“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.”
– Dr. Seuss
“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.”
– Dr. Seuss
“Some people could look at a mud puddle and see an ocean with ships.”
-Zora Neal Hurston
AND THOSE PEOPLE ARE MY CHILDREN
Our first year of homeschooling will be over in a couple months and I’ve found myself reminiscing ( and yes I’m using the correct word here) about all the worries and anxieties I had leading up to the beginning of the school year. Here are 5 things I’ve learned about myself and homeschooling.
1.I AM NOT A TOTAL REJECT!!
To explain, I have never been very confident in my ability to make friends with women as an adult woman. Now to keep me from sounding like a recluse I will add that I have a lot of women friends but the difference is that I made these friends when I was just a girl. When we were just girls. I still have friends that I’ve had since elementary school, those are some of my closest friends. I have friends that I made when I was in a youth/college group at church and a very good friend that I made at my first ever job, Hobby Lobby. But the entire realm of women makes me shutter. Now as a homeschooler, you might not think I meet very many grown ups or see anyone at all ever that is over 4 feet tall but in all actuality I do and it was one of my biggest fears going into this. The kind of homeschooler I wanted to be was not the one that came natural for me. (Hey look, I have social anxiety and I was public schooled… more info on this in # 4.) We got out of the house, we joined a co-op where we knew practically no one going into it. We have play dates consistently and guess what… I am surviving. I sweat a lot but not as much as I did those first couple months of Thursdays, meeting people and trying to get to know all the different mothers.
I like the word mothers better, makes me sweat less than the word women, lots of different women. Eek. And I really can’t explain the fear because I am one.
2.HOMESCHOOLING CAN GET REALLY EXPENSIVE!!
I didn’t really realize this until I started searching around for next years curriculum. We are doing My Father’s World 1st grade curriculum right now (which was not so cheap itself) and looking at future purchases with them would be going into a lot of several hundreds of dollars, not just several. I’ve realized through blogs and blogging myself that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to teach your child. You don’t have to get one big curriculum package. You can buy used, which is what I’m looking into for this next fall. Going cheaper does not mean you will lose any of the quality that you are wanting. My son is only 5 and we are doing 1st grade this year. He is amazing and a super fast learner, I don’t know if all my children will learn at this rate but if so I shouldn’t have to spend much on anything else right?
All that being said, we do absolutely love My Father’s World so may still get the bulk of it through them.
3.IT’S NOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL!!
Going into this I really didn’t know what to expect but I had a feeling, after hours of searching for curriculums and subjects and grade levels that I was in for quite a ride. And it really is hit or miss. Some things that we have loved this year and last (preschool) others have not so much. For instance we absolutely loved almost everything about Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, my child really took to it and the only thing I had a real problem with was the stories got kind of repetitive. My son got a little bored with it so we skipped a few here and there. He picked it up quickly though. Now once I started talking to other mom’s in our co-op I learned that some of them didn’t care for it because it didn’t click for their kid and they found something else that did. I think I will find this happens a lot more as we go along and my own children have a different way of learning.
4.MY CHILD IS STILL NORMAL AND I BELIEVE HE WILL CONTINUE TO BE!!
I’m not gonna lie and say this wasn’t a huge worry I had, probably because it’s one of the most common misconceptions people have about homeschooled children. They will be socially awkward or they seem just a little different. Honestly it’s really funny now that I think about it. I went to public school and I was a a little weird and awkward so if my kids ends up like that it’s most likely genetic. Here is a great post about this very topic. It’s Because They’re Homeschooled: No, Actually It’s Not. I know several homeschooled children and several public schooled children and you know what… I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Some kids are shy, some are not, some are very active, some are not.
Personality, Personality, Personality!!!!
5.IT’S A LOT HARDER AND A LOT MORE REWARDING THAN I EXPECTED!!
Don’t get me wrong, I had a feeling it would be hard but it’s a different kind of hard once you are deep in the thick of it. Before we started I was worried about all of the above, about curriculum choices and normal kids and me being the biggest, nerdiest mom ever. But now those have pretty much faded away, every once in awhile they will pop up again but it’s nothing I can’t handle. What was unexpectedly hard is realizing that there are some days when neither of us want to do school. Somedays my temper is a little shorter than I would like. Some days showing grace doesn’t seem like much of an option. While we make school as yell free and stress free as possible that doesn’t mean that some days aren’t harder than others. There is a fine balance in being the mom and the teacher of your children. I don’t think I have quite gotten it down yet but I’m working on it. Another hard thing is just wanting them to succeed, wanting to do the best thing for my child and when they are struggling with something or not figuring it out the thought pops into my head, “Maybe I’m not good enough to do this job.” and then that’s about the time the rewarding part comes in. I have found that about the time when I am starting to second guess our decision to homeschool there is a grace that blankets our house and it’s definitely not from me. Whether it’s just peace that washes over me or me seeing my son figure something out that he’s been struggling with. I’m reminded that I didn’t go into this decision lightly. Lots of prayer and thought and discussion went into this and I know that at this time in our lives this is what we should be doing and God never fails to remind me of that when I am starting to get a little stressed out.
I really was not expecting or planning on writing down all of my thoughts that I have been having this last month or so about schooling but I’m so glad I did. It was a great way to reflect and see that the prayers and worries I had earlier on were answered in one way or the other, which then gives me hope and faith that the worries and struggles that come along now and in the future will not overtake me.
If you are struggling with a decision about homeschooling, whether it be to try it out or not or just how in the world to start off, I’m always here. I definitely don’t have all the answers but sometimes it’s just nice to talk to someone who gets it. Support is a very necessary thing, whether you homeschool or not!!
