Here are 25 things I learned during 25 years of home schooling my 8 children:
1. Home schooling is not mysterious, nor is it hard.
2. My relationships with my kids were not hindered by home schooling. That's not to say we have always been problem-free, it only means that we were not able to run from those problems, teaching us all to hit problems head-on, as they ought to be hit, and solve. It works. All my kids are good problem solvers and are not afraid of confrontation.
3. Home schooling is easier than I thought it would be.
4. Life is school, not just our "school hours."
5. Education is like a balanced diet. You might not see results immediately, but you will over time.
6. Letting each child learn at their own pace is really the best way to go.
7. Relax, let the curriculum do the work.
8. Relax, let the children do the work.
9. When frustration sets in, don't get upset. Frustration is normal. Take a break when it comes. It will come. It is temporary.
10. The world's model of education is not necessarily the best model for educating your kids. Even though the entire world revolves around a school schedule, you get to break out of that and follow your heart instead. It's much more fun, educational and beneficial to follow your heart rather than a school schedule created by the world. We created our own and it worked.
11. There will be people who will not agree with your decision to home school. Oh, well. There were plenty of people who did not agree with me even having "so many" kids, let alone home schooling them. I suppose they got over it........
12. It's vastly more important to instill a passion for learning rather than attempt to impart knowledge.
13. When it came to socialization, home schooling provided the best and most well-rounded opportunity of anything else I saw around us. My kids got to visit with the elderly at nursing homes, develop deeper relationships with neighbors of all ages, interact with adults more and serve others more often, all because of our home school flexibility.
14. Home schooling is cheaper than public school.
15. Grammar matters.
16. Manners matter.
17. Wildlife activity outside the window trumps book work every time. Without fail.
18. Snow days are ok any time of year.
19. Storm tracking is science.
20. Boys can do laundry.
21. Girls can do mechanics.
22. Boys and girls can both cook.
23. Kids learn from example. My passion for reading often translated into me packing up and taking the kids to the library, where we spent hours at story time, reading on the floor, hauling massive numbers of books home to read and meeting other families.
24. Field trips equal fun and learning.
25. It's important to get the basics, but it's equally important for the kids to run with their passion, whatever it may be. They will get all they need along the way.
So, while there is much, much more I learned during 25 years of home schooling 8 kids, these 25 things ought to give a family considering home schooling for themselves a lot to think about.
I say go for it. Do it.