Once upon at time…in a mindset far, far away, I was once a home school scoffer. I had a strong opinion against homeschooling even though I had never really looked into it. It’s funny how we can have such strong opinions when we have no clue what we are talking about. To my past self, homeschooling seemed like it would be weird. Like I would be sheltering my children from other people and they wouldn’t have a “normal” childhood. I can’t really pinpoint when my opinion changed or how it changed. I just remember we were in a rough season when it looked as though my husband may not be able to return to work do to a connective tissue disorder, and we had thought, “Well, why not home school the kids if you won’t be able to work outside the home?” Eventually, with a huge blessing from the Lord, my husband was able to return to work and stronger than ever! Life went back to both of us working and the home school idea got put on the back burner, and stayed there for 6 years. Financially, it really didn’t make sense for only one of us to work and I didn’t even think about the possibility of working and homeschooling.
My want to home school began returning to me over and over again as I saw how my oldest daughter was responding to public school. She is a very anxious child, who has always related to adults better than other kids. There were days when she would suddenly burst into tears at the thought of having to go to school and would beg me not to make her. It tore me up to tell her she had to go. There weren’t many days that we would pick her up that she was happy and talking about what she did at recess with her friends. Most of the time, she came home with stories of so and so saying they weren’t her friend anymore because she wouldn’t do something they wanted her to do. Or so and so had a crazy story about her mother’s boyfriend. It was very difficult for me to try to guide her in how to respond to these situations, because I was only hearing one side of the story. I began thinking how great it would be if we did home education and during time with friends, I could be there to support and guide her through those situations.
I began to see the freedom in homeschooling. I began to see that my kids could have the opportunity to learn at their own pace and not feel bad if they were struggling with a lesson. We are in our second year of homeschooling, and sometimes this is still a major struggle. However; when they are struggling, I get to tell them that there is no rush…there is no need to be ashamed. Mom’s the teacher and we can take as long as we want to feel comfortable with new concepts.
After beginning to home school, I quickly realized that I am not what I had thought of as a “typical” home school mom, and homeschooling isn’t everything that I have envisioned it to be. I am not as organized as I would like to be. I am not as scheduled as I would like to be, but I also think, to some extent, that is OK. My kids are still learning, even though it may be on the couch in their pajamas. One day, we may do a bunch of school and one day we may cut it short. We don’t start school until the afternoon, because mornings just aren’t our thing. They really aren’t MY thing. We have fiddled with doing school during the different times of the day and this is what works best for us. I am grateful that we have that freedom.
After the holidays, it has been more difficult to get back into our semi-schedule, but I am determined to remember to be grateful that I have this opportunity to be with my kids so much and to be their teacher everyday. I’m sure that there are many parents out there who want to home school or be able to stay at home with them, but they don’t see any way that it could possibly work. God blessed us with the opportunity and I want to keep viewing it as that…a blessing.
As I continue to transition us into a homeschooling family, my prayer is that my children will not only have success in their education and love to learn new things; but that, I remember to enjoy learning along with them. I pray that God grants me some creativity to help them have experiences that will be special to them along the way. I pray that I remember to not become overwhelmed, because there is no rush! I think the biggest struggle is just switching that mindset that I have been so used to for years. Rush to get the kids ready, rush to get to work, rush to pick the kids up, rush to make supper, rush to do bath time. I don’t want to rush anymore. Rushing is what is going to make this special time go even faster.
I would love to hear any advice, tips and experiences from any other home school families!
Also, check out the free printable of a possible home school schedule. I love that homeschooling can really be fit to any family’s needs and goals. It’s an opportunity to think outside the box and design your home school around your family.