Real talk for a minute. I struggle with homeschool. Not every day, but we have plenty of days we climb up on the struggle bus and we just get so comfortable that we spend the entire day there.
Some days I really wonder if I am doing the right thing. Sometimes we have a bad day and I get frustrated that we couldn’t just get it done and get on with our day. Some days I question our curriculum, I question if we should have even worked on Math today, I question if I should do language arts a different way, I question if every thing I taught that day was a waste of our time. I question if I should change to an online curriculum, should I put so much into our day, are our days lasting too long, am I challenging him enough, am I challenging him too much. Why can’t I get him to remember that 9+9 is 18 instead of him having to use his fingers to count? Why can’t I seem to find some way of distracting baby sister so his lesson can have less interruptions? And why the heck can’t I find some way of making history at least a little bit interesting? Some days homeschooling is the easiest thing I have ever done. Some days it is the hardest thing I have ever done. Some days are so incredibly rewarding and some days we just get through. I am not telling y’all this to in anyway discourage any mamas (or daddys) that want to homeschool. I just want those that homeschool and have those challenging days to know that You are not alone. (and not just cuz your kids are always there with you) All homeschool families have their struggle days. So I ask any new homeschooling parents to sit down either before you begin your first day or on a really good day… write a letter to yourself about what a joy it is to teach your kid to read. Write about how incredible it is when you explain something 5 different ways and suddenly you see the “aha” moment on your kid’s face. Write about the fun journeys homeschool has taken you on. Write about why you do it. And mama, when you have a bad day… give yourself permission to close the books and call it a day. Sit down and read the letter then go play outside with your kids.
Find Your Tribe
Find some friends that homeschool, or have homeschooled successfully. It does me wonders to have friends I know have some of the same struggles I do. It was the biggest sigh of relief when I was talking to a friend and I found out some of our biggest struggles were struggles she also had. I am not alone. If we hadn’t talked that day I would have been sure that no other homeschooling mom struggled with a younger sibling that interrupts continuously. So on traditional school days, go to the park, the library, the museum, or the zoo. Most likely you will find other homeschoolers there those days and while you may just enjoy a few minutes of chatting another mom in the same boat, or you may find a new friend you can call on for emotional support.
However you find your tribe (I made a few posts on Facebook about homeschooling and got messages of support from so many friends that wanted to try it) find them. On your hard days lean on them. On their hard days remind them why they made this choice.
Homeschooling may be about teaching our kids, but we will be learning in the process. We will have to learn the best way to teach math, the best way to teach the difference between adverbs and adjectives… we will learn some days that our kid does best with all the school work laid out in the beginning…. we will learn that our kid prefers to do math last… we will learn all the best ways to teach our kids. And we will learn how to give ourselves some grace on those days we need it most. Not every day will be an A+ day for us or our kids. But it will be a day well spent. It will be a day we know we did what we felt in our hearts was right for our family.
If you know a homeschooler, please share this with them. I want every homeschooling family to know the struggle days are normal and we can get through them together. If you don’t have a tribe yet, I urge you to find one… or message me… we can do this together.
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