Sometimes I’m still not entirely sure how I got here. How do you go from being a very-nearly-anti-homeschooling mom to a one-of-the-biggest-homeschooling-advocates-you’ll-ever-meet mom in just a few years’ time?
It takes a complete transformation of heart and mind, which is exactly what I experienced. And thank God for it! What amazing blessings I might have missed out on otherwise!
Several years now into my homeschooling journey, I still find myself saying or doing things I never could have imagined, say, 10 years ago! And I can’t help but smile when it happens, because…
1. I never dreamed I could enjoy homeschooling.
I actually tried homeschooling before I ever homeschooled with purpose, meaning I begrudgingly dipped my toes into homeschooling for two years, doing preschool and Kindergarten with my second child, but never with any intention of wading out into it too deeply. I homeschooled then out of necessity, not desire or calling. And it was awful.
Fast forward several years and imagine my surprise in finding it didn’t have to be that way! While homeschooling is hardly all sunshine and roses, (no question: it’s a tough job,) I find such purpose and fulfillment in the relationship I’m building with my children and the opportunity I have to learn with them and instill them with my values. So much of homeschooling success is dependent upon the approach and attitude of the one directing it. And, quite frankly, in the beginning my approach was very narrow-minded and my attitude stunk! No wonder I didn’t know there was such a thing as enjoying homeschooling!
I thought only freaks talked like that. Now I’m one of the freaks.
Let’s face it: a lot of the things we view as a necessary part of education are necessary only because they are what we know from our own public school experience. Things like sitting at a desk, listening to lectures, taking notes, doing worksheets, reading and answering questions, regular testing. That’s what education is supposed to be like, right?
Wrong. That’s what SCHOOL traditionally looks like, but not necessarily EDUCATION. But I didn’t begin to understand that until I started researching alternative homeschooling methods. Ditching the traditional approach has been one of the most wonderfully liberating things I’ve ever done in my homeschool and has proven to be a tremendous catalyst for learning in our home.
I used to want a clean house. Well, I suppose I still do, but not having it doesn’t bother me nearly so much as it used to. I’m too busy reading amazing books to my kids and telling them about people like John Hancock and Samuel Adams, not to mention I have lessons to plan, papers to file, and records to keep.
Interestingly enough, I’ve noticed that the dust doesn’t go anywhere! No matter what, it’s always in my home. My children, however, will not be.
4. I never dreamed I would decorate my house in a homeschooling theme.
So did you know that when a bird molts a feather on one wing, it loses the exact same feather in the exact same spot on the other wing? And were you aware that the British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre were actually defended in court by none other than patriot and second U.S. President John Adams?
It’s the kind of stuff I pop off with when you least expect it. And I’m thinking it’s a tendency common to homeschooling moms because on any given day I’m likely to get a text from another HS mom saying something like, “Legend says silk was discovered when a silkworm’s cocoon accidentally fell into a cup of tea.” (And let me say thank you for that vital bit of info, Amanda. I’m not sure how I would’ve gotten through my day without knowing that. By the way, did you get my text about the waggle dance of honeybees? Just wondering…)
Seriously. It’s like Christmas Eve and I’m 6 years old all over again. The anticipation is simply too much for me! At a homeschool convention there’s too much to see, too much to learn. It’s inspiration overload, which is usually just what the doctor ordered for the weary homeschooling mom!
I never want my kids to stop learning, so I should never stop learning either! I think I should always be in pursuit of new ideas and new products to make my job easier and more effective, plus be reminded why it is I do what I do and be encouraged in the effort. Homeschooling conventions are a one-stop-shop for all of those things.
It’s amazing the way homeschooling alters your thinking. In self-defense one day I whacked a hornet with my flipflop and it was our good fortune he wasn’t squished in the process. We’re studying insects in science, so what did I, the homeschooling mom, do with the dead body? Why, scoop it up and take it home for study, of course! We’ve added a beetle since then and now I’m on the hunt for a grasshopper.
When you’re a homeschooling mom, even the most ordinary and mundane things of life can look like wonderful opportunities for learning.
Forgive me, but in the beginning I truly believed homeschooling would make me tired of my children and my children tired of me! What a blessing that it’s had the opposite effect! The more I’m with my kids, the more time I have to enjoy them and learn about them, the more I want to continue to enjoy them.
And homeschooling seems to have effected my children the same way. They still pester and bicker and tattle sometimes, but they also seem to enjoy one another and appreciate one another’s differences and abilities and talents in ways they never did before.