I haven’t been around in a while and for that I blame everyone but myself.
In all honesty, I do feel like there were a few things against me over the summer that led to my pretty severe absence. My phone fell on concrete and shattered and I had to go one step above old school phones(I did all my blogging on my phone…just fyi) and our computer suddenly hooked up to our T.V by some unknown force (hubby) and our only real functional, quick fix for my blogging was my husbands work laptop that is never around. So there have been some unforeseen things that made my blogging a little harder to complete… and then there was just my laziness.
You wonder how I am back… well I now have my hubby’s “old” work laptop because he upgraded, I really have no complaints about that!
So what have we been doing for the last 3 plus months? We have been knee deep in our first year of homeschool, our first year of c0-0p and my first year of the busiest I’ve ever been. That last sentence might seem a little over-the-top but really, I mean every word. I’ve been planning, and praying and worrying over homeschooling for the last 2 years and now that it’s here I really don’t have much time to do any of those things except pray but even then it’s a lot less than before. I think that’s only because I really do feel, in my gut, that homeschooling is for us. The last two years I spent praying about it and wondering if I could cut it and while I don’t really know if I can cut it, I think for the most part our family is rocking the first year. Don’t get me wrong, I struggle to find things for my youngers to do when I’m doing things with my kindergartener that they just can’t do. Our littlest likes attention a lot. (There is really nothing more I can add to that.) For the most part though, we have fallen into a groove and while I know it’s right for us I also know that it is stinking hard and hectic and sometimes insane but I really wouldn’t change it for anything.
So I have missed all the blogs that I have followed and the bloggers that follow me. Sadly I haven’t been able to or made time to get on and take a gander. My title of this post really is as true as it can be. I feel like I’ve just been sitting on the sidelines the last few months, I’ve been itching to get back into writing and just the blogging community in general! Can’t wait to see what ya’ll have been up to!!
Here’s to getting off that bench!!
Finally after years of wanting to make a garden, I finally pulled my big girl gardening boots on and started digging. I have my little ones to thank for it. Their little minds can soak up a lot of info and memories helping out with a garden and luckily I have a whole lot of tiny little hands to help me.
We’ve got some zucchini, squash, onions, cauliflower(my absolute favorite), peppers, lettuce and will be planting some melons in May.
My sister gave us one row of her cement blocks and brought my very crafty niece over to help the kids paint them. Fun all around, now lets just hope something grows!
Here’s to getting dirty!
Fun little update because I didn’t get this posted right away. A glimpse of our first little seed sprouting. Zucchini is the only one to break through so far! Fingers crossed for the rest of them!
Today I got My Father’s World 1st grade curriculum for my oldest son. We won’t start until fall of this year but it has been between this or Sonlight for about a year and I just couldn’t go back and forth in my head anymore (I’m about to go nuts!) so I went ahead and jumped the gun and bought MFW.
My reasonings for this was because they both have great reviews, they both have a schedule laid out for me, the only difference and really deciding factor was the price. This being our first full year of homeschooling I just couldn’t imagine shelling out almost a thousand dollars when I’m not sure how it will even work for us and at this time I’m only planning on homeschooling the elementary years but I’m always open to whatever comes our way.
All that being said I got this box of books and worksheets and ideas and activities and although there is a laid out plan I can’t help but feel overwhelmed. I’m sure once I get it organized I will feel a little better. Lets hope anyways.
So what are your thoughts? Has anyone ever used or is using My Father’s World? How does it compare to other curriculums? I realize that I have already bought it but would still love to hear some feedback.
Here’s to over preparation and uneasiness!;)
I have a confession…. I’m burnt out and I’m proud to admit it.
A little back story…
I don’t like to complain, I don’t like to be tired with what I’m doing. I don’t like to be ungrateful.
I’m the type of person that has a bad day and always tries to thank God that he even allowed me to have it. Every day is a gift. My kids waking up everyday is a gift, my husband kissing me goodbye in the morning and kissing me goodnight in the evening is a gift.
I know this.
I’m a stay at home mom who will and kinda is homeschooling, that is my choice, that is a blessing and while some days I wanna cry, I pick my laundry basket up and try to be the best mom/wife I can be. Who knows how long this special gift will last right?
I try to show love and kindness to everyone and I try even harder to love people, actually love them. I will admit there is a handful of people that are pretty much a constant in my life that make it very hard sometimes.
But this last week and I know probably several times in the past, I’ve been just done. There are a lot of balls in the air and I feel like right now they are at my feet. I am not arrogant enough to believe that I’m the only one to go through this, everyone does and I’m not trying to play the woe is me game. But I will say that in the past I haven’t let myself admit when I’m tired or in a funk or burnt out and this time around I kinda feel like shouting it to the roof tops. Not complain but accept that this comes even with the most exciting of lives.
I’ve realized I shouldn’t be ashamed of feeling tired and burnt out. I shouldn’t go into hiding or pretend mode. I shouldn’t feel like the dead beat mom who isn’t stoked to pick up toys for the 11 hundredth time! It’s okay to be tired, it’s okay to feel burnt out and I should feel good that I have things that keep me busy and burn me out.
Honestly I’m just happy that I’m able to have balls in the air in the first place. I’m happy that I have food in the fridge that I’m too tired to prepare. Yes I’m ending this on a positive note because as I’ve explained I can’t help myself….
Just because I’m tired or burnt out or feel like curling up into a ball and sleeping for 12 hours doesn’t mean I’m a failure and it doesn’t mean I’m not grateful. It just means I have that much more to hold onto. That much more to embrace and that maybe a weekend away is well overdue.
So to the rooftops I sing….
I’m burnt out and it feels so good!