When we began our homeschooling journey 4 years ago I had visions of grandeur. My plans of grandeur and wonderfully smooth homeschool days flew right out the window in a hurry! And that’s when I realized…I had a lot to learn. Over the past four years I have learned a thing or two about homeschooling, but I have learned more about myself!!
1. I am not as patient as people might think. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve had people come up to me and say, “You must be so patient.” Or “I am just not that patient. I could never homeschool my kids.” Truth is…I am a Mom first and I am human. I have good days and bad days. I lose my temper just like anyone else. We have lots of teachable moments in our house.
2. I don’t handle disorganization well…at all. While at times, my house can get cluttered – I mean, we do live here – I cannot stand having things unorganized. Our previous house was definitely small and cluttered. But, our new house is much bigger and I am so excited to say that our school area is all organized and ready to go!!!
3. I am a major procrastinator. Yep, I said it. When I was in college, I planned everything out for the entire semester and I completed most of my assignments nearly a week early!!! Having kids changed all that! I am constantly finding myself running to keep up with things rather than being ahead of them. Oh I have great intentions and I even the best plans. But things don’t seem to get done in the same timely manner as they did before children.
4. It’s okay not to have all the answers. Children are inquisitive by nature. And sometimes you just don’t have the answers. Some days we have great, healthy conversations with good questions and answers. And other days…well, let’s just say my brain hurts! Now, don’t get me wrong, I love that my kids ask me questions. But, sometimes they are downright difficult questions that I just don’t have the answers to. And that used to frustrate me like nothing else. I finally realized it was okay to tell them I didn’t know or that I would find out for them. I thought if I didn’t have the answer for them they would think less of me. Truth is…they respect me more when I say I’ll find out for them.
5. Unschooling does not work for us. I tried the very structured approach when we first started, which quickly backfired. So, then we tried the Unschooling approach, which backfired even more!! I wanted so desperately to be the “cool” homeschool mom that I didn’t pay attention to what my child needed. That’s when I learned that we need a little of both – unschooling and structure. Some days we go with the unschooling approach and other days we’re very structured. It just depends on Mister Bull, our schedule and how things are going around the house. So far it’s been the best things I’ve changed about our schooling!!!
6. I am afraid to fail. I know this is probably one of the most common phrases uttered among Moms, but it’s true! Fear is what kept me from really getting into homeschooling. I was absolutely terrified that I would pick the wrong curriculum or that I wouldn’t know how to teach Mister Bull all he needed to know. Then, I was told something very wise. “If the Lord has laid it on your heart that homeschooling is right for your family, then He will give you all the knowledge you need. Just ask!” WOW!!! That was a breakthrough moment for me. I finally felt some peace about all the potential failures racing through my head. Oh sure I still have doubts, I’m human and I’m teaching a Math & Engineering whiz – two things I know very little about!! But, God is greater and I am trusting Him to make up where I lack.
7. Homeschooling is not all about the papers!! Okay…so maybe this was the hardest lesson for me to learn!! I am a nerd. Always have been. I loved school and not just for my friends. I loved learning and the paperwork and the “doing” of it all. So our first couple years were filled with lots and LOTS of papers. I just knew Mister Bull would love doing papers. Coloring, drawing, writing, math – any and all papers. Yeah…not so much!!! Mister Bull does not like to color anything for any length of time. Now, if it’s included in his geography or math he’ll do it, but just to color – not a chance. Miss Priss on the other hand wants to do papers and color all the time!! So, while we still have to do papers – much to Mister Bull’s dismay he must actually write to practice his handwriting – I try to be selective and careful as to how many papers he does in a day. When I limit that, he does just great!
8. Each one of my kids has their own learning style. I know, I know. I should have known this…and I did. But, I didn’t realize how different they could be! Mister Bull is very ecclectic in his learning style. Some things must be hands-on and other things he wants to do as paperwork. He is, however, primarily a kinesthetic learner. He likes to bounce his legs while doing papers and hum or sing to himself – which used to drive me absolutely insane. But, now I find it soothing. I know when he’s “in the zone” that’s what he does and it makes my heart happy!! Mister Mouse I am still trying to figure out. He is a perfectionist (like his Mommi) and since we’ve just started our formal homeschooling with him, I’m still figuring him out. Miss Priss likes papers!! She is her Mommi’s daughter to a “T”. I think her and I will butt heads from time-to-time though since we are so alike. And then there’s Punkin. She’s still so young that I’ve not got a handle on her just yet. But, what I do know…she is going to be a spunky one!! All of these different learning styles used to scare me. Now I find it refreshing and exciting!! God is using my children (as He often does) to stretch me and mold me into who He wants me to be and the absolute BEST Mom for my kids.
9. To RELAX and ENJOY everyday!! This has been one of the hardest things for me to do. I have always thrived on schedules. Now being on time to everything…that’s another story. But the point is, I have a schedule and I like to keep it. Having kids snapped that dream in half!! Now, Mister Bull likes a schedule – so long as it’s his schedule. We have worked on that over the last few years and it’s getting better. I have found that if we give him some advanced warning about leaving the house for errands or our school day the next day, he typically responds much better. My other three children, not so much. They want to play and play and play all day long. At first I found myself following along behind them picking up everything they threw down. That quickly became exhausting and I realized I was turning myself into a glorified maid. This Lord has really worked on me the past few months and I am so pleased with where He has taken me. I am enjoying playing on the floor with my kids and laughing at their funny faces. I enjoy hearing their “stories” as they play make-believe. They are simply a JOY to be around and I can’t believe how much I missed when I thought I was just “being a good wife and mom.” What they need is more of me, not just a clean house!!
10. I LOVE IT!!!! When we started out on this homeschool journey, I never dreamed how much it would change me and our lives. I also never dreamed I would love it as much as I do. While there are days where I am ready to simply flop into bed from exhaustion, I wouldn’t change a thing!! Yes, we have drama and daily problems – we are human after all. But, I’m talking about really loving what God has blessed me with. He has blessed me with an amazing, God-fearing husband and 4 wonderfully, awesome children. I love that we can take off on a Friday and go explore the nearby State Park as part of history. I love that the Hubster’s new job allows him to take one of our children to lunch each week for some quality-time with Dad. I love that I get to see my kids’ faces light-up when they understand a new concept or read that first sentence by themselves (that still has to be one of my all-time favorite moments in schooling…hearing Mister Bull read his first sentence!). I can’t believe how much I would miss if they were in school all day. I am so glad that God led me down this path of homeschooling!!! I am humbled, honored and blessed that He has entrusted me with such a task.
What has homeschooling taught you? What is your favorite part of homeschooling? I’d love to hear your comments!!!
Many blessings to you as we begin a new homeschooling year!
Sharing with these linkies: What Joy is Mine, The Modest Mom Blog, Far Above Rubies, Teaching What Is Good, Educating Laytons, Raising Mighty Arrows, Hearts for Home Blog Hop,Raising Arrows, The Better Mom, Time-Warp Wife, Growing Home, Far Above Rubies, Raising Homemakers, Raising Mighty Arrows
Latest posts by Annette Breedlove (see all)
- Singing in the Rain Movie Study - March 18, 2019
- St. Patrick’s Day Unit Study – Updated & Expanded - March 15, 2019
- 5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Ultimate Bucket List - March 8, 2019