I loved homeschooling my children ~ but don't get any impression that it was easy ~ this is hard work. But the benefits far outweigh the hardships.
First of all, if you children have been in a public or private school...you have to deal with all the "thats not the way my teacher did it", or "we always did language first not math", or even just your children raising their hand to answer a question or ask you a question.
Second, homeschooling your own children will not take the entire day, depending on their ages and the number of your children, it could only take a couple of hours per day for the core subjects. If you get done in just a couple of hours, you didn't do anything wrong ~ its more efficient to school a couple of children than a roomful of 25 wriggly 1st graders. Our core subjects were usually ~ language, math, science, history, assigned reading. In the later grades we added typing, spanish, online or computer generated classes.
Third, you can greatly streamline your curriculum to the individual child and their learning styles. Find what works and use that. There probably isn't a cookie cutter curriculum that is across the board perfect for all of your children. And because something worked for 1 child doesn't mean it will click with a younger sibling.
Fourth, if your children have a hard time entertaining themselves ~ you had better have some activities planned to occupy their time after schooling. Either gardening, researching, lego creations, cooking time with mom, home ec day (1 of my personal favorites!), crafting time, ministry opportunities, etc. Bored children make for really long days ~ avoid boredom.
Fifth, you set your own schedule. Mine was always to get up and get it done ~ I knew that if we didn't get to it in the morning, life would happen and we wouldn't get to it all day! Do what works for you. A friend of mine sets her school year to end early in April, but start back in July ~ her children suffer from asthma and the summertime months are too hot for them to be outside too long, so they enjoy the springtime and get back to work when the heat is really building in Miss. Along those same lines, what works for one family probably won't work for another one. Find what works for you.
Sixth, it takes more than 1 or 2 years to really know if homeschooling is for your family. Sometimes, family dynamics make it harder to be successful than others. Our first year was incredibly hard but we stuck with it. 18 years later ~ I do wonder how we got it done, but the Lord filled our very difficult days with grace & love.
Seventh, when choosing your curriculum, you can get what you want not what some bureaucrat says you have to do. A majority of the years, we had every subject from a different publisher. A couple of years, we didn't have a set History book or curriculum ~ we got to travel with Greg, and he always planned field trips to historic places for our little school. We collected a great many puzzles, game books, jr. ranger books & badges, and biographies. Why read about a Civil War battlefield when you can walk one and see where the enemy was approaching from? I would suspect that near your home, there are many places to visit that would enhance your studies. For several years, we purchased a National Park Pass ~ and used it to the limit and above! Be creative.
Eighth, have fun. School can be fun! Play Yahtzee for math, sort M & M's for color recognition, make puppets of historical figures, find crafts for time periods you are studying about, watch a movie in place of class one day (they do it in public school), read a book together, co-teach a class with another mom, if the budget allows ~ go on some field trips, skate days, bowling, etc, cancel classes and have P E all day or reading all day or popcorn and movies day. We didn't do the "cancel classes" too much but your children will remember the funtimes too!
Ninth, you will build awesome, incredible, long lasting relationships with your children. You will see them at their worst and they will see you at your worst. But the best comes out too. The Lord will give you grace for the hardest days and blessings for the best days.
Tenth, your relationship with these children does develop into a friendship. Its not just a mom/daughter, or mom/son relationship. It did take much longer to develop close ties with Rob & Andy than with Katie & Will, and one of the reasons was we weren't together all day. Plus R & A went off to college, so it was harder to keep those ties. But they are there and developed now.
Many times during the 18 years, I wanted to quit. It was hard, difficult, gut wrenching, tear jerking, and exhausting (just being honest). But it was also rewarding, loving, happy, joyful, fun, adventurous, exciting, enjoyable, and full of happy tears & happy times!
Many thanks to my Mom who helped the first 7 years ~ keeping baby Amy/ toddler Amy occupied was a huge blessing! And for going on field trips, field days, bowling, tennis watching, etc. I couldn't have continued without your love and support!
And thanks to Greg, who supported me even when he didn't understand homeschooling. Who let Katie & Will come home and learn with Amy and I. Who bought all the curriculum and fun stuff that I wanted for school. Who listened to all my frustrations and triumphs with schooling. Who prayed for us and supported me in schooling. Who took us on fun trips and planned great times together.
And now....its official
I am a RETIRED Homeschool Mom!
Our graduation is June 9th!