“If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
My very own blog.
If you know me, you know why this situation is slightly comical. I do love my laptop and my hand-me-down ipad and iphone, don’t get me wrong! But even these beloved gadgets often provoke a fair share of anxiety in my life when the task at hand becomes any more involved than placing a phone call, typing a word document, surfing the internet or playing Angry Birds!
I have recently joined the ranks of homeschool mom’s, however, and the question, “What has the Homeschool endeavor been like for you?” has become a frequently asked question in my life. My husband and I spent the first few years of our marriage moving around a lot, and as a result, we have a good deal of friends and family scattered across the land who are always asking how things are going and wanting pictures and updates. I am beginning to realize that sending out mass email updates and flooding my facebook page with pictures is becoming a bit overwhelming. Thus, I have decided to join the exciting and very much new and unknown (to me) world of blogging! I am sure this will be an evolutionary experience.
I have wracked my brain about how and where to begin and have decided that the best place to start is with me, a favorite subject of mine! (HA!) Just kidding… sort of. Anyway, so here is the Cliff’s Notes version of how I became a card carrying member of the homeschool mom’s club!
I began homeschooling as soon as my oldest was ready for Preschool. I had absolutely NO idea what I was doing. I went out and bought one of those complete curriculum kits and had at it. What could go wrong?… HA! Apparently a lot. I failed miserably! I fumbled my way through the kit and spent most of my time being confused and frustrated. After about a month of spinning my wheels to no avail and watching my daughter become grumpy and combative whenever it was time for “school”, I went out and got another kit and tried again. This cycle continued until we had an entire bookshelf dedicated to entombing all of my failed attempts and soon it was time to start Kindergarden. Luckily, God pointed us to a wonderful Charter School that was just starting up in our neighborhood. We promptly enrolled our daughter in their Kindergarden program.
Whew! I began dropping her off at school in the mornings with a sigh of relief. The ball was no longer in my court! I had a toddler and a baby at home that needed my attention and this whole homeschool thing was reserved for the Super Mom’s of the world, and I was resigned to the fact that I did not own a cape nor had I been endowed with any superpowers! The Charter School ended up being a huge blessing for our family that year and the next. As our daughter’s First grade year began to come to an end, I began to feel a nagging in my heart that would not leave me alone. Our circumstances had changed our two younger children were getting bigger and more independent, financially, we were being blessed and our beloved Charter School was beginning to implement some changes of its own. A few of these changes my husband and I could not get fully on board with. I began to feel the call to homeschool… agin. WHAT? “um… tried that, God! Were you not paying attention during my last attempt? This has to be some kind of mistake!” I ignored the small voice in my head. Soon it became a large voice, but I put forth a Herculean effort and continued to push it aside. When it finally came time to enroll our daughter in Second grade, we filed the paper work and scheduled her entrance interview, but when the day arrived to meet her new teacher, I couldn’t do it. I knew we were heading down the wrong road for what ever reason and we called the school and had her pulled from the class.
Of course at this point, I had spent the entire summer running from the idea of homeschooling, so I got to spend the next month sleeplessly wading through the vast and daunting waters of becoming a homeschool mom. I very adamantly encourage anyone leaning towards homeschool, don’t wait until the last minute! It could very well become the death of your soul! (Well, that might be a tad dramatic… but really, start early and do lots of research ahead of time!)
That was two years ago, and I am happy to say that we are now functioning as a successful homeschool family! On the surface we have all of our ducks in a row, our paperwork is filed with the district, we have met state requirements, and I am a record keeping maniac… just don’t look to deep beneath the surface. I am still a hot mess most days and I still spend many nights at my computer planning lessons and organizing, watching the hours tick away into oblivion, knowing that is more sleep I will never get back. This whole experience can certainly become overwhelming at times. But the blessings we have reaped through the process have made this experience worth every last hour of lost sleep!
I have been asked a few times recently for my advice from moms on the fence about taking the homeschool plunge. My advice is this: “If you feel the call to become a homeschool mom, or dad, and your circumstances allow for it, do it! Expect to spend a lot of time on your knees seeking wisdom and patience, expect some sleepless nights, commit to organizing your life as much as humanly possible, and expect to have days that can only be chalked up to a learning experience, but do it all the same.” This process has been so amazing for our family. I have come to know my kids so much in ways that I would have never had the opportunity to otherwise. I love being in control of what they are learning and how they are learning it (let there be no confusion that I am well aware of my control- freakishness). I love spending so much structured one on one time with each of my kids in the school environment. It has been amazingly empowering and uplifting for me as I have learned my own strengths and grown into them, and I have had to learn to recognize my weaknesses and not judge myself for them, but find ways around them.This has been interesting as I am a perfectionist and tend to be heavily critical of myself, but I am learning! One of my favorite things is waking up to three precious kids who are genuinely excited for school time and always wanting to know what we will learn about next! This has been such a precious journey, one which we plan to continue on until God calls us to do otherwise. I am so thankful for this opportunity.
Now for brief introductions:
Our oldest, who has just begun THIRD GRADE (I am still trying to wrap my head around that!) She is the sweetest little girl that ever lived! She has always been quite the girlie girl. When she was tiny, I deemed her “Miss Prissy” as she was not often seen without her princess crowns and tutus. The nickname stuck and has been slightly adapted to a now more mature, “Missy”.
Our Kindergardener! Much can be said about this little man! He is full of impossible amounts of energy and personality. He is impossible to exhaust, and he has been the instrument through which God has taught me the necessity of patience and adaptability in parenthood! He has also been the source of massive amounts of joy and sunshine in our lives. Our little “Cricket” who never stops chirping!
And the baby (though we don’t dare call her that!) She is our little independent child. She has aptly been deemed, “Monkey”, a nickname she received as an infant. If someone is going to be found climbing on, over, or under something it will be her! And we are pretty sure her bones are made of rubber!
Me and the kiddos.
Let me just say in conclusion to this, my very first blog post, if I can do this… well, ANYONE can!!
And so, with that said…. I thank you for stopping by and I bid you luck on your own journey and ask for your prayers as I stumble through mine!