Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

Four Things I’ve Learned About Home Schooling


DSCN7422These days I’m the wicked witch of the west around here.  Because I keep mentioning a start-up  date for homeschool, and my kids are happy to continue summer vacation, thank you very much. Where we live, local schools don’t open until after September 15th, which makes me extremely unpopular when I suggest starting in August. I’m trying to justify my dictatorial position by letting them know that in other parts of the world, kids are already starting school.

Home schooling was one thing I said I’d never do. Amazingly we are now in our 11th year, which is one more proof that you should never say “never.”   Now I’m grateful for the opportunity to foster a unique relationship with our kids while tailoring their education to meet their needs and interests.

Eleven years makes for lots of school days and many opportunities to learn alongside your kids.

So here are four things I’ve learned:

Home school’s not for everyone

I respect for those who choose a different educational option for their family because homeschooling is not for everyone.  It’s demanding. You need a special vision to carry on.  Not everyone has that.  Some of my closest friends feel like homeschooling is re-inventing the wheel. Why homeschool when the public schools are doing a fairly decent job? I respect their choice.

Don’t Push Your Kids too Much in the Early Years

Teaching reading and mathematics to young children can be extremely trying. You need the patience of Job sometimes when they just don’t get something that’s so easy for you. If your younger child has trouble paying attention, keep lessons short (10 minutes). If he gets frustrated, he might not be ready, and it might be best to lighten up or back off a bit.

We started my daughter in kindergarden right when she turned 5, but she just wasn’t ready to learn to read. It got to a point where school wasn’t fun for her anymore, so we had to slow down. It took almost 2 years for her to learn. I now realize that if I’d simply waited another year, she could have learned to read in less time with less pressure on everyone.

Stay Positive

Every young person wants to feel successful, so remember to give your child lots of positive feedback. Teaching writing is my forte, but I have to remember to note what is good about every composition, not just to underline what’s wrong in red!

If your child struggles in one area, find other things he’s good at.  When my son hit high school, math became more difficult, so I remind him that no one can be perfect in everything.  He excels in verbal skills and writing.

Breathe Deep and Slow Down

Some homeschooling days, everything works like clockwork, and other days are messy.  One kid isn’t getting the Pythagorean theorem, the other one needs help outlining a composition, and the third one can’t find her pencil. Then the repairman arrives. It’s easy to lose your cool.  Just take a deep breath and proceed calmly to the next task. You can solve issues one by one, and a calmer mother makes for a better home school day.

Join me on Thursday for four more things I’ve learned about homeschool.

Anyone out there care to chime in about what they’ve learned?


Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

7 thoughts on “Four Things I’ve Learned About Home Schooling

  1. Betsy, thanks for sharing your wisdom. You have such a good understanding of the attitude mothers should have if homeschooling.
    I am one of those who could not have done it, however, I was a public school teacher and an assistant principal in a small private school. Home schooling was not done in my day and that’s good because I would have been a failure and would have felt guilty for not wanting to do it.
    It is wise for parents to really “know” their child’s bent and their bent and choose their education process with that in mind.
    Thanks again for your wise words.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Sandy. I love homeschool, but it is a big commitment, and it’s not for everyone, so I think that should be okay. In our church circles, sometimes it’s expected, but I think everyone should be free to do what’s best for their family. I know families who have one child at home and another at school, even!

  3. My DD, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, is coming up to the 1.5 year mark next week. So far, I think the one thing I’ve learned is I need to focus on #2 in your list there. LOL! I try to make her little games, and what ends up happening is I show her, and then she teaches herself by teaching her babydolls. The cutest part is when her doll drops a card (which is always, of course, the wrong card), and DD scrunches her nose and says, “No. No. No.” Then, she’ll hold up the right card, saying, “Dare.” Then she’ll get annoyed all over again, stomping her feet and saying, “Hand. Hand. Hand,” because her doll never actually takes the card. Hehe. The cycle doesn’t end until I tell her to be patient, she doesn’t want to hurt her dolly’s feelings. As soon as I say hurt, she grabs her doll and rocks her to comfort her.

    I just love having a daughter!!! I don’t want to speed things along, because I know I’ll miss these little moments, but I wish I could already interact with mine the way you do yours.

    • Hi Jessica! That’s great that you’re keeping it fun! One and a half is pretty little! 🙂 You’re way ahead of where we were at that point.

      I can relate to wishing your girl were older so you can interact more. That’s one thing I’m loving about the teenage years, but it’s a mixed bag since some interaction is positive and some negative! God’s blessings on you as you enjoy where you daughter is now!

  4. Pingback: The Write Shadow’s Blog Carnival — August 30, 2013 | The Write Shadow

  5. With some of the same books our our shelves as in your picture, having said I would never homeschool and now many years into home schooling I relate to your points. Still working on the ‘Stay calm’ part some days..

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