Oh my. It has officially been 1 month since we started our homeschoolin’ journey. Some days are great and run like lard in a hot pan. And some days are incredibly trying with me attempting not to lose my mind, patience, or my salvation. Amen.
Regardless there are some things I’ve discovered in these last 4 weeks that hopefully will accomplish a few things: (1) allow others to understand more about the best decision I’ve ever made for myself and the Monkey (2) encourage others to consider which education options are best for your own little Monkeys, and (3) to remind myself to keep going on those days where I want to dangle her safely from a medium height balcony à la Michael Jackson.
So back to this whole list thing. I probably could’ve listed waaaay more than 10, but I feel like after 10 you all would probably stop reading. So would I. Plus 10 is a nice, round number. And here we go:
1) Education is about developing, grooming, equipping, and celebrating each child’s uniqueness. Not bending their abilities and talents to fit uniform standards.
And this applies to public, private, and homeschool. Not one of you is safe. I even find myself trying to fight the standards that others think she should be fitting into on a daily basis. When it’s noon on a school day and we’re at the grocery store I get stopped by at least one person wondering why she’s not ‘in school.’ Correction. She is. And we’re learning about the nuances of nutrition, monetary transactions, counting, reading, social skills, and the importance of planning. Things I wish I had learned in school, but was stuck to a desk for 8 hours in the day. And, again, I turned out fine. But being able to take school outside (literally and figuratively) has been amazing and shown me the strange and amazingly unique ways that my child thinks about herself and the world.
2) Spending this much time with your kid(s) makes you love and appreciate them so much more.
My kid is the best darn 5 year old on the planet. No joke. She’s funny, athletic, bossy, loving, and has an old soul. She likes weird music like her mommy and her favorite song is Paradise City by Guns N Roses. She doesn’t like to brush her teeth but understands how bad breath can hinder her social life. She cries uncontrollably during sad parts in movies and is an empath at heart. I knew these things prior to our homeschooling time, but not to the depth that I do now.
3) Spending this much time with your kid(s) makes you want to be by yourself more often.
I feel like this doesn’t need a blurb or an explanation. See my post on Heaven in Duluth for more inspiration. Or reference the Michael Jackson dangle.
4) Some homeschool days are the best ever.
I feel like superwoman. Like I can conquer the world. Or like Leo doing his happy strut.
Like I can get the laundry, cooking, homeschooling, and work done at the same damn time. And then…
5) …Some homeschool days are just plain bad.
She has a complete, nuclear meltdown about a broken brown crayon. Or that I put her bracelets in the wrong jewelry box. Or that we have raspberries instead of blueberries for lunch. Or for no reason at all. Like. AT. ALL. These are all true stories, by the way. Just in case you couldn’t tell. Then there are the shining mother of the year moments where I snap about the complaints of “We’ve been doing this for 10 hours!!!”…when it’s only been 5 minutes. Which leads me to number 6…
6) In Kid Time, 5 minutes is equivalent to 6 hours, 39 minutes, and 17 seconds.
So when I’m trucking along in math work, with my Leo Happy Strut, thinking things are peachy, and it’s been…21 minutes!…and she starts to whine. I have to take a step back and realize that it’s just been an ETERNITY in KinderLand.
7) Kids crave independence more than we give them credit for.
If I had a penny for every time she screams “Let me do it!” I could be homeschooling AND retired. And if your kid is a human, I’m sure you hear this a lot, too. But do you listen? Do you actually let them do it? Or do you try to pull a ninja “it’s already done” move before they notice their opportunity has passed? Don’t feel guilty, sometimes that ninja move is necessary. But every once in a while, let them actually do it. As long as it won’t kill or maim them. Notice I didn’t say hurt. Because sometimes kids need to fall, bump, bruise, and pick themselves back up in order to learn their best.
8) Those cheesy homeschool planners that you can download from the internet are amazeballs. Get one.
I mean, really. Like most things I was skeptical. I asked myself, “Do I really need to plan out each homeschool day? I mean, let’s just go with the flow, dude.”
Yeah, no. We went ‘with the flow’ for exactly 1 day before I caved. The Flow was more like a muddy monsoon. So I found a .pdf planner online, sent the print order to Staples, used a coupon because I’m cheap, and walked outta Staples with my homeschool planner and Leo Happy Strut. And just to make it extra nerdy, I got it bound with the clear plastic front cover. Like a BOSS.
Now, if a homeschool day is an epic fail, at least I know it wasn’t on the schedule.
9) Make time for community.
I hesitated with this one for a while, and for a few reasons. First, I am unashamedly introverted. Also, I had a lot of fear. Fear that they would judge me for being a single mom. Silly and unwarranted. Fear that I would have to participate in small talk, that they would notice I wasn’t exactly participating, and it would make all interactions awkward. This didn’t exactly happen. Fear that I would forget every grown person’s name and resort to calling them “Such-and-Such’s Mom.” This has happened. Repeatedly. I am sorry.
10) Homeschooling has completely changed our home life.
I never thought I’d say this, but I realized it when explaining to another parent the benefits of homeschooling: Since I’ve started homeschooling, we have more time. When she was in 5 day-a-week daycare, I felt like we were always rushing and I was constantly stressed about working and trying to stretch what little time we had.
Clearly, we now have more time with each other. But, overall, we just have more time. Yes, I still work, but I work a little less. And because I know that I only have two-ish days to get work done, I work more efficiently. I don’t waste time on things that don’t matter. I worry less about things that didn’t deserve my time in worrying about them anyway. I’m more present, physically and mentally. And I’m starting to take my dreams, my dreams for my daughter, and her dreams for herself more seriously.
Regardless of what your situation is, I urge you to consider how homeschooling might change your life.
All the feels. End sappy moment.
Until next time, keep hope alive my homeschooling friends.
– Such-and-Such’s Mom
What are some things/myths you all have discovered about homeschooling?