4 Homeschool Worries You Can Kick to the Curb

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Homeschooling parents are champion worriers. Those nagging homeschool worries keep us up at night and invade our thoughts during the day. Some of them, though, are really not worth the waste of mental energy.

The following are four homeschool worries you can kick to the curb!

4 Homeschool Worries You Can Kick to the Curb

The (Somewhat) Distant Future

Somewhere around our 4th year of homeschooling, I wrote out a curriculum outline all the way through high school. My oldest child was probably in 5th grade. Fifth. I had a curriculum outline through high school.

I’ve had parents tell me that the most significant worry keeping them from homeschooling is that their child won’t be able to get into college. You know, when the kid is currently in 3rd grade.

People have asked how my kids will find dates or what they’ll do about prom. My kids were in elementary school at the time.

Y’all. I get it. Homeschooling is a huge responsibility. I do understand that high school and college are serious, sometimes scary worries.

I don’t understand so much about prom. Mine was far from magical and was certainly not the defining moment of my high school existence. (And, for the record, all of my kids have gone to prom. No, it wasn’t held in our living room.)

But, y’all. Let’s take things one step at a time. Sure, if you’re starting homeschool with a kid in 8th grade or higher, you’ll need to be thinking about high school and college pretty much right out of the gate.

However, if your student is in elementary school, you’ve got some time. You really can homeschool through high school. Your homeschool graduate really can go to college.  And, if worse comes to worst, you can put your homeschooler back in public school.

That curriculum outline I wrote? We used the curriculum for a year or two before switching. Getting too far ahead of where we were was such a waste of time and mental energy.

Conserve mental energy. Worry about the year you’re teaching.

Education Gaps

What if I don’t teach my kids something that they really need to know?

I’m in a cold sweat watching “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?” because I don’t remember all that stuff!

Breathe. If you teach your kids to read and how to find answers to their questions, you don’t have to worry too much about the education gaps that will occur.

That’s right. Education gaps will happen. No matter where your kid goes to school. The body of information in the world is too vast for one person to learn – or teach – it all. And, if you realize that you have failed to teach your kids something that they really do need to know, teach them. There is no expiration date on learning.

If you realize that you have failed to teach your kids something that they really do need to know, teach them. There is no expiration date on learning. Click to Tweet

The reason most of the adults on that game show fare so poorly is that they haven’t heard or used much of that information since they were in elementary school. It’s not a part of their everyday lives, so it gets relegated to the part of the brain where pointless (or seldom-used) information resides.

You know what they’d do if they needed to know some of those facts for their jobs tomorrow? They’d Google it. Problem solved.

4 Homeschool Worries You Can Kick to the Curb

What to Teach When

When should I teach ancient history? The Middle Ages? U.S. history? Do I start in elementary school? Wait until middle school? Does it matter?!

No, it doesn’t matter. Not in the grand scheme of things. When I started homeschooling with Brianna, we started on a four-year classical history cycle fairly early on – but not right away. Not when you’re “supposed” to start the cycle. She was probably in 4th grade before we got there.

When Josh and Megan were in 3rd and 5th grades, we discovered Trail Guide to Learning. So, they were studying American history at the ages Brianna had studied ancient history and the Middle Ages.

No one seemed to have an edge on anyone else when we circled back around to those same history topics in high school. In fact, even though I’d been assured that I was placing “hooks” on which future information could be hung, they all seemed to have relegated most of those fun facts to the part of the brain where seldom-used information is stored. {sigh}

But, no worries. They learned it again in high school, and all is right with the world.

Now, concepts that build on previously learned concepts matter. You probably want to teach addition before multiplication. And high school students will need some algebra before tackling chemistry. I recommend teaching phonics and spelling in a specific order.

But history? Science? Jump into what sparks your kids’ interest and have fun!

Preschool Curriculum

Okay, so one of the search terms that led someone to my site recently was “How do I homeschool my 18-month old?”

I get that, too. I understand being excited to start homeschooling. But breathe. You homeschool your 18-month old by playing with her, reading to her, and involving her in your daily activities.

And, while there are lots of fun and exciting preschool homeschool curriculum options out there and there’s nothing wrong with using them if your child is ready, the best preschool curriculum is Play-Doh. And books. Always books.

Read. Play. Explore. Go on nature walks. Go to Story Time at the library. Bake cookies. Play restaurant. Have tea parties. Watch Leap Frog’s Letter Factory.

If you want to set up a cute little preschool learning center because it’s fun and your little one is interested, go for it! But don’t stress over preschool curriculum. Seriously. Enjoy that phase and soak up every moment of insatiable curiosity and non-stop talking, because if you blink, it will be over.

So, champion worrier, give yourself a break. Kick these homeschool worries to the curb.

What are some things you’ve have stressed about as a homeschooling parent that you later realized wasn’t worth the mental energy?

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