Lessons I Learned My First Year of Homeschooling

Lessons I Learned My First Year of Homeschooling

last-dayIf you are a regular reader of this blog you know that I took on a challenging task of homeschooling my daughter (Hannah), who happens to have Trisomy 21.

I had no idea how homeschooling Hannah would be, but through it all, I am happy to share with you that we completed our first year of home-school.

I am the proudest mom on the planet because Hannah taught me lessons and revealed things about myself that I never knew existed. Today, I share lessons that I learned while homeschooling Hannah.

These lessons can apply to your every day life, a healthy lifestyle change and for you bloggers, these lessons can also help you be a better blogger.

Lesson #1 – Patience

There were times when I didn’t understand why it took Hannah more time to learn what I thought was simple. I had to slow down and meet her where she was, allowing her to move at her own pace.  When I let go and let Hannah move at her own pace, she far exceeded more than I could imagine.

Sometimes you have to ride the wave and let it carry you, even when you are not sure where it will take you.

Lesson #2 – Creativity

Here is quick story about how my creativity helped Hannah to say the word ‘equals’ while doing addition. I had no idea that this would work because my first thought was to make learning fun, but she surprised me.

I grabbed one of Hannah’s mittens that was too small for her and drew some eyes and a mouth to create a puppet. When it was time for us to review addition, I would bring out the puppet and say the addition problems in a funny voice, making sure to put emphasis on the word that she had trouble saying. Within a week of me doing this, Hannah was saying the word ‘equals’ perfectly.

If you have an idea or want to try something new, go for it. You will never know until you try.

Lesson #3 – Pray

I think I prayed more while homeschooling my daughter, than I have in my entire life. There were times when I didn’t know what to do; all I could do was pray. Prayer is what helped me through what I thought was impossible.

One day, I listened to a radio program. The host (Yvonne Pierre) was interviewing a woman (Terry Brown) who specializes in teaching children and adults with Down Syndrome. I took notes like a mad woman and later contacted Ms. Terry and started following her curriculum. Ms. Terry’s curriculum was the answer to my prayers.

Never underestimate the power of prayer.


Lesson #4 – Perseverance

It is easy to quit, be it is hard stay in the game, especially when there are difficulties, obstacles or discouragement. Steady persistence is the key to staying on the path and not giving up.

I once had a blogging buddy tell me to, “keep riding the train.” No matter how tough things get, you have to keep on pushing even when you feel like giving up. Thanks, Aqiyl for your words of wisdom.

Lesson #5 – Differences Exist

People are different and the world would be a boring place if we were all the same. My daughter learns differently from typical children, but she learns. Just because she is different from typical children doesn’t mean that she is not capable of learning.

When you realize that differences in people exist, it is easy to share information with others in such a way that they understand where you are coming from.

Some people ignore others because there are no great expectations for that person or group of people. You should never think less of another person’s abilities because that person just might give your the surprise of your life.

Lesson #6 – Launch Out

There were some people who didn’t think I was doing the right thing by homeschooling my daughter. Sometimes I wondered if I was doing the right thing, because of what others were saying. You should never allow the opinions of others to keep you from doing what you know is best.

If I had never launched out into the deep (took a chance), I would have never known what my daughter was capable of doing. Now I know that she is capable of doing more than I could ever imagine.

Launch out, take a chance. What do you have to lose?

Final Words

Whatever it is that you are working on, be it your life, healthy lifestyle changes, or blogging. The lessons that I learned while homeschooling my daughter helped me and I know they will help you.

No matter how hard things get, remember to never give up!

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About the Author

Evelyn Parham started this site in 2010. She enjoys writing, reading, and dabbling in photography and video editing. Learn more about her here.

14 Enlightened Replies

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  1. I am thankful to you for sharing your personal story. Congrats for completing your first year of home-school.
    It’s good that you have also learned something new and in this way you have got chance to get to know about yourself.

  2. Stephanie says:

    What an inspiring story! Congratulations on sticking with what I’m sure was a very difficult task. I’ve heard stories about home school from kids – but never from parents. Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work!

  3. Karielyn says:

    Hi Evelyn…Homeschooling is an admirable and immensely gratifying thing to do.

    What an awesome mother you are to do what is best for your daughter, even though it may not be the easiest thing for you to do, as well as, going against the criticism of others.

    Only a mother knows what is best for her own child.

    Good for you and great post 🙂

    • Hi Karielyn!

      Thanks for your kind words.

      I agree..mother knows best for her own child.

      I appreciate you stopping by and chiming in!

      Enjoy your weekend!

  4. Your daughter looks so much like you in the second picture! Whatever you are doing, she sure looks loved and happy!

    • Hey Kymberly!

      Thanks for stopping by and chiming in!

      She’s a very friendly and happy little person and I hope she stays that way.

      Have a great weekend!


  5. Hi Evelyn,
    Good to hear from you again.
    Thanks for dropping in to my page,
    This is really an informative post.
    Great lessons learned and shared!
    I like the point # 3 Prayer,
    Yes, Never underestimate the power of prayer.
    I am sure many take this lightly, and can;t enjoy the beauty of it, Yes, Prayer only can change things, Thanks for sharing this,

    Wonderful going
    Love to Hannah
    Best Regards

  6. Aqiyl Henry says:

    Hey Evelyn, I taught special education in elementary and worked in social work for a little time and I understand first hand how difficult your task is. I love how you use the puppet to associate something that stimulates your daughters interest with a learning event. Keep riding the train, and as you ride you will learn as much about yourself as your daughter will learn about herself. Peace and Blessings be with you.

    • Hey Aqiyl!

      I had no idea that you were once a teacher. More mad respect for you! 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and chiming in.

      Peace and blessings to you too.

  7. Trinity says:

    I appreciate these lessons of wisdom that you have learned from Hannah. I especially like what you said about perseverance and “launching out”. Both of which are confirmations for me as it relates to some areas in my life. Several weeks ago, the word “steadfast” kept showing up in everything I was reading – from the Bible to blogs to programs on tv! This post was confirmation to me in so many ways. Thanks for the encouragement, and have a great weekend. Congratulations on your first year of homeschooling – way to go!

    • Hi Trinity!

      Thank you for stopping by and chiming in!

      Sometimes we have to take a chance and leave the rest up to God. Knowing that no matter what things will work out. 😉

      I am so happy that you found this article encouraging.

      Enjoy your weekend!