How I Cultivated a Homeschool Mindset

I’ve been at this homeschooling thing for a while, yet it took quite a few years to develop a homeschool mindset completely.

I have six children, and my oldest is 14. I began contemplating homeschooling when she was about six months old, so I do say I started homeschooling about 14 years ago.

Luckily, one of the first homeschooling books I read was Real Learning by Elizabeth Foss. This book helped me to start out with less of a “school-at-home” mentality and more of a family-centered ideal.

However, when I read that book, I only had three children, and my oldest was 4. A lot has changed since then!

Two moves.

Three more children.

Getting older and more experienced.

How I Cultivated a Homeschool Mindset | Homeschooling is completely different that school and requires us to change our way of thinking aobut education and learning.

Homeschool Obsessing

For many years, homeschooling was my all-consuming passion. I read everything from Susan Wise Bauer to Sandra Dodd, David Albert to Karen Andreola, and I’ve learned something from all of them. It would be nice to think I’ve taken the best from each.

From where I sit now, with all the information I’ve gorged on over the years, I believe the most significant factor in homeschooling success is cultivating a homeschool mindset.

It’s not a particular method or guru, it’s not the amount of time spent “on task,” and it’s not doing what school does, when it does it.

It recognizes that your family is not a school and that is good.

A homeschooling mindset is drastically different from our cultural school-centered mindset.

Homeschool Strewing

A Step Beyond “Deschooling”

A lot of people call this “deschooling,” which can be a lengthy process. I think it’s taken me 20+ years! I’ve only stopped having those stressful paper due/test dreams in the past year or two.

However, at the end of deschooling, you hopefully walk away with a homeschooling mindset that allows for a much more relaxed, calm and enjoyable homeschool.

It is also important is to guard against replacing the school-mindset with another rigid homeschool ideology.

It’s so easy to do, especially when you’re just starting out because you want to believe so badly that there is “one right way” to produce intelligent, caring people.  You want to follow the steps, check the boxes and be guaranteed fabulous results.

Over the years and in meeting various homeschooling families of all methods, I now believe “method” has minimal bearing on the results.

There are wonderful kids who were homeschooled classically, just as well as unschooled.

There are also kids who struggle, just as many do in school.

My Homeschool Mindset List

I’ve come up with my homeschool mindset list, and I’m sure it will grow and change.

Some of these were easy to recognize and adopt, whereas others have taken many years and bad days. I would love to say that I never forget these things, but I have to remind myself of their truth often.

Learning is Everywhere

Everyone Grows & There’s Time

Strewing is Good

Judgment is Bad

Recognize your Fearlessness

Embrace Freedom

Accept the Unknown

It’s not all about the kids

Don’t Expect Perfection

Be Interested and Interesting

Enjoy Life!

Create Your Own List

These may or may not apply to your homeschool and that’s OK! Every family is unique with its own culture and atmosphere. Embrace yours!

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Homeschool strewing

| Filed under Atmosphere, Homeschool
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About Bethany Ishee

Bethany is the mom of six, always-homeschooled children, who one day realized she'd lost herself in the process, probably under a pile of laundry. Her eclectic style of homeschooling draws upon Classical to Unschooling and everything in between.  While homeschooling her children and writing about learning outside of school, she tries to find time to read a book, drink coffee, and pay the bills.

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