#1. I had no idea there were different homeschooling styles.
I just figured you either homeschooled your children or you didn't. It turns out there's a buffet of homeschooling styles to choose from!
Charlotte Mason, classical, eclectic, delight directed, unschooling, blah, blah, blah.
Even after 6 years, all.the.information can still be overwhelming if I let it get to me.
We didn't enter into the decision to homeschool from the beginning and it's not like I laid in bed at night reading books about homeschooling beforehand. We just wanted to help our son.
We made the choice knowing it was best, but we went in blind. I do enjoy learning about the different styles of homeschooling, and have even found encouragement in learning about some of them, but I wouldn't say I've committed to any one style. We're mostly just the try and get our work done so we can do other stuff style.
#2 I didn't know there were thousands of curriculum choices.
I guess it makes sense. There's lots of homeschooling styles, so guess what? That means there's thousands of curriculum choices. Joy.
Warning: Choosing homeschool curriculum is overwhelming.
If you're new to the journey I recommend staying far away from curriculum catalogs. Gather your core subjects and take time to adjust to being home.
When you're ready to shop around for curriculum, take it slow. And remember, you don't have to do what everyone else is doing! Just do what works for your family.
Homeschooling is a lot like being pregnant. Everyone has an opinion.
Same goes for curriculum. Everyone thinks what they use is awesome. And it is. For them. You have to find what works for your family and that takes time.
#3 I didn't know I needed a tribe!
Luckily, God knows what we need when we need it most because he strategically placed so many wonderful women and homeschooling mothers in my path at the perfect time.
Now some of those women are my closest friends. They are my sisters!
I honestly can't imagine what this homeschooling journey would be like without them.
Do you have a homeschooling tribe?
Because you need one.
You need friends in your life that you can count on to get you, because not everyone will.
I still have friends and family that I love dearly, who love me, but they look like a deer in the headlights if the subject of homeschooling comes up. They.just.don't.get.it.
And that's OK!
But you need a fellow homeschooling friend or two that you can call on a bad day, laugh with afterwards, and do it again next week for her when she calls you.
Find a tribe!
#4 I didn't know I would need to take care of me.
This has been one of the hardest lessons for me to learn. I've spent the last 6 years pouring myself into homeschooling. I've done everything I can to make this a positive experience for my boys and that's taken commitment, dedication, and at the risk of sounding dramatic-blood, sweat, and tears!
I'm not a perfect mom and homeschooling doesn't make me any better of a mother for doing it, but I won't act like it hasn't been a sacrifice to save face, because it has been.
It's been a big one.
And for a while, I lost myself on the journey. I'm slowly finding my way back.
Thank God for Jesus, yoga, and summer break!
[Tweet "HOMESCHOOL MOM TIP: Find some stuff to do that has NOTHING to with homeschooling! #hsmom"]
#5 I didn't know that it wouldn't always be about school.
When a tough season comes and we revisit the decision to homeschool (again), the reasons we keep trucking along have little to do with academics.
Of course, I want my kids to excel academically. What parent doesn't?
Sure, I want my boys to be strong students and be able to make it at public school if they had to transition back for any reason. I want them to be prepared for college, rock their SATs, and do great things in school and beyond.
But, this decision isn't really about any of that. It's is about our lifestyle, our values, our parenting, and our beliefs. What was once a choice we made out of desperation has grown to be something we continue for other reasons entirely.
Homeschooling isn't always about school! Who knew?