When asked in any homeschool group across the country “What do you wish you had known when you started? Or done differently?” over and OVER the answer that comes back is “I wish I hadn’t stressed out so much!” Here we are sharing some of the responses from when we asked local parents: “For you veteran homeschool mamas…… What is the number one thing you wish you would have done differently your first year?”

” I would have worried less about explaining myself to everyone who asked. People at the grocery store don’t need to know my curriculum. I also would have bought a few less things. The library and internet have an amazing amount for free. ” B.P.

”Relaxed a little. As a former teacher in the public system I was and sometimes still catch myself trying to fit teaching my kids in this little box of what I was taught about teaching. It’s hard to change courses and just enjoy teaching some days. So I try to remind myself to relax and enjoy it, take it all in. ” C.H.

”I wish we would have been less “trying to make it seem like a classroom”
and more of just following her interests and figuring out her learning style.” M.W

“My biggest regret was that I was SO worried about being “like the public school” that I was way too intense. I had this wonderful homeschooling mom with lots of experience tell me that I should relax. It would work out and they learned the most from unstructured time. It really freed me. I still appreciate that advice she gave me. (She had been homeschooled as a child and so had her husband.) ” C.Y.

”Don’t compare yourself, your children, or what others are learning to what you,
your children and or what you are learning/teaching…..this is a journey, not a race. We want to instill a lifetime Love of Learning rather than a chore to hurry through. ” R.S.

”Trying to make homeschool look like the schools. What on earth was I thinking, I’ll never know. Thinking I was classical in my homeschool approach because I thought that is what a good school looked like. Lots of memorizing, lots of workbooks, lots of … well, lots of what I grew up with! ugh Now we have a more Charlotte Mason approach, the joy of discovering and learning. Lots of living books! Learning about what they are interested in. Developing good habits, which affect EVERYTHING they do! Reading God’s word, lots of variety…. music and poetry and art and so much more. I have realized learning doesn’t always take place at the school table, but that learning is woven throughout our lives. I am still learning to be present! Simplifying my life, decluttering so that I can focus on that which is most important!!! Educating my children is such a joy and so very different than I thought it would be. It’s better!!!” R.G.

”My first year was my oldest’s Kindergarten year, so for me, it would be not buying a boxed curriculum for Kindergarten and letting my son learn primarily through play in those early years. I was way too much into replicating “school at home” starting out.” M.B.

“My first year my oldest was 2.5, next was 1, last newly born. I wish I had a mops/homeschool/mama group back then. I was a “working mom drop out” lol whom suddenly had isolation and babies everywhere! I shyed away from groups because I didn’t know how it worked with play groups. I assumed somehow I’d be watching other mom’s kids or something and it would be awkward. I was so concerned that there would be drama that I didn’t look into it. Then finally, a friend told me about one she attended and I signed up. I enjoyed the company and knowing my insanity I was feeling was Normal. So I felt less insane!” D.W.

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