The pressing questions that we get every month at HECOA are from homeschoolers who are not happy with the "system" they have set up or are currently using. Naturally, our instinct is to look for better, faster, and smarter ways to get the job done so we can ultimately begin enjoying the process, right?
Here's the first step:
ENJOY IT NOW!!
If your day to day routine is driving you crazy, it's boring to your kids, or it causes contention in your home, then obviously you need to dump the routine. Waste no time on this, because kids are only kids for a short time. Take it from me – they are gone before you know it!
Just when I finally got my second (or maybe third or fourth???) wind and really had my "systems" down, I was graduating my teens and they were off to college, missions, and employment.
I know I've said this before, but I still see people battling the same war, so I feel inspired to say it again:
Don't teach things that stress you out or cause contention in your home!!
So people inevitably ask me next: What about the courses that are required to prepare for college? For jobs/careers? If I don't teach pre-algebra, or calculus, or the honors English courses, then wouldn't I be cheating my kids out of a good education?
See – there's the misunderstanding right there. I didn't say "don't let your kids learn" these important courses and subjects. What I said was – don't TEACH those things.
This is the ONE thing that I wish someone had got through my head when I first began homeschooling. Part of the beautiful thing about homeschooling is that you get the opportunity to choose what your child learns, and WHO they learn it from. You don't have to teach every subject, you just need to make sure they get taught.
Math is not my strongest subject, and I battled for 2-3 years trying to teach statistics and probability when they were in pre-algebra; then algebra, then I even took on algebra TWO. I was under the impression (and deeply rooted in the pride cycle) that it was MY responsibility to teach the higher math. I tried every program made, spent hundreds and hundreds (probably over a thousand but who is counting?) of dollars on math curricula, videos, and manipulatives – and nothing was working.
As the Grinch would say: WRONGO!!
Peace was finally restored in our home when I hired a private tutor to teach algebra 2. It worked so great, that I hired a tutor to teach algebra for my younger one. My son soared through upper algebra, then he got an A in trigonometry and he was taking it at the community college, using the tutor to explain the stuff the college teacher didn't!! All this joy, because I stopped trying to do it all myself. The same tutor later helped him through Calculus (again, college level).
At HECOA, we don't want you to battle with your kids. We want you to enjoy the journey!! So move forward with confidence that you can teach smarter, faster, and better – by utilizing resources in the homeschool community which are available to you. If the homeschool community doesn't offer the resources you need, then reach out to your community in which you live. There are plenty of mentors who would love to help you.
And don't forget – the HECOA member Toolbox is available for all members, totally free! It includes all sorts of great information on the subjects you need to teach. Just login, and the Toolbox link will appear in the navigation menu at the top of the site!