I did not plan on homeschooling my children. However, I decided to do it because I believed it was the best option for my oldest child. Initially, I was hesitant, scared, and ill-informed (the list goes on), but I became fully committed once I decided to teach her at home.
Why I did it
At 3, my daughter discovered a math computer game designed for first and second-graders. I did not help her with the game because I did not like my kids playing with electronics, but rather than saying "no," I thought that with the lack of help, my daughter would get bored and lose interest. However, she figured out the game and completed it after several weeks. Because of the game, she became interested in math, so I started teaching her. By the time she was 4 years old, she could do long division. I was so confused about what to do, but I decided homeschooling was the best option because she was going through math so quickly. By the end of kindergarten, she had completed pre-algebra. My son, two years younger than my daughter, was also following her path in math. (I know, I was on to something.)
In first grade, my daughter completed Algebra 1 & 2. She did College Algebra and Number Theory in second grade, and in third grade, she finished high school Calculus. Like my daughter, my son completed Pre-Algebra in kindergarten and started Algebra 1 in first grade. However, he didn't love algebra, so I changed my plan and focused on number patterns and music.
The initial years of homeschooling were difficult, and to be honest, it never got any easier. I was constantly second-guessing my decisions and wondering what my next move should be. Even though I knew in my heart that homeschooling was the best option, I struggled to figure out the right path.
After 15 years of homeschooling, this is what I figured out:
I had to homeschool my own way. I had to put on my blinders and not watch and try to replicate someone else's teaching plan because it never worked, and I made myself crazy in the process.
I was most successful in homeschooling when I kept it simple, focused only on a few things, and trusted myself. Once I limited our school work, stopped obsessing over curriculum, and trusted my decisions, our homeschooling was much easier and happier.