Saturday, May 13

What We Missed While Homeschooling

As anyone who has graduated a homeschooler knows, senior year is a time for contemplation and reflection.  This's long, can be difficult, and often leaves you with questions.  Was it enough?  Did I give it the best I could?  Here are thoughts from some veteran mommas...

  • We should have focused more on modern history.  We spent way too much time on ancient history.  More time on US history, Native American history, and modern geography would have helped him more once he got to college.
  • We skipped a lot of grammar in the early years, but it made learning a foreign language incredibly difficult because there was no understanding of verb tenses.
  • I would have focused less on finding a good co-op and just enjoyed the few homeschooling friends we had.  Not every kid needs a wide social circle, and when homeschooling is the only thing you have in common, it just isn't enough.
  • Using an online academy, with a teacher other than myself, helped with preparation for college.  She had to answer to someone else, and I was just 'mom.'  She learned to be on someone else's timeline and how to communicate with a teacher.
  • Even though testing isn't required in our state, a little practice on timed testing would have gone a long way toward helping with SAT prep and probably boosted her score.
  • We spent a lot of time on handwriting, but should have focused more on typing as everything is typed or done on the computer these days.
  • Apps should have been used as a supplement to school, rather than to teach whole subjects.  There are a lot of skills gaps where the app just didn't cover things, but she spent a lot of time playing them.
  • We {I} needed to be more organized about digital curricula, files, paperwork, and keeping up with the transcripts.  It's so much easier to lose digital files than books and paper, but everything is done online anymore.
  • I don't know who needs to hear this, but worry less. Enjoy more. Children grow up so fast, and you can't get that time back. They will absolutely learn what they need when they need it.
  • We should have spent more time on field trips and nature related learning during the younger years, and less time focused on what the kids were "expected" to learn.
  • Although he didn't need to take notes at home, we should have worked on notetaking and making graphs, because these are things he needs everyday in college.
  • We spent so much time switching curriculum, trying to find the 'perfect' one, but there really isn't anything that's perfect.  We should have stayed with one that worked well, and just changed it a bit to make it better for us.  We lost a lot of time, and money, looking for a unicorn.

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