When my children were little, I wish I had known how fast the little would go away.
- I wish I had known that all that worry about the future was a waste of the time that we could have spent playing outside.
- I wish I had known that my friends really didn’t care if my house was a mess; theirs was too! I should have had them over more often for play dates or coffee.
- When my kids were little, I wish I had known to make things more fun and less orderly. I should have relaxed a little because my kids only remember the fun but not the messes.
- I wish I had known how much I would love homeschooling, and I would have started it sooner.
- I wish that I had known that I didn’t need to cover every subject thoroughly to complete mastery but that I could teach my kids how to learn, and they would eventually master their own education.
- I wish I had sat outside more often to do school, and I’m thankful for every adventure we went on during school.
- I wish I had known how much I would learn while teaching my children.
- I wish I had known that my children already knew I wasn’t perfect, so I should have just apologized more quickly.
- I wish I had been less controlling, taken more risks, and trusted more.
- I wish I had said “yes” more… “yes, go play in the rain or the mud,” “yes, you can eat ice cream,” “yes we can go to the park.”
- I wish I had shown more delight in every little thing my children accomplished.
- I wish I had known that my homeschool critics were wrong and that this was best for my children.
- I wish I would have had fewer doubts and trusted God’s word in Isaiah 54:13, which says, “All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.” (ESV)
- I wish I had trusted that God really was in control, knew what he was doing, and had chosen homeschooling to mold and shape ME as much as for my children.
All my wishing changes nothing about the past, but thankfulness makes me realize the blessings of my homeschool past.
- I am thankful that homeschooling has built our relationships and bonded our family.
- I’m thankful for all the shared experiences, funny jokes, and one-liners we share. It makes us feel like we are all a part of a greater whole. It’s part of our family identity.
- I am thankful for the growth and challenges in my own life that came because of homeschooling. I am a better person for it.
- I am thankful for all the amazing mothers I now have as friends because we homeschooled together.
- I am thankful that each of my children could love learning what interested them, whether on the floor, outside in a tree, upside down on the couch, or on the trampoline.
- I am thankful that we took vacations when everyone else was in school. My children were the special guests almost everywhere we went.
- I am thankful that we didn’t just learn about Washington DC or Jamestown; we went there to see it for class.
- I am thankful that cooking, gardening, raising chickens, and hiking were all real-life “school.”
- I am thankful that by homeschooling my children, I have redeemed my own education!
With all these blessings, I wish I would have encouraged more of my friends to join me.
SO WHAT DO I RECOMMEND?
Most of what I got worked up about doesn’t matter now. Focus on your relationships with your spouse and kids.
- Never make a long-term decision based on a short-term event or problem. Watch what you say and how you react. Your children will remember that reaction long-term, but they won’t remember why you acted that way.
- Sit down and read good books out loud – a book that’s too hard for your kids to read but that they can understand.
- Go outside. A lot!
- Do EVERYTHING you can together—every subject, meals, fun times.
- Do school anywhere that makes sense to your kids rather than to you.
- Do fun, do crazy, relax, and enjoy every day.
- Let some expectations go…focus on things that will matter in the future, and let the rest go.
Always be there for your husband and your kids, even if you miss out on the fun, work, or other things in life.
You won’t regret it. The world around you will shift and change, but your family is yours.