Aug 8, 2010

My Thoughts On Homeschooling

8/08/2010 — cori

When my husband first discussed homeschooling with me, I laughed. I told him that I'd pay to have someone else teach my children at home. At that time, we only had one kid and he was one. I think I had enough time to research and see for myself how hard this was going to be.

But my son ended up choosing homeschooling for us. He was so driven to learn. We just naturally evolved into this method. I had done a lot of reading. You know, I had to know exactly what to do and how to do it before hand so I wouldn't fail miserably, thus avoiding any life lessons that maybe God would like to teach me in my failure. Don't worry. I failed. Over and over.

I tried doing school at home. Didn't work. I tried being two distinct personalities: Mommy and Teacher. Didn't work. I tried doing everything everyone else said and suggested knowing that anyone knows better than me how to do this. I tried relying on myself and left God out of the picture. I tried planning every 5 minute increment of the day. I also tried unschooling and didn't plan one minute of the day. Notice a pattern here? I, I, I. Yep. I was trusting in me and my abilities. This whole homeschool thing has never been about my kids, turns out it was about me trying to do my best and impress everyone around me. Lesson humbly learned.

When I bottomed out and failed because of utter exhaustion, I decided to finally let God have his say in this whole mess. Whew! What a relief. To be led by Him. He cares about my kids more than I do. He knows what they need and he can use me as an instrument to help guide them. He's also proven he doesn't even need me - he can do just fine without me. When I surrender, I'm a much better teacher, parent, spouse, friend. This whole homeschool thing has taught me to surrender my expectations and will completely to him and learn how to be a good listener. Something I'm always trying to instill in my own children - look who ended up needing a refresher course. Mommy.

I no longer panic that I'm ruining my children for life. We actually put them in public school for the first time last year and they did just fine. They learned things there I wasn't able to give them at home. We've also had some amazing learning moments at home that they couldn't have gained in a school setting.

I refuse to put God in a box. If I've learned anything these past seven years of home educating it's that:

1. There is not just one right way to do this
2. It is a sacrifice
3. Learning is fun and messy
4. You will fail and you will learn and you will go on - that's life
5. Sometimes it's fun; sometimes it's hard
6. Homeschooling is not perfect, it too has it's short comings
7. There is a time when it is good and a time when it is harmful - learn when those are

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