Our First Year Homeschooling in Review: Was it Worth It?

by | May 30, 2018 | homeschool

This past week, we wrapped up our first year as homeschoolers.  That thing I said I would NEVER do?  Well, WE DID IT.

 

WHY I NEVER WANTED TO HOMESCHOOL

Homeschooling was always a mystery to me.  I grew up attending private schools.  I never wanted to teach, and the mere idea of taking charge of my children’s education made me want to vomit.

The only teaching experience I had was a couple of years as a substitute teacher.

I distinctly remember scrapping a 5th grade math lesson on probability one day because 1) I didn’t remember anything about probability and 2) it was before smartphones and Google–like, basically the Dark Ages.  I literally told the class “yeah… we’re skipping this lesson.”

Not my favorite teaching moment, ha!

 

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The most real reason I didn’t want to homeschool was fear. 

Like many parents, I felt the weight of responsibility for my kids’ future even before I considered teaching them. 

I wanted my kids to be successful, less for the glory of God and more for the glory of my name, and that of our legacy. 

I wanted to leave the education of my children to trained professionals.  I bought into the illusion that education = success = happiness. 

I internalized the pressure we put on parents [ourselves and others] these days, to not only right the wrongs of our own childhoods, but to ensure prosperity for our children.  All of this translated to fear of the future, the unknown, and ultimately of failure.

Now, if I believe God’s words, then I believe that He loves my children.  I believe that He will work all things together for good.  And I believe that He is with me no matter what.  All I need to do is trust in Him.

Fear has no place at the board room table, especially when it comes to making decisions that impact my children.  And God has provided everything I asked for on this journey–guidance, friends, and support.

 

 

OUR HOMESCHOOL CURRICULUM

We made a quick decision to homeschool, and there was really no place in our budget for curriculum, so I put together bits and pieces.  The majority of the curriculum we used was found online, and FREE.  I found curriculum for each of the 8 required subjects (for our home state), plus some materials to use for Bible classes.  Here’s what we used:

Bible – Kids of Integrity (free)

Math – Easy Peasy (free online homeschool curriculum)

Reading/Language – The Good and the Beautiful (reading curriculum is free online)

Social Studies – A Blessed Heritage and The Good and the Beautiful

Science – Mystery Science (free trial)

P.E./Health – Pinterest workouts, lots of games at the park, Health videos, and this e-Book

Art – Khan Academy plus various books on art

Music – Khan Academy (free)

 

 

PROS & CONS OF HOMESCHOOLING

 

Pros:

  • I got to know my kids on a more intimate level.  Our relationship has deepened more than I thought possible.
  • I get to see my kids blossom in an unrestricted learning environment.
  • I get to plant seeds of faith and learn more about the Lord with my kids.
  • We can stay in our pajamas if we want to.
  • Pretty much every situation that occurs during the day is a learning opportunity.
  • Socialization is as easy as you are intentional about managing your family’s social calendar.

Cons:

  • Since I am with my kids 24/7, I have to be even more intentional about making sure my own cup is filled.
  • The costs of curriculum, co-ops and umbrellas, lessons, field trips, and supplies quickly adds up.  I think homeschooling could easily cost as much as private school.  This is where a budget comes in handy.

 

Since I am with my kids 24/7, I have to be even more intentional about making sure my own cup is filled. Click To Tweet

WILL WE CONTINUE TO HOMESCHOOL?

I have no inclination to stop homeschooling at this point, so we are headed into another year. I am relieved to have finished the first year. Everything about homeschooling is far less scary than when we began. I’ve already started planning for the next year, and I’m excited to see what God has in store for us. My son and daughter are happier overall, and way less anxious than they were before.

I’m not saying homeschool is a cure-all, or an antidote to the public school system, or even the right course for everyone. I know this is our path for the moment, but I can’t say with certainty that it always will be right for us. I will keep homeschooling my kids, keep seeking support, and keep looking for direction from God on how to raise up these kids for His glory. One front in front of the other!

I'm not saying homeschool is a cure-all, or an antidote to the public school system, or even the right course for everyone. Click To Tweet

 

CONCLUSION

If you’re considering homeschooling (and I haven’t scared you off), make sure you get a copy of The Beginner’s Quick-Start Guide to Homeschooling.  It’s a thorough overview of everything you need to start homeschooling.  Sign up below!

START YOUR HOMESCHOOL RIGHT

Download a FREE 16-page PDF guide to learn the basics so you can get your homeschool up and running in no time!

32 Comments

  1. Rebecca Miller

    Thank you. I have been considering starting my 3 year old’s preschool education by homeschooling. We can’t afford the $600 per month at the good preschool, and the others are full or won’t take 3 year olds. She keeps asking to go to school, so I think if I start working with her she will be ready next year.

    Reply
    • Kat Charles

      Hi Rebecca, I think working with your daughter is a great idea! $600 a month is unfathomable to me, but a good education is certainly an investment.

