That's a bit of an understatement. I was feeling a bit uninspired to write for the last few years...What has changed you ask? SO MUCH! I'll tell you all about it over the next several posts. Today, I want to talk home school! I don't claim to have all the answers, I make a lot of mistakes and I freely admit that. I have been contacted by five friends in the last month or so asking me about home schooling, trying to decide if it might be right for their families. I thought, perhaps this blog could come back to life as a way to share my thought with those friends and you. Here are my rules....yes I have rules...
1. Please feel free to ask any questions publicly or privately, I will do my best to answer them.
2. I am only me. I have opinions and ideas, they are not, nor do they have to be yours.
3. If you don't agree with something that I say or do...don't bother telling me. If you do agree...I would love to hear it! That is just the truth.
4. Don't correct or even point out...or even notice my spelling/grammar errors...I apologize.
Ok, here we go! The best advice I ever got, or I guess read, is that "No one loves my children more than me and so I will never do wrong by them". It was a pretty profound moment for me. One of the hardest parts of homeschooling is trusting myself. As parents we are constantly second guessing our decisions and feeling guilty about things. I believe guilt is the hardest part of being a mom. This is compounded when you are going against the norm. I had constant fear at the beginning that my children would not get into good colleges, would not get the scholarships they needed to attend those colleges...and it would be all my fault. There were lots of sleepless nights. There were also times we put them back into public school due to my fears. Reading that statement, it really made me think about where I was heading, where I wanted my boys to head. It is so true. Being a professional, even a great teacher, does not make a person better suited to teach my children than me. I am the one who cares the most deeply about the boys and their future. I am over it now. My oldest got an amazing scholarship to his first choice college and has completed his first semester there and LOVES it! I know we can do this! So my advice, trust yourself! trust your child!
Another ah ha moment, I can change my mind, and it's OK!! I can, and do change my mind so often. Curriculum, daily rhythm, priorities, they are constantly shifting in our home and it is perfectly fine. Don't be so hard on yourself, it takes time to get into a groove, and then you decide it's not the groove for you. You may try un-schooling with great gusto, only to realize your children would simply play video games for 10 hours a day and that is not going to work for you. Yes I am speaking from experience. You may try to do "school at home" meaning hours of sitting at the table doing book work, only to realize your kids are miserable...and so are you. That is OK. Move on.
One last thing for today, it goes along with changing your mind, You are going to make mistakes, maybe big ones. Llet it go. For me those mistakes look like, yelling, a lot! I am doing much better, but we certainly have our good days and bad days. I apologize and try hard to take time for me now, which makes a big difference in my frustration levels. This is full discloser here. I yell, I get angry, I love my boys dearly, sometimes I get frustrated. When I am having a bad day.. we turn on the documentaries...it counts! It totally counts, they actually learn a ton. February brings lots of documentaries, popcorn and knitting while we watch. I have also purchased curriculum, expensive curriculum and hated it. I have made so many "schedules" that have been completely ignored. I have taken months off from doing any "school work at all. My boys are still doing very well academically. We can always hunker down and catch up. I am not afraid. You shouldn't be either.
Ok, so that is the beginning. Next time we will cover, what homeschooling might look like and how to change your frame of mind to encourage learning all day every day. Please let me know what you think. Is this information helpful? What types of things are you worried about? Let's talk!