I've learned alot from homeschooling - these are things I wish I'd known from the beginning :
Things I wish I'd known...
I wish I knew that if my happy dd consistently cried through math that it wasn't because of deficiencies in her or me -- we needed to keep trying math programs until one fit us (Math-U-See). I spent so many of my own tears on the fact that I was "failing" to teach her math and that I was "failing" her and that she was "failing" math. Except for the prayers, they were wasted tears.
I wish I knew not to be afraid of other homeschoolers. I'd had a fair amount of rejection out in the world and dd and I spent our first year of hsing desperately lonely. It took me making friends of the moms to find homeschool friends for her AND IT WAS SOO WORTH THE EFFORT! These were not people who rejected our oddities but allowed themselves to be vunrable so we could see them for who they were -- these were kindred spirits. I didn't realize the effort I'd have to make in finding friends of my own to find friends for her, and I didn't realize the wonderful payoff, either.
I wish I'd known how much I'd have to teach myself about my faith to pass it on. I knew I'd have to learn some Latin to teach it, but somehow I thought I knew all I needed to about my faith. I know now how much continuing education I need (LOTS) to adequately form these children.
I wish I knew how much "success" I'd have in homeschooling circles. When I tried to make a difference at my parish, I was just off from many other people and couldn't get much accomplished. When I applied that same effort in homeschool groups, I was shocked how much I got accomplished!
These are things that others have said that resonated with me, too:
* I wish I would have know to not worry so much. They will learn in spite of your least efforts most of the time.
* Set up some notebook or scrapbook of all that they have memorized--prayers, poems, and songs.
* What I would do differently (and what I'm trying to do now that I didn't do with the first children) is BE MORE RELAXED (not stress over the little things...to take things as they come...chaos will ensue some days....plans will not always be implemented perfectly, but that's ok....make a plan and try to generally stick with it, but it's ok to adjust too.)
Things I'd still like to know ...
I wish (this is present tense) that I could set aside the work for the day and spend more time cuddled on the couch reading to them (but then they start touching each other and end up wrestling and I have to discipline them and it's easier to have them at their desks).
I wish (present tense) I had a better feel for discipline (self and others) vs. fun. I always feel like this balance eludes me. Now that I've experienced 4 toddlers, I have a much better handle on how much discipline a toddler takes and what things are only worth giggling about rather than getting angry. When I've graduated 4 kids I think I'll have a feel for the line between discipline and fun -- just when I don't need it. anymore!