Monday, May 27, 2013

Homeschooling truths

Courtesy of Family Man Ministries

I got to thinking about my last post. It was such fun to live and to write out a day in our homeschool. However, I thought that a follow up post was needed on some of the truths of homeschooling. While many of our days are much like my first post on the subject, some days are not always filled with fun and rosy moments. And some days are a mix of both good and not so good moments. Some days are filled with craziness, running around doing errands, cleaning, cooking etc. Then there are days when these chores must get done for an event and you end up with a mom much more like the one in the cartoon above. *grin* Some subjects are a lot more fun and easier to teach than others. I love reading literature with my children, I love learning about history with them. I am not a fan of MATH. I hate math. When it comes to teaching math I am not very good at it. I use curriculum that does the work for me. The catch comes when they have a question. The dreaded question. I hate the questions about math. >(  And after my fit is over, I usually help them figure out the answer, or find someone who can. Thankfully we have people to go to when we have this kind of issue. People who know more about a subject than I do. I know when to turn to them and get help. I realize I cannot do it all and God has filled our lives with resources. 

In addition to those kinds of issues there is burn out. It is very real and I do believe it affects all homeschool moms. The hardest time is usually after a break. The word "break" really should be a 4 letter word I think. ;) Breaks make it harder to get back into routine. Breaks make your realize you are really burned out sometimes! When I hit that wall, I usually can push through and give myself a deadline to accomplish, then we take a real break. Not the usual kind of break where we more or less had to abandon any normal schedule because of life so it was not an intentional break thus leaving me feel frustrated and burned out, not rejuvenated and ready to tackle life! (nice run on, right?) 

Then there are just days when nobody is "clicking". Everything is a struggle. You sit there wondering if the words coming out of your mouth are intelligible or if you have been baptized in the spirit are now speaking in foreign tongues.  They look at you as if everything you say is unheard of, incomprehensible, undo-able. Ugh. Thats when I assign reading assignments or a nice documentary. Or perhaps it is time for a mama time out and I head out the door for a long walk. It does a mama good. 

Another thing about homeschooling, we all choose this path for a variety of reasons. Many are focused on time with their children, the ability to bring them up in their faith and avoiding the often misunderstood term of "socialization". No, we don't want our kids "socialized" in the public school system. Duh. We also feel we really can offer a much more well rounded education as well as foster a true of love of lifelong learning. The problem arises when we as the parents feel that we are being judged or graded for our choices. So often people will want to quiz our children, how smart they are, do they know this level of math, can they read yet? All too often I have felt the need for them to excel to make sure others know that I have done it "right" or a good job. I all too often lose my focus of why I chose to do this and I need a sharp reminder to keep me on track. My kids are fantastic, fun to be around, smart on many subjects including ones that don't come up on academic tests. They love God. I am blessed. I wish I did not have that feeling of failure if they don't measure up to their public school counterpart on a test that was created only to show what they don't know instead of the streams of information that they do know. I want to be rooted in the idea that God has led me through this wilderness and has shown me His way for my children to be educated. That should be enough. The public school part of me has a hard time letting go and renewing my mind that there is so much freedom in the homeschool world!

I share all of this because although I absolutely love homeschooling my kids, it is not always easy. It takes effort, it takes sacrifice, it take dedication and diligence to push through the hard times. Interestingly and as I often joke, I get smarter every year that I homeschool my kids. They teach me so much and I am forced to educate myself along the way, and not just in academics. In the really important things of life. I am thankful that my children are not only my students, but also my teachers. Together as a family, along with my husbands divine guidance in our homeschool choices, we are making this journey a memorable and family adventure.

If you have an interest in homeschooling, let me say this to you DO IT! It is SO worth it! It is worth the struggles and the joys and memories are irreplaceable! In my opinion there is no more worthwhile way of spending the years of child rearing than with your children, full time. If you have stumbled upon my blog and this particular post and have questions, email me! I am happy to help and be your cheerleader! We need support, encouragement and advice. All of us, the seasoned and the newbies! 

To all my homeschool mommy friends. You are amazing gifts to me, each of you. Thank you for your support, love and encouragement on this crazy, less traveled road. 

To our family who has always encouraged us and made us feel accepted by our choice. Thank  you! What a gift!

And finally to my husband. I am blessed to have a husband and daddy who wants the best for his family and is willing to work hard, sacrifice vacations and cool cars (and so many other "things") so his children can be blessed with this amazing life. You are my treasure. ♥

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