Monday, November 30, 2009

I Wish That I Knew Then What I Know Now

I love the song that goes, “I wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger.” It expresses how I feel all the time as I get old enough to have years to look back on what I thought and did in the past. Nowhere is that feeling more acute than my memories of our homeschooling years. I started by the seat of my pants and never really caught up. So I’m going to share with you today the lessons I’ve learned as I look back and groan.

• Don’t expect all of your kids to learn the same way. I could have saved myself (and my kids) a lot of grief if I had been more willing to gear the curriculum to the children and less determined to cram them into a curriculum.
• Don’t be a slave to any book, ideology, curriculum, method or activity. They are your servants, not your masters.
• Don’t freak out if you don’t finish every activity in a book. We could finally breathe when we realized we could pick and choose what worked for us—and when I remembered how few books I finished in my school career.
• Keep it simple. Complicated schedules=stress=zero actual learning.
• Have fun with your kids. One of the most important things they will take with them is good memories and strong relationships.
• True learning isn’t always measured by tests.
• Keep accurate records—especially in the high school years.
• Read good books. Listen to quality music. Study great art. Set high standards.
• Relax. Nothing is as important fifteen years later as it seems the day it happens (or doesn’t happen).
• You can’t pray too much. You can’t trust God too much.
• Remember learning is more than checking off a chapter read or workbook page completed.

I hope you will benefit from lessons I learned. Do you have any lessons you would like to share?

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