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10 Homeschooling lessons from 10+ years of teaching science at home {Season 3 Recap}

January 21, 2019 5 min read

10 Homeschooling lessons I learned the hard way

Our oldest is graduating this year. She has been at home for every year of her education so far. And in the over ten years that we have been homeschooling, I have learned a few lessons along the way!

For season 3 of the Tips for Homeschool Science Show, I share 10 of those lessons. And now, I am sharing all of those lessons in one easy-to-find place! 

Let's dig in...

10 Lessons I have learned from 10+ years of teaching science at home

You can listen to the audio below:

These 10 lessons will help your homeschool run smoother and encourage you as you teach science at home

Or follow the links below to read the full transcripts.

Lesson #1 - Protect your school-time.

One of the very first lessons I learned as a homeschooler was to protect our school time.

As homeschoolers, we have so many options before us. We can have picnics, we can go for walks in the woods whenever we want, we can take advantage of discounts at popular attractions during slow times, we can sleep in, we can watch movies all day long, we can bake a medieval feast complete with roasted pig in our backyard, and so much more. The freedom we have access to is amazing!

And this can be a good thing as we can create an amazing educational experience for our students. But it can also sideline our goals if we are not careful. See how I learned to protect our school-time.

Lesson #2 - It's okay to have a failed experiment.

The one thing that seems to keep people from teaching science is anxiety that your experiments won’t go as planned. I have heard variations of this fear, but in general, experiments tend to be a source of stress for homeschoolers.

And while it is important that we do hands-on science activities with our students. Things like experiments, demonstrations, and nature studies help our students to see the face of science. I want you to be assured that a hands-on activity that doesn’t go the way it should have does not mean that you have failed at sharing the face of science.

In science, we learn from our failures. See how failed experiments are okay for you to have in your homeschool.

Lesson #3 - Jump off the wheel of if's.

I think that as mom’s who stay-at-home or work-from-home AND homeschool, we often bite off more than we can chew because we are pulled in many different directions.

And thanks to Instagram and Pinterest, we can often feel like if we just figured out the magic bullet or secret sauce – we could actually do it all. We are not selfish in how we are trying to fit it all in. We are trying to do things we love for people we love.

The things that pull on our time are often good things, but as someone once told me, “If you work all the time, even at something you love, you will crash and burn.”

But I didn’t listen – at least I didn’t listen at first.  See how I got off the wheel of “if’s” and avoided a crash and burn in our homeschool.

Lesson #4 - Don’t skip that science discussion time.

I discovered this little tidbit as life got a bit busier with the addition of our second child. I was looking for more time in our day and it seemed a bit redundant to read, discuss, and write. So, I figured we could cut out the discussion time and just get straight to the writing. It was a great idea, but in practice, it didn’t go so well.

I learned that discussion time gives the student an opportunity to formulate their written answer. It helps to work out the mental kinks. And it helps us to make connections between what we are learning and seeing with what we already know. See a few tips I have learned along the way for how to have a good discussion about science with your kids.

Lesson #5 - Homeschooling doesn’t require perfection.

If you struggle with perfection in your homeschool, this lesson is for you. It was a hard one for this type A, recovering perfectionist to grasp. But it is key to reducing the stress and helping you to be able to embrace the joy of homeschooling.

It’s simply this – homeschooling doesn’t require perfection.

You won’t mess your kids up. They will learn and grow. They will survive and thrive, even if you miss the mark of perceived perfection.

How do I know this?

Because you have your child’s best interest at heart. You have chosen a difficult path in order to provide them with the best possible education. See the three goals to focus on instead of perfection.

Lesson #6 - Make reviewing science fun!

Do you remember those boring review worksheets that you used to have to do in order to study for the quiz? That type of review was not fun and it actually stressed me out a bit. But the beauty of homeschooling is that we get to do something different!

Another lesson that I have learned through the years of our homeschooling journey is that review doesn’t have to be boring – reviewing science can be fun.  See the three ways we use to make reviewing science fun.

Lesson #7 - You don't have to check off every box.

One of our goals in the fifth lesson was to be consistent in homeschooling. And having all those boxes checked helps us to see our consistency.

But in the routine of completing our plans, I think we sometimes forget to stop and experience the wonder. To slow down and savor the amazing experiences on display in front of us.

As homeschoolers, we have the freedom to leave a few boxes unchecked in favor of following a rabbit trail or when life temporarily gets in the way of homeschooling.  See the three things I keep in mind when it comes to box-checking.

Lesson #8 - Take a break and enjoy some holiday science.

As the holidays rapidly approach, I thought I would share a lesson that I learned in my very first year of homeschooling. And that was to take a break from our regular science plans and add in a bit of holiday science fun instead.

Over the years, I have learned that the handful of weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are a vortex of craziness where my kiddos are bouncing off the walls and homeschooling motivation has left the building. So in order to rein things in a bit, we typically switch to Christmas school during those weeks. See a few things we do for Christmas school. 

Lesson #9 - Invest in you so you have what you need to teach.

As homeschooling mommas, we are the ones in charge of our children’s education. By choosing to homeschool, we have agreed to take on that responsibility. And over the years we have been on this journey, I have learned that to do that job well, I need to invest in myself.

In this lesson, I shared three ways that I invest money and time to build my homeschooling momma skills!

Lesson #10 - Relax, you have got this!

It is a bittersweet time – to be getting ready to send our oldest off to college. It’s a time when we really get to see the fruits of our homeschooling labors and get to enjoy seeing her spread her wings. But it’s also tough because mamma bird would love it if her baby would just stay in the nest awhile longer!

But my homeschooling journey is not over, in many ways I am back at the beginning again, but this time around I have the benefit of having been there and done that. See the three pieces of advice that I reminded myself off when I stressed about homeschooling our son.


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