I Have Stopped Homeschooling

Our youngest child has tidied her desk, sorted her shelves, and packed her best work into a box to go into the attic to be kept. She has tidied her wardrobe and drawers and is preparing to go off to Bible School for six months. It feels momentous, huge and scary.

For me, not her.

Brand new to homeschooling. Jan 1985

It’s 27½ years since we took our oldest child out of school and started homeschooling. We were living in England at that time and if you wanted to homeschool you just informed the authorities and that was it.

How I Started Homeschooling

I went to the local bookshop and splashed out thirty pounds on a set of hardback readers that I really loved and had used in school when I was teaching. I also bought a mathematics teaching manual.

That was it. The readers, a mathematics manual and a library card. We already had the stationery, art and craft supplies in. Then over the years, I spent money on good books, rather than on curriculum. That was a good move.

Art and craft

All this started in early 1985 when our children were six and three, and I was pregnant with our third child. I started homeschooling simply, and had a simple routine. This worked so well, that I didn’t really deviate much from it over the years; I just refined it as our family first grew, and then started to shrink again as the children grew up.

I shared my experience with other mothers, I taught and guided new homeschoolers when they were starting off.  Finally, I described it in great detail in parts of my Successful Homeschooling Made Easy course. This was a system that worked for me and for every other homeschooling mother I taught it to over the years.

It’s been a wonderful time of homeschooling. I always say that homeschooling isn’t hard. Maybe I should say that it doesn’t need to be hard.

Life is hard. It can be very hard at times; we may face financial difficulties, health problems, bereavement, heartbreak, daily grind, complicated relationships, and more.

Homeschooling can be so much fun!

Being a mother can be hard, too. But it’s worth it.

And homeschooling is the fun part of life. Or at least, it can be.

What I Would Do Differently

It’s fashionable to list what you would do differently if you could start again. And this thought has got me wondering about myself. What would I do differently? Not much really. But there are a few things I would change.

1. I would resist saying ‘hurry up’ to little people. I would try to go at their slower pace and just enjoy the moment.

2. I would absolutely banish the word “should” from my thought life.

3. I would employ a cleaner for short times when things were really hectic – for example when we had a new baby in the house. It would be an investment.

4. I would have insisted more firmly on our children being homeschooled instead of letting our first two children decide if they wanted to go to school or not. Children can’t really make that decision for themselves, especially when they are younger.

5. I would have concentrated more on learning and education and not worried about passing exams with our first two children. With our youngest three we were much more confident; we decided that they would not go to school and we chose the non-exam route for them. Both these decisions were good ones and the children were happy. The fact that they didn’t have school-leaving exams did not affect their ability to enter university or get well-paid, technical jobs. But it did allow them to enjoy their homeschooling and teen years a bit more, I think.

6. I would have worried less about ‘making good memories’ for the children and I would be concentrated more on enjoying each moment for its own sake. Children never remember what you expect or hope that they will remember, unfortunately. So it’s a waste of time to try and engineer this.

I am still deeply involved in all things homeschooling and mothering as things have come full circle now, and I am helping my daughter as she prepares to homeschool her nearly-five-year-old son. So much fun ahead of them – so much fun!

And if you would like me to help you with homeschooling, please join me at www.SuccessfulHomeschoolingMadeEasy.com

Comments

I Have Stopped Homeschooling — 10 Comments

  1. Congratulations Stephanie!
    What a wonderful feeling to have finished the race in one sense.
    God bless you as you help with the next generation.

  2. Beautiful and encouraging words. Thanks for writing them so that we can glean from your experience and wisdom.

    Love,
    s

  3. ‘Well done good and faithful servant’ is what comes to mind. Your children are blessed and so are we who have had the privilege of your ongoing input!
    Blessings and peace to you dear friend.

  4. Wow – you made it!! What an amazing feeling that must be! How blessed are your lovely family for the years you’ve invested in them. You’re an inspiration.
    Hugs
    Angie

  5. Dearest Stephanie.
    Thank you so much for all your help through my first year of homeschooling. I only hope that I can have as much success as you have had. Keep up the good work and God Bless.

  6. Stephanie, you are such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom and for being such an encouragment. Thank you for reminding us to enjoy our children – they are a real blessing.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  7. Thank you so much, dear ladies, for your encouraging and warm comments; every single one is precious to me. I value you as people, I admire your commitment to your family and I want to encourage you again in return. Homeschooling is the best ever lifestyle, isn’t it? :-)

  8. Thank you Stephanie for all you help and encouragement. I have found it absolutely invaluable. I will still be emailing you when I get stuck from time to time!!
    You have been such a blessing and inspiration to so many of us and you have lead by example. Tried and true. May God bless you with much more fruit to follow. To him be the glory!

    • Thank you for your encouraging words, and especially for the prayer of blessing, Monique. :-) I will still be here to support homeschoolers in their homeschooling and parenting. This is my passion and I want to continue to bless parents in the important work of homeschooling and discipling their children. :-)