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A young boy being homeschooled by his mother.

A Year of Homeschool: Lessons Learned

Author: Jeane N. Liburd, MA, CCLS
Published Date: Wednesday, July 7, 2021

School’s out for summer! With a year of so many first experiences, we added homeschooling to the list. While it certainly had its ups and downs, it was all worthwhile. As I began searching for curriculum, I learned that many were based on specific homeschool philosophies, each with its own theory of how children learn best. This called for me to do research and find the best fit for my daughter. It reminded me of registering for baby bottles for the first time as a new mother, trying to choose one brand out of 20. I just needed a bottle to feed my baby. My level of comfort grew with the support of social networks like Hampton Roads Black Home Educators, our regional homeschool store, and friends who are also on this journey.

As I reflect on this past year, there are some key lessons that I have learned.

First, homeschooling provides an opportunity to tailor your child’s education based on their specific needs, interests, and the family values you want to instill in your child. To that cause, curriculum is a tool that can be adjusted to meet the needs of the learner. This year gave me a deeper understanding of my children’s learning styles and their natural bent toward science. It is an awesome experience to see your child light up about a particular topic and to celebrate as a family when your child begins to read for the first time.

Second, flexibility is necessary. We spend a lot of time together. Some days are beautiful and easy, and other days we are off a step or two (or three or four). I had to learn to make room for adjustments when the day was not flowing as I intended. Providing opportunities for play and exploration were necessary components to de-stress, reinforce a lesson, and bring joy and connection.

Finally, carving out your family’s rhythm and routine keeps the ship moving forward. Children thrive on routine, yet it can be the most challenging aspect of the day. It requires consistency, boundaries with flexibility, and intention. Establishing rhythm calls for assessing the family’s current order of operations, understanding the limits and where it loses its ability to function well, and realigning, so the system can fully thrive. Life is full of rhythm, and as nature teaches us – we must adjust with the season.

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About Jeane N. Liburd, MA, CCLS

About Jeane N. Liburd, MA, CCLS Jeané Liburd has worked in the field of child Iife since 2005. She earned a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and is trained in play therapy. She currently serves as an adjunct instructor for Liberty University. Throughout her career, she has provided services for children and families in various settings including hospitals, pediatric hospice, and community programs. The focus of her work is supporting children and families who have experienced illness, grief, and loss.