Experience is Experience, and You Need It

I follow several homeschooling blogs and social media groups, and the questions about curricula, methods, philosophy abound. They are asked over and over. It's great that there are places to ask questions and veteran moms who'll answer them; still, there one piece of advice I always want to give but don't. It is simple experience.

We can ask what others do or intend to do or have done in similar situations, but I've found it not to be all that helpful, generally. For the most part, you just won't know what works until it works. Some missteps can be avoided after being warned but many -- if not most -- can't. This is the reason I often veer away from how-to homeschool sites and blogs full of good tips. I know that no amount of tips will create a perfect outcome, and the danger of having too many tips, options, and bits of advice is too great.

For the most part, you just won't know what works until it works. Some missteps can be avoided after being warned but many -- if not most -- can't.

Now, this isn't meant to be a negative thing. All I mean to say is you will learn along the way -- how to love your family, your weaknesses, strengths, and a host of other things. Yes, ask for help regularly, but know that there is no shortcut for this process. You will fail at points, and you'll have to rework things.

I also want to add a voice of caution here. Oftentimes, curricula or programs will feel inadequate while you are starting out with them. Sometimes, you just need to stick with something and give up looking for resources that feel just right. Personally, I disliked every curricula we have used when starting, every single one. It would be several weeks or months before it felt like a fit. Looking back, I would say each book we used was probably fine -- even the ones we've never used again.

Your first foray is going to be a bit of an experiment; just as with your first run at parenting, you won't know exactly what you're doing. That's as it should be, and there isn't much anyone can do about it anyhow. Experience will come.