As we approach the end of the homeschooling year for many, I thought about the numbers of first year homeschoolers who are disheartened right now. Perhaps it just did not go as you planned. I can remember the end of our first year. The family ate out for lunch to celebrate, and I was, more than anything else, relieved. Dad was still happy and supportive, the kids bought into the idea that homeschooling was a good thing, and I had survived the first year with my two new “students” and a newborn baby. Yet, amidst all the joy and peace, I also remember other, more troubling, thoughts. I wished I had known about more of the approaches to learning—was I using the best approach for our family? I wished that I had done a better job of creating learning centers around the house. I wished that I had taken more advantage of the park, or field trip opportunities, or…And, more than anything, I wished I had someone to answer the age-old question of any homeschooling parent: did we do enough? My doubts and fears far outweighed my excitement, and it might have been enough to second-guess our decision, except for one nugget of advice I heard at a conference before our first homeschool year:
Consider the first year a trial year. If you don’t, you just might quit.