I thought last night before I went to bed that I would write a note about “Why I Homeschool.” I knew well to NOT GET STARTED during the day because then I wouldn’t want to stop until it was “done” – which would distract me from the many things I had set out to do during our first “long” day of school. But now that it’s the end of our first day… I’ve lost motivation to write on this right now. But I do want to share our first day of school pictures. This is the best I could do folks. The other one is full of frowns. I think it was probably 60% they are getting tired of having their photo taken and let’s say… oh 100% because they were not excited about school. I know what you’re thinking. You can’t add 60% + 100% … I hope she’s not teaching that kind of math to the kids. Don’t worry folks. This isn’t a math post.
Instead, I’d like to share what helped me survive the bouts of complaints that periodically spewed from my 4th grader or the demanding questions that came from my 5th grader or the spats over chores…. Here’s a jewel I experienced today when homeschooling that I will cherish and be sure to repeat at strategic points in my son’s older adult life (heh heh heh).
Kid writes: “any government intendid to secure the rights and privlegies of free people”
I (teacher) says: You need to write that in a complete sentence.
Kid adds:“Any government indendid to secure the rights and privlegies of free people.” (He writes over the “a” and capitalizes it “A” AND also adds a period at the end. Take that mom!)
I say: Ummm no. That is not a complete sentence.
Kid retorts: Yes it is.
Well- let me stop here and fast forward a bit. Eventually, kid yields to teacher. (I see it in his eyes and demeanor that a.) either the light-bulb went off and he got what I was saying or b.) he resigned his staunch stance in order to move on.)
So I say: Now, write down what you said (now that he correctly verbalized a complete sentence on the third try).
Kid draws: a text box with “Noah Webster says” before some key words in the question and hands me back the paper.
I glare and say: Ummm no. Copy the sentence on the back.
Kid flips the paper over and copies the sentence on the back.
Whew! A double win!!Just kidding.
This is what I wanted to be sure to write down and share with you reading today. I know you might have had some “hiccups” and “crucial moments” today.It could have been during school, or in preparations for school, at work or maybe it’s yet to come. I know, especially thinking back on this now that I am writing it, maaaaayyyybbeeee my demeanor could have been a bit “nicer” and spoken with more kindness and compassion. I know this is what I want out of my daughter for sure. (It’s so easy to see things in other people, is it not?) But what helped me to not totally blow my cool or get derailed from the tasks at hand in learning today was a few key things that I’d like to share below.
Be ready. Mentally.
Know that you will face opposition but remain focused on the mission. My mission is school. Homeschool. Yes, with homeschool, the blending of boundaries between home life and “school” are blurred. It’s similar to working at home although I have heard that many have been able to maintain a healthy separation between home life and work. (I am still learning this.) Homeschool, however, is a different beast yet 1000% worth it for me. This is what I want to do. If it weren’t I can see just where I would crack, pull my hair out, or scream bloody murder while at the same time frantically searching online looking for ways out of this madness. I guess that’s what I think I would do if I wasn’t set on doing this and finishing well. I have thought throughout the day of those parents whose day did not go as expected. We all have had that at one time or another. I think of these intense moments as crucial opportunities in which we get to REMEMBER why we decided to do this in the first place. What’s our purpose in this? What did we want to achieve? Why were we called to homeschool? These answers are crucial and must be kept at the forefront of our minds to be readily recalled when there are bumps in the road and then despite our circumstances we take action by CONTINUING in the path that was set. We are competent adults and we will figure out a way. It may include swallowing our pride or admitting we were wrong or apologizing… those are teaching moments for more than just the kids. We are all learning here. We are humbled. We plead for sanity (just kidding) and focus and patience and help to do what is hard work but worth the work.
Begin early. (If you haven’t yet, start right now!)
So… we must be ready in our mind FIRST before we can be able to face the day. Athletes do this. It’s nothing new. For me, for this year this process began several weeks ago. Setting a date in mind to “begin.” (I admit I did push this out a few times during the summer because I originally wanted to go to year-round school.) Informing the family. Listening to planning podcasts, reading blogs from organized people, quizzing my family on their strengths, improvements and goals, thinking about a schedule, rearranging or reevaluating outside commitments….
This definitely was not something that I began the day or weekend before people. For once (haha) I started early- really really early. And it all started in my mind. In my prayers to God to help me with my schedule. Please God help me manage my time. Please God help me know what you want me to do. Oh- and let me add that I definitely included the hub in this. We know our spouse has a different perspective and regardless of if we want to hear it or not (joking!) we are a team and these are his kids too. I did bite my tongue and ask the question, “What do you think about their schooling?”
Choose your priority.
I also made a decision to put homeschool first this year. That may seem like a no-brainer but really, somehow (well it was slowly, slowly with every ‘yes’ I spoke) I found that my time was split between serving in various positions and homeschooling last year (not to mention being a wife and mother and cook and driver and maid and…) and I didn’t realize it fully how FULL I was until I could relax again when those commitments ended at the start of summer. WHEW! I don’t regret it but this time I knew I wanted to start differently and do things a bit differently. In case you were wondering where God fits in since I mentioned “priority.” If you have interacted with me, it is my hope that you already knew that my absolute #1 priority is that I am a Christ follower. I don’t really even consider it in the count though because it is who I am. Homeschooling? Serving in various positions? I see those differently probably because it will eventually end. However, my commitment to follow Jesus Christ will last throughout eternity even though it will probably be peppered with different seasons of growth.
Welp that is it folks!
I’m cutting it off here. It’s officially “tomorrow” (yikes!!) and I need to get to bed if I want to wake up before everyone else and get my quiet time with God in. I’ve been doing that too lately. I have a place by the living room window where I sit with my gear (Bible, prayer journal, pencil, scripture memory cards and today I added this homeschool mom devotional book too). I know that sounds like a lot but it’s basically all that I think I would use right there smack in front of me. I don’t want to get up and go somewhere else to get it. I don’t want to check my email. I don’t need to have any distractions.. I just want quiet, the sun on my face, and the Lord speaking to my soul. So, ladies and gents, let me know how your “Back to School” journey is going for 2017/2018! May you continue to make precious memories with your kiddos! You know, ones that you can reminisce over at those “crucial moments” (God willing) in the future. 🙂