When reflecting on my homeschooling journey, I can identify five crucial decisions that have had a profound impact on my family's education experience. These decisions have shaped a sustainable and enjoyable path for my six children, ranging in age from 7 to 16. In this blog post, I'll delve into the five key choices I made that have truly made a difference and provided fruitful results.
One of the best decisions I made was to prioritize character development, manners, etiquette, and Bible studies over strict academic pursuits during the early years of homeschooling. While academic skills like reading and counting are important, I recognized that fostering qualities like integrity, honesty, and obedience is equally vital. These traits lay the foundation for a successful and sustainable homeschooling journey.
I found that teaching these values during a child's formative years, before the age of seven, has a significant impact on their overall behavior and work habits. Children absorb information like sponges during this stage, making it the perfect time to instill a sense of right and wrong and the importance of discipline and focus. By focusing on these essential character traits first, I set the stage for a self-teaching methodology that would work effectively in the long run.
Choosing the Robinson Curriculum as our educational framework was another pivotal decision. This curriculum emphasizes the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic while also introducing various subjects through living books. It's a self-teaching method that empowers students to take charge of their own learning. I bridged the gap from pre-K to the Robinson Curriculum by using resources like Alpha-Phonics and basic math materials to make this transition smoother. This direct path allowed my children to seamlessly transition into a self-taught approach, ensuring a strong foundation for their education.
Recognizing that my own mindset and personal growth play a significant role in homeschooling success was a game-changer. I understood that addressing my own perfectionism, managing my thoughts, and maintaining a positive state of mind was essential. Working on myself allowed me to confidently approach homeschooling, alleviate anxiety, and focus on the bigger picture. I also made the decision to step away from social media, minimizing the comparison trap and helping me stay aligned with my unique vision for homeschooling.
The principle of simplicity became a guiding force in our homeschooling journey. I learned that keeping the curriculum straightforward, concentrating on core subjects, and avoiding unnecessary busywork led to more effective learning outcomes. By simplifying the approach, my children were able to focus deeply on the three Rs—reading, writing, and arithmetic. Repurposing curriculum materials and streamlining resources also contributed to a more efficient and productive learning experience.
I also created the Bridging the Gaps Course that helps parents assess where their kids are right now and how to use included tools to improve their skills to have greater homeschooling success quickly.
Applying the concepts of efficient business management to homeschooling proved highly effective. Treating our homeschooling environment like a franchise business, I introduced routines, standardized processes, and delegated responsibilities among family members. This approach ensured that our daily homeschooling activities flowed smoothly, with clear expectations and a well-defined structure. This implementation led to a more organized and harmonious homeschooling experience.
Additionally, being around like-minded homeschoolers is crucial for support and growth. That's why I've created the Sustainable Homeschooling community—an exclusive forum outside of mainstream social media. Connect with fellow homeschoolers, and join me for weekly live group coaching calls to enhance your homeschooling experience.
In conclusion, these five decisions—prioritizing character development, transitioning to the Robinson Curriculum, working on personal growth, embracing simplicity, and applying business principles—have been instrumental in shaping our successful homeschooling journey. Each choice contributes to an environment that fosters self-reliant learning, meaningful character development, and an atmosphere of growth. By focusing on these key elements, we've cultivated a sustainable and enjoyable homeschooling experience that truly aligns with our family's values and goals.