Next up, I would like to introduce, Mary-Ann. Homeschooling mom of three beautiful girls in Ontario, Canada. I know you’ll enjoy reading her thoughts on homeschooling as much as I did.
Favorite thing about homeschooling:
There are two things that I love the most about homeschooling. First, I love being present for all my children’s milestone moments—listening as they sound out their first letters, for example, and then teaching them to string together those letters to make words. It’s special to watch them grow and develop—not just academically, but physically, spiritually and emotionally as well. It’s even more special to have the privilege to help them grow in all those areas.
The second thing I love about homeschooling is being able to learn alongside my daughters. Their passion for the world around them is contagious. I love when they ask questions that I can’t answer because we can find the answers together. We go on amazing field trips as well, and I find myself learning new things every day. I think it’s important to never stop learning together.
Least favorite thing about homeschooling:
I’m going to be really honest here. There are two things about homeschooling that I find challenging. The big one is that there can be personality clashes. These are inevitable, I think, but also beneficial. We all (myself included) have come face-to-face with flaws in our character. And we all (myself included) have grown over the last two years of homeschooling. We still have lots more growing to do too, and that’s okay. Being with the same people every day provides an opportunity to teach lessons far more valuable than those found in the pages of a textbook.
Another aspect of homeschooling that’s challenging is staying on top of the mess. The house is lived in every single day of the week, so it gets messy quickly. It can be difficult to balance housework with schoolwork, especially with younger children who are not yet able to work independently (and one still in diapers). We all pitch in, but I often struggle with finding the time and energy to keep things pristine. I’ve come to accept the fact that this is okay for this season of life. Sometimes, we just need to have a little bit of grace for ourselves.
One thing that I totally didn’t expect was the difference in my children’s learning styles. That caught me completely off guard. My eldest is an auditory learner, so you simply discuss something with her and she will remember it, for the most part. My second daughter, however, is a kinesthetic learner. Teaching her to read, for example, is a very different experience and requires a very hands-on approach. We struggled for a few months to find our footing, but once I figured out her learning style, things became much easier. Both of the girls are a lot of fun to teach. I love how unique each child is!
C.E., another homeschool mom from Canada shared the following:
Favorite thing about homeschooling:
The ability to:
Teach my children the values that we hold as a family. – I am able to ensure that they are being taught what WE believe not what someone (ie: government, specific teacher) thinks is a good idea for our children to believe. We are able to pray or read the Bible together if we choose.
Provide a customized education that is individualized to each child. We can take as little or as much time as needed to ensure our child understands before moving on from that topic. Two of our children have very late in the year birthday’s. I don’t have to worry about “holding them back” a year. I can start them exactly when they are ready. My four year old is keen to start kindergarten and is able to handle that work. I don’t have to wait until she is “old enough”. We can start when she is excited and ready.
There are no information gaps when my child is struggling. I know instantly when they are having difficulty and can address it immediately. Teaching your child to read and being able to experience the pride and excitement that goes with that is a very amazing feeling.
Provide lots of outdoor time, down time and flexibility. If their school work is done, they don’t have to wait for the rest of the class. They can go right to play time. We are able to customize their school days around their extracurricular activities. For example: Lighter school work on days when they have hockey or kids group. We can do extra work on rainy days and less on sunny days.
Least favorite thing about homeschooling:
Often being behind in laundry and cleaning. I like a tidy house and when I am working with the kids on school it takes time away from a clean house. It all gets done eventually, but maybe not as quick as I would like every day.
I think it is pretty much as I expected. I am a homeschool grad myself, so I knew what I was signing up for. A challenge for me is that I am constantly evaluating to make sure that I am covering everything. I am a very analytical person, so sometimes I need to shut my brain down in the evenings. It is wonderful in one way that there are SO MANY curriculum choices out there but, it makes it harder to decide, which is best for our family. Having so many options also means that there will be something wonderful for our family. It is challenging to homeschool with toddlers and/or babies as it is more difficult to sign up for field trips during naps times. It takes a bit of juggling, but usually, I can make it work.
Often homeschool mother’s hear from others “I could never homeschool my kids. I am not patient at all!” I am not naturally the most patient mother in the world either, but homeschooling is giving me the perfect opportunity better myself and learn patience.
All in all, I will say that homeschooling isn’t the easiest thing in the world. There are hard days and some days I would like to have a little more free time, but there are also amazing days. Homeschooling has so many amazing rewards that I am not willing to give up.
Finally, I would like you to meet the Caco’s. A beautiful family I had the pleasure of meeting through Instagram. (did I mention how much I love Instagram!?)
We are the Caco’s, a family of five. Living life on the East Coast of Australia. My husband and I knew before having children that we wanted to homeschool. I have three beautiful boys. 6, 3 and 1. We are often found out in nature, spending time down by the beach or cuddled up at home reading books and playing board games together.
There are so many things I love about being a part of a homeschool family, watching my children grow academically, spiritually and socially however my most favourite would be the relationships. Relationships within our own home, with other family members and our close friends. I’m blessed to raise three best friends under one roof. Living life how we believe it was intended to be lived, and that is together. To witness our family bond that we all continue to grow daily is really the foundation of our homeschool journey.
Trying to understand the importance of needing to take time out for me is definitely my number one struggle and least favourite thing to deal with as a homeschooling mum. Self-care takes time. It takes commitment and when you’re doing your utmost best to provide a rich learning environment for your children you can get lost in it all and not find the time. It’s something I hope to one day conquer. As an introvert, there are moments where I often don’t feel equipped to deal with the high energy and noise that comes with homeschooling my three boys. I’m in the process of reading a few great articles that are helping me understand that we homeschool mums are not being selfish by making time for us. In fact, it could be just what our family members need.
Learning and growing, together alongside family, really is a beautiful way to live.
Follow along with the Caco’s on Instagram, @caco.tribe . Their photos are truly inspiring and the daily pictures seriously makes me want to visit Australia!
Your turn! What do you love about homeschooling? What was unexpected? Share in the comments below! I would love to hear from you!