Episode 11: My Homeschool Mistakes and Lessons Learned!
By: Jamie Gaddy
Hello everyone and welcome back to episode 11 of the Homeschooling and Loving It Podcast!
Today I’m sharing something a little difficult…
My worst moments as a homeschooler…
Recently overheard someone mention me, “I trust Jamie, she’s homeschooled six kids over the past 15 years.” That really made me want to laugh out loud – and then it hit me…
IF ONLY they knew. I’m probably one of homeschooling’s biggest mess-ups. I’ve made so many mistakes, I’ve blown it so many times it’s a living, breathing miracle that my kids are ok. ( Well, the jury might still be out on that one…)
But, after contemplating what this dear homeschooler said, I wanted to come clean with the world!!
If there appears to be any success stemming from my convoluted efforts, I must claim the grace and mercy of God. I look back at the years and wonder how anything good could have come from my crazy attempts, and REALLY I’m amazed and humbled that we’ve come as far as we have!
So, I need ya’ll to know that I’ve probably made more messes in my homeschool years than I could count! das
Really that’s what learning is all about, isn’t it? We fall on our faces – – say ouch that hurt…
Brush ourselves off and get back to it… hopefully in a different better way!
BUT I’ve got to say — those mistakeshave been my teachersand also mygreatest heartaches.
I must say for me, my mistakes are the events in life that teach me the most. I haven’t always done things the best way, I haven’t always been diligent and consistent, but I have loved my kids and wanted the best for them. At the end of the day, that is the heart of it!
Well…Here goes my highlight reel of our homeschool bloopers!
- Classroom at Home. So I started homeschooling fresh from a classroom. And, I thought I could simply carry over everything that I did in the classroom to my homeschool. In theory, you’d think that would work. But, the classroom and the school environment is very controlled… and my home… is very relaxed. I expected an orderly classroom, but instead I had diapers to change while teaching math, and crying toddlers to hush while teaching pre-algebra. It was crazy… and I started to go crazy!
- Detailed Lesson Plans. We’re talkingdetailed.What I didn’t realize is that I was setting myself up to feel like a failure. Creating detailed lesson plans far in advance gave me no wiggle room…and boy did I need wiggle room. Every time I did not complete those lesson plans I felt awful, and that awful feeling led quickly to burnout!
- No Plan or Schedule. Yeah, sooo… after those first two mistakes, I foolishly thought that going completely relaxed would cure my burnout. I was so wrong. Not having any plan or schedule was complete chaos! The kids learned very little this year and no surprise. We need goals to shoot for, and without them, we were lost!
- Adopt Someone Else’s Life. Shew… are you seeing a pattern here yet? I was lost. I had not found my own personal groove. So this year, I thought I had to be just like someone I looked up to. My homeschool would be perfect if I could be like her! NOPE. Wasn’t perfect. It was awful. You see her homeschool fit her and her family, not me and mine.
- Round Peg – Square Hole. So this mistake sort of carried over a few years. I have a child who has some learning difficulties. Instead of completely embracing those with her, I kept trying to educate her in the same way I had taught my other children. I put expectations on her that would never work. And I kept trying – over the course of several years. This resulted in frustration on my part and a dislike for learning on her part. Shame on me. I’m trying to repair that these days…
- Fitting into a Homeschool Method. So for a time, I thought I had to claim a homeschool method to validate my homeschooling efforts. Wrong. It’s nice to know about the different kinds of homeschooling/learning methods and to use them as a tool, but what I didn’t realize is that no one fits perfectly into just one method. Most often homeschoolers straddle the fence and really homeschool using several different methods. When I realized this, it was revolutionary and FREEING for me!
- Haunted by Unrealistic Expectations. This one is hard. I’m a perfectionist by nature. I love order and beauty – peace and serenity. (God sure does have a sense of humor to give me six kiddos!!) I rarely get all of those things in my life… but I have a constant battle with longing for them. Looking at social media and seeing what appears to be perfect homeschooling mamas with beautiful homes, obedient children, reading aloud, learning from nature, sketching their own planners from scratch… makes me covet that life. And, that is a dangerous place to be. Simply because I’m not grateful or content with what I have. I’ve learned that I’m not pleasant to be around when I’m grasping those unrealistic expectations. I force them on myself and on my family… not nice. So – grasping – clinging to a heart of thankfulness for the fact that I have been blessed with a wildly different yet beautiful life makes all the difference! I still lose a battle now and again – but I know my enemy and can be intentional in the fight!
Well, there are sooo many more ugly mistakes that I could bring up…but I feel like these seven are really root issues that a lot of my other mistakes grew from….it’s true we all have to work through ups and downs before we find our way!
Anyhow – as you walk your path and make your own mistakes don’t be discouraged… remember mistakes are our best teachers! Fall on your face – – get up – – brush yourself off – – learn from the mistake and move forward to do it better next time!
As always with grace and joy,
About the Series
Where'd my instruction manual go??? I know we've all wondered that about parenting and homeschooling! Join us as we chat about the big stuff and everything in-between! Helping homeschoolers with practical teaching tips to find all they need to Homeschool and Love it!!