5 Things I Learned While Homeschooling My Kids
My children have learned a lot in the eight years we’ve been homeschooling, but I have learned some pretty important things myself, both from what we’ve studied and from my children. I am thankful that they are learning these lessons early and that I’m not too old to learn with my children.
Here are a few of the things I have learned while homeschooling my kids:
- It doesn’t have to be perfect to be good enough. I spend a lot of time pursuing perfection in things that don’t matter. My children have taught me that I can release that need and move forward to enjoy life. This is especially true when it comes to art projects and the results of knitting or crochet projects. I want to scrap the whole thing and start over if I make a small mistake. The girls are showing me that imperfections are okay. I can just relax and enjoy the process and the finished product, perfect or not.
- I don’t have to finish a book just because I started it. I can’t count the number of hours (days?) I’ve wasted trying to finish a book I really didn’t enjoy just because I had started it. (And I’m talking about reading for leisure here, not required reading for a school assignment. 😉 ) It’s freeing to be able to set a book aside or delete it from my e-reader if I’ve given it a fair chance and still don’t like it. I prefer to spend my precious “me time” reading something I really enjoy!
- You don’t have to do something you’re passionate about every day to be committed to it. In the past, I have fallen into the trap of thinking that in order to pursue interests I’m passionate about, I really need to invest in each of them every day. Unfortunately, there really aren’t enough hours in the day to read, write, crochet, knit, and whatever else I want to do. Work, homeschooling, dishes, laundry, errands, meal preparation, and other tasks fill my days to overflowing already. I used to try to squeeze a few minutes of each activity into every day, believing that I really needed to if I was going to accomplish something and be committed to certain projects. My children have shown me that this isn’t necessary. As I watch my older daughter devour a book series to the exclusion of doing almost anything else for a couple of weeks, then turn to a knitting project she wants to complete the next week, then work on a Minecraft world she’s building the next, I realize that I can pursue my interests consecutively instead of simultaneously too. This makes my free time a lot more fun!
- It’s important to balance work and play. My children have no problem with this one. They will lean towards play if I let them, but since lessons are non-negotiable, they quickly buckle down to do the work and get finished. Then they complete their chores so they can move on to whatever art creation, book, knitting project, or Minecraft world has their attention. I find myself wasting a lot of time procrastinating instead of doing my work, which means I lose all my play time. I need to follow my children’s example and get my work done so I have more time for my interests as well as spending time with my family.
- Find work out of your passions. We give our children room to try different things they’re interested in. In the process, they’re learning what their strengths and weaknesses are, and they’re beginning to develop potential plans for work that focus on their strengths and their passions. My husband really loves sales, and that makes him a better sales rep. I love writing, so finding work that involves writing is a great fit for me. It’s easy to forget that work isn’t all about making money, but as I see my children follow their dad and me in thinking about work that capitalizes on things they’re passionate about and good at, I realize that if you can get work that relates to one of your special interests, you are blessed!
Bonus: Dreaming is good and necessary. My children dream big dreams about a lot of different things. They know that all of their dreams won’t come true, but they know if they keep dreaming and working that some of them will. Until I heard my kids’ dreams, hopes, and plans, I didn’t realize that I had quit dreaming. I’ve started again, and sometimes we dream together. I realize that not all of my dreams will come true either, but I know that some will if I set goals and work toward them.
As we continue our homeschool journey, I’m excited about what we’ll continue to learn together!
What have you learned from your children?
Want to see what other homeschool moms have learned in their homeschools? Check out the “What Mommy Learned in Homeschool This Year” blog hop with the bloggers of iHomeschool Network!