1. I would spend the first 6-12 months to a year organizing my home, working on establishing a daily rhythm, and study my children.
2. I’d go to the library at least once a week allowing them to choose books that interest them, and hand picking random books for me to read aloud. I would be watching for what they are interested in, what makes them excited, what they find boring, etc.
3. I would rely on my husband more in creating a vision for our children, rather than trying to figure out what everyone else is doing. I wouldn’t waste a second trying to make what works for your kids work for mine. I’d keep my husband in the loop about our daily escapades and accept his advice more quickly. I mistakenly thought that because he worked outside the home all day he would be unable to see what the kids needed. This piece of humble pie would have been better to consume early in homeschooling.
4. Rather than spending countless hours worrying about this curriculum or that, I would begin with the family goals we have now:
- Put the highest priority on sharing our love for Jesus with our children.
- To insure the kids know their math facts inside and out. Period. Forget learning them, they need to over learn them.
- To inspire a love for literature by exposing the kids to a steady flow of great books. (I would read aloud daily no matter what their ages). I’d be picking the brains of the veteran homeschoolers, librarians, and authors that are in my sphere of influence for suggestions and I would prioritize a daily reading habit.
- I would focus all learning to develop excellent written and oral communication skills. I would find my children pen pals so they could perfect the friendly letter.
- I would have them do copy work from the masters and discuss why the sentences, paragraphs, essays, or stories are so great. I would understand that excellence in writing really comes from being well read and practice, tactics, practice.
5. I would find opportunities for my kids to stand and share in front of others, whether it is during a family BBQ or performing with the local theater- giving them the skill and confidence to speak in front of others.
6. I would view curriculum, tests, quizzes, and state tests as resources to help me customize each of the kids education, not the substance of their learning.
7. I would relax more.
I’d let the kids get dirtier.
I would get dirtier.
We would play in the rain, build in the snow, chase rainbows, cloud watch, visit the farm, play at the beach, collect more leaves, examine more bugs, watch more plays, attend the theater, interview our doctors and dentists, locate inspirational guests like missionaries, mechanical engineers, artists, poets, and ace mechanics to share their passions with the kids. I would put a map of the US and the world under glass or plastic across my kitchen table and every single time we read or heard about a place we would locate it on the map and discuss how close/far it is from us.
8. I would hide the duct tape…
9. I would do it all over again. And again. And again.
I know my children so much more intimately because of homeschooling. I am forever grateful for the vision my husband was given for our family.
How about you?
What are the top few things you would change if you could rewind the tape and homeschool those beginning years with the wisdom you have today?