool
Homeschooling Regrets, This summer, my husband and I got to take our three grown children and son-in-law to England for a family vacation. (Ever since then I have been on a historical fiction kick. I just read a novel about Lady Jane Grey, and I am reading one right now about Queen Elizabeth.) One thing I was struck by was how they go out and walk through nature and enjoy the out of doors. They also have a tutor who is right there working with them and asking them questions.
It got me to thinking that I wish I lived during that day and age and could raise my kids in that culture. The way I homeschooled my children left me with a few regrets. Now do not get me wrong, the time when I was homeschooling was one of the best seasons of my life. The pace and activity were right for our family, and I loved seeing my children light up as they learned different things about our world. But if I had it to do all over again, I would probably change three things.
How to Homeschool - Regret #1 - Nature Studies
But for some reason, I was struck as I was reading about Queen Elizabeth. I wish we had done a few nature studies. Of course, that means we would have started homeschooling earlier when my children were about 4 or 5 years old.
Nature studies involve going out to the park and learning about whatever is around us. I love the idea of spending a little more time discovering the world through nature. I do not mean walking with no purpose. I mean, you see a tree and get excited. Then you go and research all about it. The children can enjoy God's creation a little bit more this way. I think this is such a great idea that I am even hoping that when we have grandkids that would be something I would like to do with them.
How to Homeschool - Regret #2 - Reading
In our later years of homeschooling, I spent more time reading aloud to my kids. I wish we had spent more time on language, reading, those type of things in the younger years and then really did more specific academics starting in 6th, 7th or 8th grade. I know that is a radical thing to say, but the truth is that everything a child needs to learn can be taught through reading and discussing with a mentor.
This method is what well-meaning parents had used for centuries before the idea of public schools came along. But I believe, I didn't I have this mindset until midway through homeschooling. With my son, who, I approached school this way. For example, I took him off textbook math. Now that does not mean we did not ever do the math. Math is all around you, and you cannot help but do the math.
As far as memorizing times tables, we did not do that until he got into 6th grade. I will be honest and admit there were a couple of little embarrassing moments for him, like when he was in 3rd grade in the baseball dugout and did not know specific times tables. He figured them out pretty quickly just on his own, but he was not initially in the same place as all the other kids.
Once we did start math, he caught up with the public school kids within about a year. He even got a math award last year and is taking calculus this year. It goes to show that moms and dads sometimes get too worked up about trying to cram everything into our kids so young. Take it easy. I wish I had just taken it easy and done a lot more reading.
How to Homeschool - Regret #3 - Spanish
The other thing I wish I would have taken advantage of with my kids when they were young was their foreign language development. I wish that I had been more diligent to teach them Spanish. We live in Texas and wish we knew more Spanish because of all of the people in our town speak it. I hope during those developmental ages, from 4 to 8 years old, that I had spent more time doing that than math or whatever else it was.
Even if I had even taken 15 minutes a day to work on Spanish, either listening to Spanish tapes or finding some Spanish DVDs, stories like cartoons, or watching a movie we had in Spanish, I know my kids would be better for it.
Homeschooling Regrets Summary
Honestly, it is too easy to look back and see all the things I wish we would have done differently. If I had it to do all over again, I would incorporate all of these things I just mentioned, but I would also do a lot of it the same. In the end, the goal is still the same: to raise leaders, not just followers. So the key is to focus on those things that will produce the end goal. No wonder so many ask, "How do I homeschool?"