If you’re new to homeschooling—or even if you’ve been at it a while—learning from other moms’ experiences can help make yours better. You can cut out some of the trial and error and smooth out some of the bumps in the road. That’s always good, right?
So here’s some great advice from moms (and a few homeschool graduates) who’ve been there, done that. They shared these comments on our Facebook page, and we’re collecting them here so they’ll always be easy for you to find.
Before we start the list, here are two comments that had so much good info, they wouldn’t fit into one category.
Our oldest child just graduated from high school. We started homeschooling when she was in second grade. Looking back, I am so glad that we started homeschooling when we did. There were times that it was tough, but I’m so glad that we didn’t quit. I just want to tell parents that it is so worth your time and sacrifice. Our daughter is definitely different than what the world is producing today. We are so close and I definitely credit that to homeschooling.
The advice I have is:
1st Be consistent and treat it like you would a job (having a consistent schedule, etc).
2nd Enjoy it and don’t stress (the time goes by so fast).
3rd If you find that a curriculum isn’t working for your child, change it.
4th Be real with your kids, I may not have all the answers but I have a God who does!
I thank God that He led us to homeschool, it truly is one of the best decisions we have ever made!
I have just completed my 13th year of homeschooling my children using Abeka for almost every part of their education so far. I still have 10 years to go if I continue until my last has graduated!
My oldest did very well in her first year of college, much due, I’m sure, to the fact that she had learned to study, write papers, and manage her time well under the Abeka curriculum. We used the videos for the last several years of her schooling and to me, that is truly the best of both worlds for high schoolers. They get the expertise of those wonderful Abeka teachers, plus one on one from me when they need it, there’s no classroom peer pressure or performance pressure, and they have the flexibility they need for jobs during high school if needed.
My advice to beginners would be this: don’t get too uptight!!! It’s the main cause of burnout and tension between you and your child. Since you are on duty 24/7, the last thing you need is tense and difficult school days. So relax. If the concept is not grasped today, it will be there tomorrow, next week, even next year—whenever that child is really ready for it. Abeka uses the “line upon line” principle… introduce it one year, develop it a bit more the next, add more detail and hit it again then next, etc. until the concept is truly and fully grasped. So, again, relax. It will come around again next year!
As for beginning Abeka users, look at the Abeka resources not as a list of to-dos, but more as a toolbox from which you can choose the items your child needs most. Then once a concept is thoroughly grasped, feel free to shift your focus and time from those to the ones that are still a bit sticky.
Don’t compare your home school to anyone else’s. This is a special time to get to know your children, make memories that they will remember long after they’ve left home.—John Angela Lemos
Take it one step at a time.
Trust the Lord and take one step at a time. Each family is different so find the pattern that works best for you. If you have public schooled first you need time to think differently. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself trying to fit a schoolhouse style inside your home.—Amy Kanost
Do what’s right for your family.
My kids attended our church’s Christian School. Now one still goes and 2 are homeschooled. You have to do what’s right for your child and family. We have absolutely no issues with our Christian school at all. My daughter has excelled homeschooling. Abeka DVD program can be very structured just by the day to day classroom that the teacher holds. Pray about it and be open to what the Lord has for you.—Angie Myers
Figure out what works.
I have two kids that needed a separate space for home school, so our dining room becomes our school room. We do math and Language Arts first. We take 15–20 minute breaks between each class. We do math & LA 5x a week, science & history 3x a week, our chosen language (this next yr it’s ASL) and art or music 2x a week. Fridays are our field trip days and because we home school, Saturdays have also become field trip days.—Skye Ware
Enjoy the journey. Make it your own. Have fun. We don’t recommend “school at home” but we highly recommend Abeka and supplementing with materials from the library. We love “field trips” too. The best part of homeschooling is sharing time together with our kids because they grow up so fast!—Kim Coddington
To start with, pick one curriculum.
Pick one curriculum to start with. There are so many great options, but for early years I always come back to Abeka. I love the history and science all the way through. I did Abeka through tenth grade and then started college with all A’s. It works.—Cara Putman
Take care of core subjects, then customize.
For curriculum, my mom always focused on making sure we met legal requirements in core subjects. Almost always we used Abeka. However, if one seemed to enjoy creative stuff like I did, she really pushed hands-on learning. She bought me paint by number sets and piano music. My brother liked science so she bought him science kits to build things and gave him old coffee pots to take apart. Today I’m a professional graphic designer and church pianist. My brother takes apart damaged cars and replaces the parts. The best advice I can give is to make sure the core subjects are met and to let the kids enjoy learning what they want to. Even if the enjoyable subjects heavily outweigh the hours spent on core (so long as those are completed), it’s totally OK.—Esther McCune
Keep a journal.
Take it serious. Don’t forget to incorporate things like physical activities, music, art and field trips. Keep a journal so you can reflect on the progress BOTH of you have made.
Pray and trust.
Pray about it. Im so glad the Lord led us on this journey. He led us to Abeka and it has been perfect for my kids and what they needed to learn. One of the best parts of homeschooling is you can individualize it for each child. Now I’m not saying it’s not challenging teaching first grade to 2 boys with a 2 year old in the house and my first gift is that of a nurse, I’m not a teacher, but God supplies.—Connie Hall
If you’re thinking about homeschooling, just know that God has equipped you with everything that “your” children need. Don’t fret over it… Just pray and do. Oh, and I personally, love Abeka! 😉 —Robin Kirk
Find strength in the Lord. Do not listen to those people who bash homeschooling.
Think of all the benefits your child will receive with your one on one support. Trust God to help you with homeschooling, and you will see wonderful success with your child. Be blessed!
Don’t give up.
We started November of 2014 with just books from Sam’s and Walmart. We got the curriculum during winter for next year. I’d say I was pretty clueless how to put it all together, but as I learned my kids strengths, what they could do on their own, how much they knew, areas they needed help with, we adjusted where we needed. There are some things like spelling, reading, some English they can do independently. We’re switching curriculum so it’ll be interesting to see how the groove fits in the fall, but I have no doubt that we will do great! Kids love school and that helps! With God ALL things are possible. Were there moments when I felt inadequate and not worthy to be their teacher? Yes… but I was not giving up! I’ve gotten the opportunity to really get to know my kids and see their personalities, see their talents and their creative sides. It’s so amazing!—Lisa Cogswell
Do it! It’s not always easy but so gratifying to watch your child learn from you. You get to spend way more time with your kids and YOU get to teach them a good solid Bible-based moral system. Don’t give up either, there WILL be hard days and even years, but it’s worth it! With God ALL things are possible even homeschooling.😀 —Tiffany Hannu
You can do it!!! Nobody cares about your child like you do. YOU are the perfect teacher 🙂 We have used Abeka for K5–8th grade, and wouldn’t change a thing!!—Jackie Ahrens
And here’s one comment from a homeschool graduate just to encourage you.
I was homeschooled from 2nd grade through high school primarily with Abeka. Graduated and went to college early. Abeka was excellent at preparing me for college. Now I am preparing to start the journey again with my own children. I feel privileged to be doing it at a time when it is more accepted and there are so many more options available… yet also overwhelmed too! Don’t know how my mom did it!! Going to go with Abeka’s DVDs for this first K4 year… get my feet wet! Just to comment on the social side from a previous post—being homeschooled doesn’t have to isolate you. You actually end up developing relationships from a wide range of ages… like what happens in the “real” world once you start working/college.—Stephanie Frazer
Our college preparatory curriculum will put your seniors in a position to succeed in life.SHOP 12th GRADE