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I never thought I’d be a homeschool parent. Not in a million years. And yet here I am! This month we start our 16th year of homeschooling and I often wonder where the time went. It seems like yesterday I was teaching our firstborn how to read and now she is writing her own books. How can this be?
Over the last 16+ years of being a homeschool parent I have learned many things, and I am not done learning yet. I absolutely love the challenges each new homeschooling day presents. I love being able to learn and discover new things with our three precious children. I love seeing the sparkle in their eye when they find something new that intrigues them.
I absolutely love being a homeschool parent. Today I am sharing 10 things that I have learned in the past 16 years of homeschooling our three precious children.
Things I’ve Learned Being a Homeschool Parent
1. Character training comes before academics.
When we first started out as a homeschool parent, I was more eager to check off my “to-do list” than nurture and train my firstborn to have Christ-like character. I learned very quickly that God had entrusted me with her heart to build her character first and academics would come easily. And they have. Now she’s entering into her second year of college with a 4.0 GPA.
2. You learn more than you teach even though you are the parent.
This has been true for me anyway. It never ceases to amaze me how much I learn from my children, teaching and re-teaching subjects to each of them, and by simply observing them. I learn about my children, myself, and relearn things that I thought I understood before. It’s truly fascinating.
3. School isn’t being glued to a desk for 7+ hours a day.
I am so glad that I know this now. When we first started I was trying to do school at home and it was causing a rift between my firstborn and I. We run a very relaxed homeschool and learning takes place all over our home, outside, and while traveling. Being a homeschool parent doesn’t have to be stressful, as a matter of fact it is a lot of fun.
4. Without a plan things won’t be pretty.
I know everyone plans their homeschool differently, and that is the freedom we have as home educators; to choose the plans best suited for our family. But I can tell you that “winging it” just doesn’t cut it. My favorite planning tool as a homeschool parent is The Organized Homeschool Planner.
5. The world is your classroom.
And it’s true! You can teach your children everywhere you go and both learning, life skills, and adventure await anywhere you are. This is one of the things I love most about being a homeschool parent – the sky is the limit!
MORE Things I’ve Learned Being a Homeschool Parent
6. No one is more equipped to teach your children than you are.
Does that mean no one else can? No. It just means that God has given you a special bond with your child to love them and understand them in a way that no one else can or will.
7. People learn best in a relaxed environment.
While all three of our children have completely different personalities but one thing is true for all of them: They do not learn well if they are stressed. Making sure the learning atmosphere is peaceful and relaxed has kept all of our children highly engaged and excited about learning. This information was like gold to this homeschool parent.
8. Meal time is of the best times to build relationships.
I cannot tell you how many wonderful conversations we’ve had with our children during a meal at the family table. And those conversations are full of love and bonding. And the best part? It doesn’t change when they grow up. Our teen son and college-age daughter are just as open today as they were when they were two-years-old.
9. Listen to your children when it comes to choosing their curriculum.
Do I mean let them pick it out themselves? Only if they are old enough to do so. What I am mostly referring to is that our children give us great insight into what they need if we will just listen. This has been a life-saver for this homeschool mom.
10. Books can take your children places you never could.
Reading is huge in our home and homeschool. Watching our children get lost in books and take adventures we could never provide them with is priceless.
I could fill the pages of a book with all of the wonderful things being a homeschool parent has taught me. I never had a clue the amazing adventure God was sending me on when He called me to homeschool all those years ago. I still have another decade to go and cannot wait to see the treasures that await us in that time. Being a homeschool parent is my favorite job in the world and I am honored to do it!