This is my post, but by no means is it all my wisdom. I have gleaned this from either the grace of God or from really great home school people -- I say people b/c they go beyond being great home schoolers -- they really are great people. Hope this helps :)
I've home schooled every grade from K-8, so I've learned a lot, yet the high school years are already stretching me....lesson 1 --- stay humble!
You need proper sleep and good health. The adage, When Mom is happy, everyone is happy, is true. You don't need to obsess with Mom's night out, spa, etc, but you do need to eat well, sleep well and stay spiritually strong. Don't lose sight that your health, physical, mental and spiritual matters --- it MATTERS.
There is something amazing about starting the day with the Lord. Really, when we worship and pray first, the day is ALWAYS better.
Feed your children well. Brain food is legit....sugar makes for very whiny children.
Be organized. Not just with school, but with life. Being organized does not mean being a slave to the schedule, but it does help to have things on paper so you can keep the days goals in perspective. Be the first up and the last to bed...it will make a difference in those little tiny things that will drive you crazy if left undone.
Watch out for pride and idol worship in home schooling. Sometimes, we make the schooling part so important that we leave behind the opportunity for growth in relationship and trust. Home schooling does NOT guarantee your kids will be great teens or adults. It helps, but you have to keep loving, training and creating a quality relationship with your children. Talk, talk, talk, and be real with them...even when they're young. I guarantee it pays off later. Home schooling Is about academics, but it opens an opportunity for So.Much.More.
Don't over schedule. Two decades ago, people hid behind blinds to home school, now, some people are never home. Keep academics and outside activities in perspective and don't over schedule your dc. There should absolutely be time in your day to do nothing...every day....
Don't compare Johnny to Jill within your home or to little Suzy across the way. Each child truly is different. Don't get so consumed in finishing that you turn your home school into a mass production line. Tailor to their needs. It requires more from you, the teacher, but it will benefit you all in the end -- they'll be better students and you'll be a better teacher.
You need to teach. Don't expect your curriculum to do it all for you. Curricula is simply a tool...some are better than others and can teach you a lot, but remember, the true and best tool is YOU. Be better teacher every year. Practice your trade. Improve your knowledge. Consider yourself a professional and never stop growing as a teacher. You'll be amazed at the different teacher you'll be in the next 10 years.
Include in your life not only like-minded home schoolers, but also those who take a different approach. I have learned many things from unschoolers. We disagree on much, but they remind me to enjoy learning, to reduce stress and to allow my children to be individuals -- something *I* would easily forget in my desire to provide every moment to be academic, classical, and generally rigid.
Find someone you trust and be accountable. This goes 2 ways...my dearest friend makes me go to the beach each spring, but she and I also keep the history flow moving...we have played leapfrog for years, she's ahead, I'm ahead, but either way, we never get too far apart b/c we know if we separated too much, one of us is slacking!
Don't be afraid to make a mess.
I can't say enough.....stick with a curriculum that works. Switching from one good thing, to the newest good thing absolutely will create gaps. Trust me...it's a real bummer filling them. If you love your Language Arts routine that involves 5 sources, it works, everyone is learning...stick with it all the way through. If you don't love it, find something else, but be careful. What Author A uses in Scope and Sequence may vary greatly from Author B and eventually, all the switching will create gaps. Gaps are the devil. Avoid them!
Keep asking questions.
Give back to the community. I spent a ton of time answering PR questions recently and it was worth every.single.second. b/c years ago, people were answering my questions too. Feel free to take, but be ready to share too. Together, we all make a HUGE difference!
Create a "Things to remember" 3-ring binder and print out good threads. Read them again and again...they'll be your encouragement for many years.
Finally, and very importantly get really fast at typing; that way, you're time on The Well Trained Mind Forums allows you to post and read more...and makes you very long winded like that Tina lady!
Child, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend
- I love the Lord as much as a broken person can; love and loved by my husband; blessed by 5 amazing little people who have helped me to learn much about me; grateful to serve even more as God gives them to me; blessed every day to be a home school teacher; college student; I hope to change the world by loving as many people as possible, because there is nothing greater than loving another.