First let me say this: the first year I was a public school teacher I kept a running list of all the things no one told me. Things I thought should have been told to a new teacher. We didn't have mentors back then--you were just given the key to your room and good luck to ya. Later, our district had an official mentor program for every new teacher and I got to help on our campus one year. I whipped out my little list of everything no one remembered to tell me (little things like how we needed to stack the chairs at the end of the day for the custodians, which cafeteria line your class was supposed to use, etc.) and made up a packet for the new folks. It was good. Even a few years later when I was no longer involved, I had people asking me for a copy of that packet to give to the new person on their grade level.
Well, it's a great time to be a new homeschooler, let me tell you. With internet access, there is no end to the information you can get on homeschooling! I read books all last summer, read blogs, read articles online, read everything I could get my hands on. I can honestly say that there isn't much I wasn't aware of before I started.
However, knowing something in your head and realizing something with your heart are two different things. I wish I had known:
1. How homeschooling would affect the relationship between my daughters. They are playmates and friends now. I didn't dream that would happen!
2. Just how much more time we would have as a family. I didn't know "school" would take such little time--or how much school happens away from the table.
3. Our role as parents. I've learned it now, but for 6 or 7 years I didn't "get" it. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be with my girls all day now. I feel like we are making up lost time for those years they spent with someone else. I now have the chance to teach them about the Lord throughout our days. I consider this my greatest responsibility and biggest honor.
4. How smart my children are. When Sweetheart (8 years old) was in public school I was honestly doubting her ability as a student. I didn't believe the teachers when they told me she might need "further testing in the future", but she sure was drowning in school. A few adjustments later...she is flourishing. How sad for children who spend their entire school career pigeon-holed as being less than able. Now I can delight in her strengths and help her in areas where she is weak.
5. To start homeschooling sooner!!!! I never even questioned sending my baby off to Kindergarten. That's just what you do. I wish I had thought that through more, but I'm thankful we are here now!
Head on over to The Heart of the Matter to see what others wish they had known!