      Reply
  2. Andrea | Southern Momdays

    I loved this article! So encouraging. I was just like you — terrified of messing up my baby’s education. I literally just started (summer) homeschool preschool with my 2-year-old this past Monday, and it has been amazing the past few days! What I’ve invested so far definitely beats spending the $4000 on actual preschool for just 8 months out of the year. And, I’m setting up free (or cheap) family “field trips” for each weekend that reinforce her curriculum. We’re looking forward to spending more intentional time together as a family now because of that. So fun!

    Reply
    • Kat Charles

      Andrea, thanks for reading! I’m glad you were encouraged. Field trips are a favorite in my house, too! I love that you have started with your 2-year-old. This is such a special time and it has really brought our family closer together.

      Reply
  3. Keri

    It sounds like home schooling is a good fit for your family. Good luck as you continue on this journey!

    Reply
    • Kat Charles

      Thank you, Keri! So far, so good.

      Reply
  4. The Curious Frugal

    I love reading about homeschooling. It’s something I’m slightly considering and our daughter is only two. I really hadn’t thought that it could be expensive so that’s an interesting point!

    Reply
    • Kat Charles

      It’s definitely worth researching. There are ways to save money. There are curriculum fairs where you can purchased new and used, and I’ve seen some curriculum at my local library. Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  5. Amy @ Orison Orchards

    I completely understand your trepidation and the “weight” of homeschooling. But you did it! Successfully! And you’re doing it again — congratulations!

    Reply
    • Kat Charles

      Thank you so much, Amy! That means a lot coming from a veteran homeschooler. At least I have a vague idea of what we will do next year, and my kids are still on board. That makes the decision easier.

      Reply
  6. Kat Charles

    Thanks, Sandra! There’s a ton of information on homeschooling. It’s definitely worth praying over.

    Reply
  7. Kat Charles

    Thanks for reading, Lisa! I have several friends who homeschool for preschool.

    Reply
  8. ShootingStarsMag

    I’m so glad that homeschooling has worked out for you and your kids! I don’t have kids, but I sometimes think about homeschooling if I was able to make it work. That’s awesome you could get most of the curriculum you needed for free!

    -Lauren

    Reply
    • Kat Charles

      Thank you for your encouraging words, Lauren, and thank you for visiting!

      Reply
  9. Asma

    I always found home schooling a mystery too. But i love your article. I might have to eventually start homeschooling my daughter in near future too. So this was a good read.

    Reply
  10. Kristin's Peppermints and Cherries

    Setting a homeschool budget is such a great idea! I have never considered that, but as I have recently been researching costs and co-ops, I can see where everything adds up!

    Reply
    • Kat Charles

      Kristin, I definitely believe in a budget! There are so many things to consider!

      Reply
  11. Bailey

    As a homeschool graduate, it’s totally worth it! Keep it up!

    Reply
  12. Lisa

    I love your balanced approach, sharing both the good and the bad. Being intentional is definitely essential! And I hadn’t heard of some of the curricula you shared, so I’m eager to look into it. Those free resources will definitely help balance the budget more (I have 8 kids, and 6 of them will be “doing school” in our homeschool next year.)

    Reply
    • Kat Charles

      Thank you for reading, Lisa! Every little bit helps the budget. Do people often ask you if you homeschool all of your kids? People ask me that all the time.

      Reply
  13. Ashley

    Great post. I have been considering homeschooling my kids. Neither are really school age yet. My oldest just missed the cut off for kindergarten. So I have some time to think about it. I didn’t realize how costly it could be. I love that you created your own curriculum.

    Reply
    • Kat Charles

      Thanks, Ashley. There are many different ways to homeschool, and it’s worth researching a bit. But you do have time.

      Reply
  14. Sunni

    Thank you for your thoughts! I have my son in public school and I will continue this for the rest of our kids. I don’t think I could handle homeschooling to be honest! However, last year we lived in a state where public schools were absolutely terrible, and if we were to stay there I could see myself homeschooling our kids. Kudos to you! Your kids have a wonderful mother. 🙂

    Reply
    • Kat Charles

      Thanks, Sunni! So happy you were able to make the move into a better school system.

      Reply
  15. Brandy

    Thanks for sharing! We’re a homeschooling family and while I do feel burned out some days, I absolutely love getting to be the one helping and watching my children learn.

    Reply
  16. Jesse Murphy

    Homeschooling is most definitely worth it! I personally believe there shouldn’t be any other options! God gave our children to us, and not the government! Great job on your first year! I hope your second year and all the years to come are blessed!

    Reply
  17. Heather

    Homeschooling can add up, but many of the things that cost are the extras, not necessities. We choose not to do a co-op to save money, and our field trips are only to free or inexpensive places, or to places where we got a discounted membership (watch Groupon for those). I know some states mandate the use of an Umbrella school. If it’s required, find the least expensive option (I think there are some that are virtually free). If it isn’t required, pass it up. As for math, check out zearn.org. It’s a complete, free, and online math curriculum. My kids have used it for several years. It covers all of elementary school.

    Reply
    • Kat Charles

      Thanks for sharing your wisdom, Heather. I love using Groupon for outings too! I will definitely look into zearn.org. Thanks for visiting!

      Reply

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Meet Kat

Hey there!  I'm Kat, homeschooling mom of four.  I'm on a journey to design a life I don't want to hide in the bathroom from.  Sound good to you?  Hope you'll join me!

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