Diana Waring interviewed 50 homeschooling families in the 1990s and wrote a wonderful book about it – Things We Wish We’d Known. (Amazon Affiliate link) Learning from other people’s mistakes and victories gives us such an advantage. I am a big fan of learning from others who have gone before me.
Some of the details may be dated, like books on tapes. But otherwise the advice feels as fresh as anything I have ever heard in a homeschool convention workshop. Besides, one just has to replaces “tapes” with “audiobooks” and, really, it is the same tool, the same advice. Only the technology has changed.
I learned early on about flexibility from the family who drove past Mount Rushmore in their RV and did not stop because the kids had not done their school work for that day… You see, I started reading this book 10 years ago, when I started homeschooling, but never finished it.
Back then, I almost got to a level of “advice saturation” and decided to put it aside. I needed to live my own adventure, my own homeschool, and leave others’ experience alone. Their homeschool is their homeschool. Mine is mine. Deep thought, huh?
Of course, there is a balance between comparing everything you do to others and not hearing any advice at all. How to reach that balance, I do not know.
As I picked this book back up, I heard one theme running through all the testimonials: it’s about relationships. Academics do not rank as highly as relationships. Do you and your children have fun together? Do you laugh together? Or is it all about the checklist? I learned the hard way that some children absolutely hate “the checklist.”
This is the book that also pointed me to Homeschooling Today magazine, which I absolutely love. By the way, they also have a podcast. Enjoy!