This post is from contributor, Sharla Kostelyk
I have been homeschooling for over 14 years and the longer I homeschool, the more I realize I have to learn. There are, however, some things I know for sure.
I know there is no right way.
What works for one child of yours will not necessarily work for your next one. What works one year may not work the next. There are seasons of life and there are different learning styles and those affect what works best for homeschooling.
Charlotte Mason, Montessori, online classes, boxed curriculum, eclectic, classical, unschooling, Waldorf, unit studies, self-directed–no matter what approach you take to homeschooling, there is no right way other than the way that works best for your family at that time.
I know what works for one family doesn’t necessarily work for another.
Homeschooling is one of those things (like parenting) that is very hard to give advice on. Sometimes, something is working so well for us that I want to shout it from the rooftops. I remember when we first started using workboxes, I told everyone I knew how well they were working for us and several of my homeschooling friends tried it. Some loved it. Others hated it. What works well for my family does not necessarily work for your family and vice versa!
I know that I know less than I used to.
When I first started homeschooling, I had researched and asked questions and had all my bright shiny curriculum in front of me. I thought I knew a lot about homeschooling. Every year, meeting new people, doing more reading about homeschooling, seeing what worked and what didn’t with my kids, I began to realize that even by the time my kids are all graduated, I still won’t know all there is to know about homeschooling (or much else for that matter!).
I know it is a challenge.
Having the kids with me ALL THE TIME, not being able to run errands by myself, not being able to even go to the bathroom without interruption, is a challenge to say the least. Having the pressure of not just raising kids of character, but also being responsible for their education is a challenge. The planning, the work, the sibling rivalry, the worry, the burnout…there is no doubt that homeschooling is a challenge.
I know it is a blessing.
These years go by so quickly. Before you know it, the kids are grown and gone. Our oldest already is, so I know all too well how quickly those years go. The extra time that homeschooling gives you with your kids really is a blessing.
Being there to witness the look on your child’s face when they discover something new, being the one to first hear them read, celebrating with them when they overcome an obstacle, getting to know them as they grow into a young adult–these are just some of the blessings that are yours when you are a homeschool parent.
Most of all, this is what I know about homeschooling: it is worth it!
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