Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The 3 Things I Learned NOT to Do When It Comes to Homeschooling

Coming up on the end of our "First Full Year" of Homeschooling, I look back at all the fun we've had, the memories we've created, ALL the different things we've tried to do, AND all the mistakes I made along the way!  While in my heart, I WISH I had started this journey from Day 1, I didn't and while this is one of the hardest things I've ever done (transitioning from Public School to Home School), I'm surviving and the kids are HAPPY. That's all that matters!  Live and Learn.....Make Mistakes and MOVE ON!

Here are 3 things I've done that I will NOT do again....LOL

Replicate Public School ( School at Home )

I thought the best thing for them was to create a school room, keep the schedule and rhythm they were used to since I pulled them out after winter break of the 2012/13 school year. Daily Pledge of Allegiance and all. I wanted them to feel comfortable with a similar routine. After all, that was all Adrianna knew for the previous 41/2 years before.

I was wrong.

I mean, what was I thinking????? I took them out of public school!  Why was I trying to copy the very model that failed my daughter, was oppressing my son, and was the reason I decided to act and pull them out to begin with?

They are kids, wiggly, silly little kids that aren't meant to just sit at a table and do worksheet after worksheet.  My crazy, creative little kiddos need to be actively involved in their learning right alongside me!  Guess what? I'm learning all over again, right alongside them cool is THAT??!!!

Ok, lesson learned.
Goodbye "Classroom"

Obsess over a Planner and Structure

We went with My Father's World this year since I saw it work for a friend that seemed to have it all together on the homeschool front.  It was so well laid out and seemed like all I had to do was "follow the directions".  

I was wrong.

While I DO like some structure, I should know better....I have always "Marched to the beat of my own drum", so WHY would I think that was going to help me be more "effective" in teaching my children?  We made it through Week 16 and were done following every.single.step.  Ever since then, we've ALL been happy and I've seen the kids' creativity skyrocket!

Ok, lesson learned.
Goodbye "Boxlike, Over-structured Learning Stuff!"

Compare Ourselves to Other Homeschool Families

While it is AWESOME to have so many new homeschool friends, have so much access to information via the web, Pinterest, Facebook, etc., one of the things that gets me in trouble is that nasty little word "comparison".  I know what MY family needs, they need ME.  It's easy to look at others and think, "Wow, she has her shit together!!!" or see all the amazing crafts you can do, the beautifully put together "School Rooms" and feel like you totally suck and can't measure up.  

I was wrong in that thinking.

My kids ADORE me.  I am their mom.  If I'm happy, I set the tone and stage for how our family rolls. All they need is me!

*They don't need THAT mom.
*They don't need to go on every field trip available out there.
*They don't need all the extra activities their other friends do.
*They don't need the same things that other kids do.

They need ME. Period.

Ok, lesson learned.
Goodbye to "comparing ourselves to others."

This homeschool transition has been hard, but it's been the greatest thing I've done in my entire life! My relationship with the kids has intensified, my marriage has grown closer and stronger, and I've been more fulfilled than ever!  There are days when I try to do too much, days that I yelled too much, tears from them AND me, lots of "I'm sorry", tons of grace and forgiveness on all parts, moments of feeling alone, many times of questioning myself, our choice, and lots of fear.  That fear and insecurity were the two things I personally needed to overcome and through a couple of new friends with their encouragement and knowledge, along with my husband's steadfast spirit, I've made it through!  

Chris always reminds me that I am doing "life" alongside our children learning along the way.  It's okay, to break for the gym, ditch a day because of the beautiful weather, and just let the days flow.  Things will come up and I have to be okay with going with the flow.  There is such freedom in that and has transformed me to the Gina, I always was.....carefree, funloving, encouraging and nurturing!  My kids KNOW I love them, they believe I am the smartest person they know, besides their nana, lol, they love my adventurous spirit and I only hope they get to experience a childhood free of the stresses of the adult world......they have plenty of time to be a Grown Up, but only a short time to be a child.  

I will do my best to foster that imagination, encourage them and support them while they take in the world around them, knowing I'm right here and their Number One Fan!  

I'm excited for a new year and the changes to come!  I know they will be too!!

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