How To Homeschool: 3 Things That Might Surprise You

Welcome back to How To Homeschool—a series addressing all aspects of secular homeschooling. You can view all the posts in the series so far here.

Becoming a homeschooling family is a lifestyle change. No matter how prepared you feel, there will always be aspects that surprise you.

This post will address a few key points {all positive} that I did not fully appreciate when we first undertook this venture. 

Sharpened colored pencils in order from light to dark form a semi-circle.

Conversations not related to “school topics” can provide the best learning opportunities.

People will say that both the best and worst aspect of homeschooling is all that togetherness. It is true . . . you are around your kids {and your kids are around their siblings} way more often than if they each went off to different classrooms {or schools} each weekday. And that means plenty of opportunities to chat . . . about everything. 

Probably one of the most profound discussions that arose organically out of that intense camaraderie was when the Agents innocently asked me what religion they were. That talk led to more mulling over, which led to a startling {at the time} revelation for me. For the Agents, it was simply a way to quantify and label what they had been feeling all along. It also fostered our love of world religions and mythologies, and even today it remains one of our favorite topics to explore.

Exposure over mastery is okay most of the time . . . even for older students.

Of course there are subjects where you need to master earlier steps before you can build {math, reading, foreign language}; however, many subjects we learn do not work that way. 

I strongly believe that children should be exposed to lots of ideas without always worrying about turning it into a teachable moment. You can always go back and memorize facts or give quizzes or write term papers . . . if that is your jam, and if you think it will help. 

Do not let the thought that you need to be “teaching” all the time stop you from simply wandering around the zoo, watching a documentary just for fun, or choosing random selections from the library because the pictures look pretty. When your students are ready for more concentrated study, they will let you know. 

If you consistently expose your students to good books, fun places, and interesting people, they will greatly benefit and be more well-rounded for it. They will love learning, and not see it as something they need a break from.

The teacher is also always learning.

I doubt I would have ever read as many books, or started Spanish lessons again, or discovered how much I enjoy podcasts, or done any of the “educational” things I have in the past several years if it weren’t for homeschooling. Because I am responsible for my children’s education in a way that I would not be if they went to public school, I feel compelled to keep learning alongside them. 

Also, much of my education over the years was, shall we say, lacking in many areas. My entire K-12 experience could be summarized as: I memorized efficiently and tested well. I was woefully unprepared for college and it’s amazing I didn’t give up and drop out. 

This is why I find homeschooling so fascinating: Much of what is new to them is “new” to me as well. At the very least, I’m seeing everything in a different light.

Next up we will be taking a closer look at the early years, and what exactly you need to be concerned with when homeschooling very young children.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. If you enjoyed this post, I would love to connect with you on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest.

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