When we moved to Taiwan, I knew that I would have to homeschool my kids. I have a 7 year old, 4 year old and 2 year old. So we’re talking 1st grade and preschool.
I’ll be honest. The idea of homeschooling had me completely overwhelmed. The never-ending list of what if’s went through my mind on a daily basis. What if I couldn’t do it? What if I wasn’t good at it? What if they didn’t really learn anything? What if I ruined their entire education? What if I ruin them for high school? College? LIFE?! You know… a completely sane and rational list of what-if’s. 😉
Because of this list, I procrastinated. I put off planning. I made excuses and rationalized to myself why I didn’t have time. And then one day it hit me…
I wasn’t doing anyone any favors by simply not trying! So I buckled down, got over my own insecurities (ha! just kidding… but I can pretend right?!) and made a plan for the week. Read the books and set a date.
I felt much better after I wrote out a plan of action. A clear idea of things to do. Which is actually kind of strange for me. I’m not usually the planning type. I’m not a list maker or a planner user. But homeschooling was just overwhelming enough for me that actually sitting down to plan made me feel much better!
We bought the curriculum from Oak Meadow (I’m not being paid to tell you this, it just is what we bought) So far, they have pretty good explanations and processes lined out for you. Perfect for a beginner like me! They include reading, art, music, crafts, science, health, writing, you name it! And it’s customizable to what you are doing in your life. I chose to plan out 6 days a week which leaves me the flexibility of stopping early some days or skipping a day (or two) when we feel like it or are out on a little adventure. It’s also helped me to be more mindful in creating learning opportunities or even just choosing a more educational tv show when they get to watch a show.
I’ve been shocked at how much the kids love homeschooling so far. I mean, it very well could be a homeschooling honeymoon period but I have a feeling that it’s going to go well. Especially since we don’t have to follow a strict schedule and can take breaks when they start to feel overwhelmed.
Such as today, we were creating a calendar. It’s a great way to practice numbers, writing, and just learning the difference between days, weeks and years. My 4 year old wants to do everything the 7 year old does so we are making 2 calendars.
But it’s a big project for 7 and 4 year olds so I could tell they started to feel overwhelmed by it. We finished 2 months of it and drew out boxes for 4 more and then stopped. We can pick it back up tomorrow. The beauty of homeschool.
Just doing things like this shows me how smart they are. It’s pretty amazing!
On the first day of homeschooling, I was talking to my 7 year old, Taevia, about a story we had read the night before to practice memory recall. My 4 year old, Tahlia, automatically got overwhelmed and said she “couldn’t do it” and that she “didn’t want to do school”. I had to stop and explain the difference between 1st grade and preschool and that it was okay that she couldn’t do everything that Taevia could do. After a few minutes, she changed her mind and started coloring and being happy. Since then, I’ve been very mindful of communicating possible differences of what they could be doing. And even with all of that, she still wants to try to keep up with Taevia. But I’m letting her choose which things she’d like to work on. So like with all things in life, good communication is key!
I never imagined myself homeschooling. But if you had told me 2 years ago that we would move halfway around the world – I would have told you you were crazy about that too! Life is certainly interesting!
This adventure is just beginning and I can tell it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s going to be challenging and frustrating, inspiring and rewarding.
Whatever happens, I’m trying. And now that I’ve begun, I seriously doubt I’ll ruin their education for life, but don’t worry – I have plenty of time to find out. 😉
Do you homeschool?!