Ask a Veteran Homeschooler Series: What Would You Have Done Differently?

This is part of the Ask A Veteran Homeschooler Series <--Click to view all posts in this series!

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This is the final post in our Ask a Veteran Homeschooler Series!

About two months ago we posted on our facebook page and asked “If you could ask a veteran homeschooler any question what would it be?” We received a lot of questions! In this series I have been trying to answer these questions for you the best that I can with things I have learned in my 12+ years of homeschooling. For our final post I wanted to include many veterans to help answer our final question. These answers have come from homeschool companies, bloggers, local facebook homeschool groups and our very own Homeschool Giveaways Facebook Group Page!

“What Would You Have Done Differently?”

“I would loosen up, I guess. When something doesn’t work, leave it for a while. Or change your way of looking at it. And sometimes it’s a matter of growing into it. Being patient. What wasn’t learned a year ago, might be learned in a week or a year later. Not setting your goals too strict, but defining them for the long term. Cross checking every now and then. And enjoy!”
~ Hubertine 

“I would have switched to Charlotte Mason (instead of trying to mimic the public school curriculum) much sooner! Our unit study/read aloud method is much more relaxed and effective!”  
~ Yvie from Gypsy Road School

“What would I have done differently? That’s a loaded question! The major thing I would have done differently was to NOT try to do traditional schooling at home. No desks, few traditional texts (they do have their place but not for all subjects), more fun. Another hard one to learn: if the curriculum isn’t working, ditch it and try something else. What worked for the last child may not work for this one. It’s frustrating because most of us don’t have money to throw away. When you can, make the most of used curriculum sales/swaps.” ~ Laura Pierce a homeschooling veteran of 20+ years!

“Nothing! Ive learned Gods ways are higher than my ways and often times He doesn’t tell us why He allows things to happen the way they do but in all things He is faithful! I have just recently learned this truth! Be encouraged as you walk along the way making day to day decisions for schooling your children, God is with you! He will not leave you or forsake you!! Be encouraged!” ~ Marilyn Coleman 

“I loved our early years filled with Five In A Row studies, science explorations and sweet hands-on memories. The ONLY thing I regret from our High Schoolers’ young days is that I didn’t lay a foundation in grammar & spelling. Written communication is vital & highly reflective on a student and we’re playing a lot of catch up now to ensure their success… which, of course, is another benefit of homeschooling… Learning never stops & no subject is ever “beneath” our students!”
~ Allie O. from Homeschool Manager

 “I’ve had the privilege to have the option to do things differently with my younger kids. I’ve stressed less, trusted more, given more freedom earlier, concentrated more on relationship, than academics, more on life skills and how to get along with those who aren’t just like us, and been less formal with academics in general. Instead of expecting them to learn things at a very young age, I’ve allowed them to learn them at a slower pace and when they are ready. That means, we learned to read, before we learned to spell and write. That means once reading was well established, we moved on to spelling. Since we weren’t overwhelmed with many different subjects, spelling didn’t take that long. Then we moved to writing and basic grammar. Once the kids are doing well there, we’ll move on. My basic goal is the same, I’m just not having to work as hard to accomplish it. The kids have more free-time to figure out how the world works and decide what they want to focus on and I can keep us in clothes throughout the week. We work before we play. Everyone helps with everything.” 
~ Lisa Glasnapp, Veteran Mama of 7

“Stress less, don’t worry about it if your school doesn’t look like everyone elses, follow your gut instincts, follow God’s leading. That’s it in a nutshell.” ~  Shawne

“I would have found a math and spelling curriculum and just stuck with it. My poor kids struggles with spelling and has too many gaps in math!” ~ Carrie Fernandez, owner Homeschool Giveaways

“Academically speaking, I do wish I would’ve trusted my gut with the Charlotte Mason method of teaching from the very beginning and not been afraid of it! It has been a blessing teaching my struggling readers and a dyslexic child using the CM style! I also would have stopped worrying about keeping a clean and organized home and spent more time playing and reading to my kids then running around like a crazy woman trying to keep my house in order!” ~ Sarah Shelton

Final Thoughts:
I really hope this series has been a blessing and encouragement in your homeschool journey. My goal for this series was for you to see that “one size doesn’t fit all” in homeschooling. The beauty of homeschooling is that God gives us the flexibility to love, teach and raise our children up in the Lord in whichever way is the best for our specific families that  He has entrusted in our care!

~ God Bless! 

In case you missed it, here is the rest of our Ask a Veteran Homeschooler Series:
How do you get your husband involved in school?
How do you cover every subject without taking up the entire day?
How do you homeschool multiple ages with babies and toddlers?
How do you do it all?
How do you get time to yourself during the day?

Written by Sarah


Sarah is a wife, daughter of the King and Granola Mama to 4 children ages 16-5. She is a Charlotte Mason style homeschooler and has been homeschooling for 13 years now. She is still trying to find the balance between work and keeping a home and says she can only do it by the Grace of God, Coffee and Green Smoothies!

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