I’ve had people ask me if I could live my whole life over again would I do it to change things? There are good times that I’d like to relive and painful memories that I’d like to erase. There are moments in time that I would live differently if I could do so with the wisdom I’ve gained from living life.
However, all those things have happened to make me the person I am, so, good or bad, I don’t think I’d want to change anything. Still, it’s sometimes fun to daydream about what you’d change if you could have a do-over.
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If I could have a homeschool do-over, I’d…
Focus less on academics and more on play when my kids were younger
Don’t get me wrong, academics are vital, but so is play. Sometimes, as homeschool parents, we get so excited about starting school with our kids that we forget to enjoy the days when everything is new, and play is learning.
Sometimes we get so worried about proving to Grandma and Grandpa or nosy Aunt Sue – or ourselves – that homeschooling is really an okay choice for our kids that we push academics too early or too hard.
Sure I read a lot to my kids, and I still do. We have some favorite children’s books, and I don’t regret those at all. I just wish we’d read some of the original classics, like Bambi or A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh. I wish I’d have enjoyed the Little House books and Farmer Boy with all my kids instead of just Megan.
Be a little less classical and a lot more Charlotte Mason
There are some things I appreciate about a classical education. But I think that the more natural approach to learning that is Charlotte Mason would have done a better job of preserving my kids’ love of learning than the more rigorous classical style. I wish we’d had a lot more music, art, and nature appreciation and a lot less rote memorization.
Not send my oldest to public school
Our public school experience wasn’t awful, but – oh, my goodness! – the kindergarten and first-grade years are so much fun. I wish I’d had Brianna home for them. In addition to missing the joy of learning with her during those years, there were also some learning struggles that caused frustration. We could have handled them with much less annoyance at home.
Use All About Reading
All About Reading wasn’t around when my kids were learning to read, but I wish it had been. We love the spelling program, which is written based on Orton-Gillingham principals. I’ve seen enough of the reading program to know that it meshes perfectly with the spelling. I can only imagine how effective a combination that must be for struggling readers and spellers.
Oh, and those Classic Starts books. I love those!
Create a different high school experience for my oldest
I got so caught up in what “should” be on her transcript that I sucked the fun right out of learning. We recouped a little at the end, but there were definitely some wasted years. If I could do Brianna’s high school years over, we’d focus a lot more on her interests and her learning style and a lot less on what a piece of paper should or shouldn’t say. It would have been a much better experience for both of us.
Use Trail Guide to Learning when my kids were younger
In my defense, Trail Guide to Learning wasn’t around when my kids were younger. If it had been, though, I’d have used it. Learning history through great books? Hands-on learning? Having lesson plans written for me? Yes, please!
Start Lexercise sooner
We spent so much time struggling with dyslexia, and Josh endured more frustration than was necessary. I tell everyone, if you even suspect that your child might have dyslexia, have them take the free online dyslexia screening on the Lexercise site. At the very least, you’ll know what you’re dealing with.
Josh progressed through the program so much more quickly than I expected and experienced amazing results. I wish we’d done it five years earlier.
Be an earlier riser
Yes, I see you sitting there, in front of your computer screen, rubbing your eyes trying to see if you read that right. You did. As much trouble as I have dragging myself (and everyone else) out of bed early in the mornings, the day is so much more productive when I start early.
Honestly, I like mornings. It’s just the getting up that I have trouble with. I wish I’d just gotten us all in the habit of getting up earlier when the kids were younger.
Savor it more
That expression, the days go so slowly, but the years go so quickly is so very accurate. It’s hard to believe that we’re entering our 11th homeschooling year. I think, if I’d realized how fast the years were going to zoom by, I’d have at least made an effort to savor the days a bit more.
I’d have tried to look at the meltdowns as an opportunity to grow my children’s character. We’d have added in more of the “extras” that aren’t really extras, but, instead, part of making learning fun. We would have snuggled on the couch more and baked more cookies. We’d have taken more walks (you know, thanks to all the cookies). I’d have made more pictures and stored up more memories because those years? They fly by.
What would you do differently if you could have a homeschool do-over?