10 Ways Homeschool Has Changed Me


This is a hard post to write.

So much of this blog is focused on teaching ideas and recording the homeschooling days of our family.

My mission is to encourage, equip and educate homeschool moms on this sometimes difficult journey. I try not to bore you with details about ME - that's not why you come here. 

After four years of homeschooling, however, it has struck me how much I have changed. I need to share that with you because I think it might encourage you.  

The journey of homeschool has been an educational journey. It has also been a tremendous PERSONAL journey as well.

Before homeschool we were the type of family I had always dreamed of being... I stayed at home with my children. One was in preschool and another was in public school third grade. I was active at their schools and spent my days volunteering, keeping my home, meeting with friends, and focusing on my family. 

I can only attribute our decision to homeschool to God working slowly and surely in our lives. Something about my life just didn't feel RIGHT. 

I've changed A LOT since then - and I'd like to think it's for the BETTER. 

Some of these changes are little, but a few are BIG.

  {This photo is my family - shortly after we started homeschooling in 2009}


1. I have slowed down considerably.

When my children were in school I was always going, going, going. We had a timetable for catching the bus, getting to piano lessons, getting to bed, etc... It seemed that everyone was in the same hamster wheel and we all complained about it, but rarely did anything about it.

Homeschool forced me to throw those timetables out the window and I am SO GLAD. 

Life is TOO SHORT to rush through it - especially where children are concerned.

This point was hammered home to me when my son's friend passed away in 2012.

I slowed down even further after this - to take time to just enjoy my children. My friends, life can be very short.

2. "Things" Are Much Less Important To Me

When my children were in school I had more time (and money) to waste. I was more concerned about the clothes I wore and the car I drove. I was concerned about dressing my children in the cute outfits and fitting in with others.

I spent a lot of time worrying about my home - it was always spotless and decorated just so. 

Homeschool really knocked me down several pegs. 

At first, I will be honest and tell you I resented it. But after time, and God working on my heart something fierce, I began to love this new life of simplicity and less attachment to "things". 

Now, if I have a free afternoon (which is rare), I would rather be reading a good book or writing something than shopping for something that will eventually fade. 

3. I'm a lot better at history.

Thanks to our history text, Story of the World, I have become much more astute when it comes to history. 

I think the public schools FAILED ME when it comes to history. Learning history through a textbook is just dry and boring. 

I'm so glad we can use SOTW and lots of living books to learn.

{ Many times I feel we are living that delightful double existence Charlotte Mason spoke of. }

4. I'm a better friend and encourager.

This was NOT my strong suit a few years ago. I think I've always been a pretty good listener, but I had a hard time really empathizing with people's struggles.

Since homeschool in many ways has turned me upside down, I understand a lot of other homeschool mom's difficulties. Through the blog and our local homeschool friends I am enjoying the chance to encourage and support others. 

I have also met some wonderful, encouraging moms who have been at this much longer than me.

Earlier this year at The BEECH Retreat I got to spend a few days with some of those fine friends - Tricia (Hodgepodmom) being one of them.  

5. I have learned to "never say never".

Before homeschool I would say I held a pretty firm line on my beliefs and decisions. I had my ideas about parenting and education and they were RIGHT.

Well, that's pretty funny to me now.

I once proclaimed I would never homeschool. (ha)

I once proclaimed I would never be a stay at home mom (ha).

Never say never. It's that simple.

6. I know my children better.

I thought a knew my children well before. Being with them ALL DAY EVERY DAY, however, takes that knowledge to a new level. 

I know how they learn, what they like to learn, and what methods work best with them. 

This is good and bad. There are days when we all just get tired of each other.

I have to be intentional about time AWAY from my children - we all need to develop and grow away from each other at times.

For the bulk of their growing up years, however, my husband and I believe it is best that they remain under the primary influence of their parents.

7.  I have much different goals than I did before.

Stick with me.

Yes, my goals for my children and family are different than when we were involved in the traditional school world.

My personal goals, though, are also very different.

I never knew that I loved to write, or that I could make money doing it.

I don't think I ever would have started a blog or written a music curriculum had it not been for homeschooling.

8. I am much less afraid of NOT following the crowd.

Leaving the "known" of traditional school behind gave me a lot of courage.

If I don't have to depend on the government (or another body) to educate my children, what other things can I do differently (and maybe better) if I step outside of the box?

There is no one path that will lead to success. I used to think that success came in the form of a good college education, a steady job with good insurance, and a comfortable house. 

But, is this success -- or is this following the crowd?

I'm still thinking on that one.

9. I LOVE to read!

I always thought I loved to read, but I was reading fluff.

There is a time and a place to read fluff (I'm reading a fluff book right now!), but I'm also quite interested in great literature now.

Reading A Thomas Jefferson Education shaped a lot of my reading choices, and also the decision and commitment to read aloud to my children every chance I get. 

10. I see education in everything and I travel more.

Most of all, I think I have learned that my children's education (and mine, really) cannot be confined to a set number of hours in a specific place.

We are always learning, everywhere we go. If there is one thing I want to impart to my children, it is this. If you always are learning there are always abundant opportunities for growth and success.

We've resolved to have some grand adventures before the children leave the house - we have a travel bucket list of sorts. We see each new place visited as a huge deposit in the education of our children.  That's what homeschooling is all about

 {Our family - April, 2013 - Homeschool Veterans now!}

Has homeschooling changed you?   

Care to share how?

This post is a part of the iHomeschool Network's 10 in 10 blog hop - visit other bloggers to find out 10 interesting things they have to share with you this week!