homeschooling mom - smallWritten By: Theresa Gilbert

We are embarking on the beginning of our homeschooling journey and have been blessed with many resources to help, guide and support us. This has come in the form of websites, Facebook groups, family and, perhaps the most important, a local Catholic homeschool group*.

I recently asked some homeschooling moms to answer this question: What are the top three things you’ve learned while homeschooling?

I have found the responses personally very helpful and insightful as a “newbie” and hope the following will help you, too. Regardless of if you have homeschooled in the past, currently are or never will, I think hearing from those living this is always helpful.

What are the top three things you’ve learned while homeschooling?

  • Enjoy my Child. Each child is fearfully and wonderfully made, both the strengths and the weaknesses!  Encouraging the strong areas gives added confidence for the struggles. – Mom of 6, homeschooling for 7 years.
  • Time spent with children is precious. When I started homeschooling, I had no idea it would go so fast. As my oldest has graduated from university, I look back in amazement as I remember when we first started homeschooling with her in grade 1. I thank God for the opportunity that I had to have that much time with all my children. – Mom of 7, homeschooling about 17 years.
  • Each child is different. Attempt to select the curriculum that fits that particular child’s learning styles (not fitting the child to the curriculum). Start with the basics: communication skills, manners, reading, math. – Mom of 3, homeschooling for 6 years.
  • Character Formation and Truth are paramount. – Mom of 3, homeschooling for 6 years.
  • Every child is different. They have different styles of learning, some take longer to process information, but in the end, they ALL reach that “aha!” moment. – Mom of 7, entering 4th year of homeschooling.
  • Do not think you have a child figured out because they will always surprise you. – Mom of 6, entering 5th year of homeschooling.
  • Homeschooling offers not just an opportunity to learn academics and life skills but a chance to learn virtues and who your children are as individuals and who you are and who you hope to become. A real opportunity to lean on and trust God on a daily basis. – Mom of 6, entering 5th year of homeschooling.
  • Live our Faith Together. I have a unique privilege to allow the Holy Spirit to permeate our home life, even amid school work.  May I never forget! – Mom of 6, homeschooling for 7 years.
  • Homeschooling is hard but worth it. The stakes are high when it comes to the formation and education of our children, and homeschooling provides our family with a roadmap for achieving our child-rearing goals. Homeschooling pushes us to continually look at ways of doing things better as a family. – Mom of 4, homeschooling for 4 years and counting.
  • Time spent homeschooling is rewarding. A few times, I have gone back to work for a short period. I have found that while there are definite stresses associated with work, it was somewhat easier than dealing with screaming, crying children. You often get more respect and you can go to the bathroom without worrying about being interrupted. And you get paid… but I realize that no money in the world can replace the time I get to spend with my children and the impact that I have on their life, and the impact they have on my life. I thank God for that! – Mom of 7, homeschooling about 17 years.
  • The academics are not as daunting as I’d thought they’d be. I used to stress out about whether they were learning enough (I still do, to be honest), but somehow, despite all the family interruptions that occur (babies, house moves, illnesses, etc), the boys are learning and thriving academically. Homeschooling has also introduced us to many amazing ways of educating our children (for example, the classics, reading out loud, etc) which we may not have discovered had we sent the kids to school. – Mom of 4, homeschooling for 4 years and counting.
  • I have learned so much about art, history and science that I either forgot or never learned and enjoy doing this with my kids. – Mom of 6, entering 5th year of homeschooling.
  • Homeschooling enables our children to become lifelong friends. One of the most pleasant surprises has been how much our boys enjoy each other’s company. They each have very different personalities and while things are not always harmonious, the boys truly value each other. – Mom of 4, homeschooling for 4 years and counting.
  • Begin gently. Especially daily, cozy read-aloud times. Fostering a love of books and learning is far more important than pushing a lot of droll make-work stuff. – Mom of 3, homeschooling for 6 years.
  • It’s okay to take time off. Home schoolers don’t have PD Days or “snow” days or “fog” days. So, if you have to take a week off during the year, take a week off! – Mom of 7, entering 4th year of homeschooling.
  • Do not underestimate the power of a great mid-week hike or a well-timed craft. – Mom of 3, homeschooling for 6 years.
  • Home-schooling moms are just as in need for friends as home-schooled children. – Mom of 3, homeschooling for 6 years.
  • DO NOT COMPARE YOUR KIDS TO OTHER KIDS! I can’t stress how important this is. It took me a LONG time to get over this. I always felt that since I’m home schooling, my kids had to be “mini geniuses”. That’s not the case. This will put a damper on the whole experience for you AND your child/ren. – Mom of 7, entering 4th year of homeschooling.

There you have it! Some insight into the lives and minds of some wonderful, homeschooling moms. Let us pray for all those who are starting their new homeschool year and those discerning education options for their children.

If you are in the Ontario, Canada area please check out this exciting event for Catholic Homeschoolers:

We are proud to sponsor the first ever…

Ontario Catholic Homeschool Conference

Are you home schooling or discerning a call to home school your children?

What: Conference and support for new and veteran homeschoolers

When: Saturday, Sept. 26 –10:00am-2:30pm

8:30am Mass available (optional), at-the-door registration from 9:05 am to 9:45 am

Featuring: Patrick Sullivan (Catholic writer, speaker & catechist)

Also: a panel of veteran homeschoolers and Catholic vendors with curriculum, family resources, and more! Free local resources!

Where: St. Lawrence the Martyr Catholic Church, 2210 Lawrence Ave. E., Scarborough (parking at St. Lawrence the Martyr elementary school next door, or public lot across the street)

Cost: Earlybird registration (in the mail by Sept. 15) $15; registration at-the-door $20. Spouses $5 extra.

**Bring your own lunch. Coffee, tea, light refreshments provided. (Sorry, we can not accommodate children. Nursing infants only.)

Contact: for registration forms, email: mau.smith@rogers.com

 

*What are some of your favourite resources?

I particularly enjoy Catholic Icing and Four Crowns Catholic Homeschooling. Some great Facebook groups are: Ontario Catholic Homeschool Moms and Catholic Homeschool Moms.

The local group in our area is the Catholic Homeschoolers of Halton (Ontario, Canada based). If interested in more information you can email catholichomeschoolersofhalton@yahoo.ca.

Ontario Catholic Homeschool Conference Poster

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