“Do you ever have any homeschool regrets?”
As a matter of fact, yes!
Here’s what some of our community in Kansas City said they would change, if they could start homeschooling all over again in a recent Facebook post:
Homeschool Regret No. 1: ‘Worry less and enjoy my sweeties more.’
This quote from Susan Phillips sums up a lot of the sentiment from homeschool moms.
At the end of the day, homeschoolers face a lot of pressure to have the “perfect” homeschool. But every homeschool is unique – just like the children in it!
“I would change my expectations and make them more realistic,” a parent wrote on our Facebook post. “Unrealistic expectations have done more to discourage me over the years, causing unnecessary stress in our homeschool days.”
Homeschool Regret No. 2: Identify my teaching style sooner.
Many homeschoolers know to research their child’s learning style to help them learn more easily. But did you ever consider your teaching style?
You may not be a conventional teacher thriving on chalkboards, stickers and schedules.
Instead of trying to mold your personality to fit conventional stereotypes of a school, try molding your homeschool to fit your personality.
“I would realize that as much as I want to change my personality and be a more strict type A, it ain’t gonna happen,” one mom writes. “I would have embraced being a ‘Mary’ from day one and homeschooled to fit. 4 years later we are finally hitting our stride and it’s so calm and fun and my kids are learning and expanding their knowledge in leaps and bounds!”
Homeschool Regret No. 3: Emphasize quality, not quantity.
One mom, Carissa Jones, wrote that she would have “focused more on quality than quantity in the early years to establish an attitude of excellence.”
You’ll hear many veteran homeschoolers emphasize this point.
Charlotte Mason, for example, made it a goal to develop good habits early in children, since this carries forward into the rest of their lives.
Homeschool Regret No. 4: Go to a convention (or conference) sooner.
Never underestimate the power of learning from others more experienced than you are!
As Erin Leigh Kern writes, “I would have gone to a curriculum fair before ever starting homeschooling.”
In essence, homeschool conventions and conferences exist to help you learn the things you don’t even know you didn’t know about homeschooling.
Additionally, our homeschool conference and curriculum fair allows you to talk with vendors and browse through products before you buy them.
Homeschool Regret No. 4: Relax more in the earlier years.
Some moms pushed their homeschooling too early and too hard. This hampered their children from developing a natural love for learning.
“I would’ve spent more time playing, reading together and exploring outside in the early years, less time on workbooks and formal curriculum,” Jennifer Kilgore writes.
Other families echoed similar thoughts, saying they would wait a year or two before starting “formal” academics.
As one parent wrote so poignantly, “I would have taught my kids according to their learning level and not what grade level they ‘should’ be.”
Homeschool Regret No. 5: Change it up when it stops working!
One of the most popular homeschool regrets we hear involves the permission to change your homeschool plan, when it’s no longer working.
Chelle Wilkinson writes, “I would not attempt a formal curriculum for preschool, especially knowing now that my oldest is dyslexic. The boxed curriculum we tried made her life miserable and led to us wasting a year & a half in public school. Also, I would have sought out a larger support network and gone to the MPE conference.”
For other moms, this means switching curriculum mid-year (or even earlier!) when it’s not working for your child.
Homeschool Regret No. 6: Keep academics in perspective.
Sure, we’ve all heard the stereotypes of the perfect, academically outstanding homeschool family. The precocious youngster who scores perfect ACT and SAT scores, aces every test and coasts through college.
But how often does that stereotype correlate with reality?
“I had read somewhere that homeschooled kids were brilliant and went to college when they were 14,” Melanie Hoagland writes. “I assumed we would naturally be on that track. Too bad my oldest has never actually agreed with that. So here we are 6 years later, and I am having to still take the gentle approach with her because she was so traumatized early on. I’m a lot wiser now!”
Another mom wrote that she would redo her homeschooling this way:
Academics after that
And more fun”
Homeschool Regret No. 7: Give your students (and yourself) more grace.
This is what Candy Hart Schoenberger would do if she could start all over again:
Being more patient. Giving my son and myself more grace. It sounds silly but I didn’t think of it ending. My son is a senior now. I enjoyed it so much and loved building our bond together that I already am missing spending all day with him.
We have updated this blog post, originally published in 2018, for timeliness and detail.
Any other homeschool regrets we missed? Let us know in the comments!