In the three years since starting to homeschool I feel like most of my time has been un-learning and figuring the process out.
First, things like:
- sitting in a desk
- having a fully structured day
- working on assignments in all classes
…and more I have come to see as necessary in a classroom setting but not necessary to children learning.
Then, I have struggled with comparing my kids to where they should be if they were going to traditional school. Feeling stressed if they were missing something and feeling successful if they were ahead. This doesn’t really have anything to do with my kids or need to affect my homeschooling.
I have been afraid of:
- What friends and family think
- What strangers think
- What the state thinks and if they will accuse me of not doing a good enough job
- what my kids will think now and when they grow up
Between the ingrained ideas about school, comparisons, and fears I haven’t really been able to see clearly in making decisions about how to home school my kids. All these things seem to take time to un-learn and process.
My poor darling children just get drug along for the ride.
All these things build up, push, and cloud a home school parent/teacher and lead to burnout fast. When kids are burned out and parents are burned out it can make sense to give up. I don’t want to give up because I truly believe that my kids will do better home schooling. …but I don’t want all of us burned out in 2nd grade.
Just like so many areas of our society the home school community is full of lots of people who are willing to sell you all the tools you need for your classroom. There are blogs which talk about all the different things you need to work on and provide countless ideas for what you should be doing. There are so many curriculum packages it makes a person dizzy and it is very easy to become overwhelmed with work and still feel like you are behind and not teaching your kids well enough.
This is why I am really enjoying this Homeschool Family Handbook. Right off the bat they talk about the dangers of becoming burned out. Different from lots of theories and curriculum plans out there, these people have been around for years and can talk about the results. They are preaching unschooling which I have been more and more interested in.
In so many areas of life change comes from unlearning. Unlearning things that we didn’t even realize we knew or were slowing us down. Hopefully I can figure out this teaching and parenting thing before the kids grow up 🙂
On a personal homeschool update for the week: I can’t keep up with my daughter (8). She wants to start a circus in our neighborhood, set up a carnival this Sunday at our friends garage sale, and organize a parade to save the hawks. She has designed a telescope and already plans to sell it once it is built and get her story in the paper. Both children have spent hours writing books this week. If only mom could find more energy they could take over the world 🙂
Photo Credit: Image: luigi diamanti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net