If I had only known…
What have you learned on your homeschooling journey? What would you/did you change?
I don’t think there is anything that I haven’t changed! If I had it to do over again, I would RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH. I had no idea at the time that there were so many wonderful options available. My sister-in-law and I have very similar tastes, so when I found out they were enjoying A Beka, I just knew that was the one for me. That was a very expensive mistake. We ended up hating it and dreading school every day. I finally sold the whole thing and we did workbooks for the rest of the year. It had nothing to do with A Beka – it is a great curriculum and my nieces & nephews excel with it. It just wasn’t the right fit for our family. I’ve been tinkering with things ever since, trying this & that, & keeping what works. I feel like this year is the first time I have been completely happy with our curriculum.
Helpful Tip #1: Spend some time and prayerfully look through websites & catalogs. Most publishers will have samples on their sites. Here are two places to start:
Cathy Duffy– great info on her website & many libraries have her book.
Rainbow Resource – this is the mother of all homeschool catalogs, about 2 inches thick. It would be a little too overwhelming to actually pick out your curriculum from this for the first time, but here’s what it is good for: it will give you an idea of just how vast the choices are if you have no idea what’s out there.
Helpful Tip #2: Don’t really give much weight to anyone’s opinion about a particular curriculum. It is waaaaay too subjective. For example: We LOVE Saxon Math. I enjoy teaching it, my kids enjoy learning it, and I would tell anyone that it is the best Math out there. Know what you’ll find if you talk to enough people or visit enough message boards? There are lots of people that HATE Saxon Math, to the point where it borders on child abuse to force your children to use it. I was afraid that one of us was going to go into a coma, fall out of a chair, and sustain a fatal head wound if we continued with A Beka. Your family might grow & blossom & think every day is a party while using A Beka. That’s because God made us all different! (Didn’t we learn that in Bible class when we were, like, 3?) Welcome to the beauty of homeschool.
Helpful Tip #3: Listen carefully to me now, this is important. You.Do.Not.Have.To.Do.Every.Assignment. WorkbookPage.Or.Problem.Just.Because.It’s. In.The.Book. Did you get that? Give yourself permission to just let it go if your kids don’t need it. We throw out the first month of lessons in our math because it’s just basic review of what we just finished, written to refresh minds or catch kids up who may be jumping into a new curriculum.
I could spend the rest of the day writing about mistakes made & things I changed, but for some reason my family thinks hot food & clean clothes are necessities. You”ll have to visit Back to Homeschool Week, hosted by Randi, to read more or play along.