Choosing the right path for a child’s education can be difficult, especially when home education is the option. AND…..Whichever educational journey a family selects know that is comes with a lot of unintentional mistakes along the way.
Of course there are days I wake up and see a yellow school bus drive by wishing my students could frequent that school building for the day, as well as a paid teacher imparting school concepts helping to alleviate the struggle of ‘I don’t understand.’
Yet my reality and the path our family has chosen is a home education environment complete with our fair share of mistakes, plus most days I look forward to being with my children from a relational aspect.
I do not consider myself a home school ‘veteran’ yet, as we have only been on this journey for six years now, however the longer I home educate the more I CHANGE as a person, teacher and mother.
Don’t get me wrong there are still days that are ‘horrible, no good, and very bad,’ yet these are the days I have learned to humbly apologize, find a moment to breathe, and of course eat a lot more dark chocolate!
Here Are a Few Simple Mistakes I’ve Made, That One Should Avoid……..
- Paying for Curriculum & Then Not Using It- This is still a hard one as I try to be a good steward, yet sometimes a curriculum choice made for one child clearly does not work for another. I have had to STOP using certain books, because I disliked it as much as the student. It’s really not worth the agony of finishing, so just sell it at a used curriculum sale.
- Finishing Curriculum Until the End- Even though this is another hard one for me, because of my personality, its OKAY to leave some unfinished pages left undone. As long as the major concepts have been taught throughout the year, that one more ‘idea’ will not make or break the student.
- Choose Curriculum You (the teacher) Enjoy- Some subjects are just not that exciting, BUT if you can find a supplement to reinforce the concepts being taught, by all means use it!
- Take Mental Health Breaks- Teaching only one student six years ago was easy, and generally we would school year round, NOW three students later I am finding I need MORE mental breaks than in previous years. WHY, because elementary students are intense. They cannot read yet and depend so much on the teacher……phew!
- Know Your Personality- If your uncertain of who you are and how you operate in a teacher role, take a personality test. This by far has been the BEST knowledge I have EVER acquired. Knowing my personality makes for easier reasoning of the why I am getting frustrated, why is this making me irritated, or why do I care so much. Cathy Duffy has a FANTASTIC book, 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum, which teaches you about your personality and your students……..THIS information is really INVALUABLE!
- Excellence NOT Perfection- Requiring my students to have an excellence mentality without falling into the ‘perfectionist’ trap. There is a standard of completing daily work in a timely manner, yet sometimes life happens and assignments are pushed aside. Schedule a day for a make-up session or work individually with the student who needs a little extra help.
- Enjoy Your Children- A lot of times I forget that my students are STILL my children, and children make mistakes, act silly, goof off, get lazy, and have attitudes! These are the days to hug more, speak positive words over them, encourage their hearts, sit and read together, get in the kitchen and bake a yummy treat, or frequent the outdoors with a walk. Just let yourself make a beautiful family memory!
Most importantly do remember to give yourself GRACE on this journey, as it will be long, exhausting, as well as tedious and mundane.
However, there will BE moments when you see your child understand a mathematical concept, read for the first time, get excited over a project that inspires them or laugh at a book being read to them……AND you were there to observe these children, your students!
These are the days to cherish, hold close to your heart, as well as laugh at yourself when all goes awry, because TRUST ME the days are never-ending, and the older they become the more feedback, and corrections they need.
Enjoy The Journey Along The Way & Laugh A Lot!