Several weeks ago I decided to begin easing my way into homeschooling by starting with my daughter C (who just turned three) this fall. Even though I’m a SAHM, I had never even really considered homeschooling and this was not an easy decision for me to make.
Homeschooling is for smart people. You know, school teachers who left their career to stay at home with their children. Children need to go to school, right? Don’t they need the social interaction they learn from being around other children (and someone other than Mummy)? And everyone knows that home schooled kids are just a little… weird. A little too sheltered. Maybe a little too smart.
Oh the lies we tell ourselves.
If I’m being completely honest, I just didn’t want to home school. I am selfish. I wanted the time that the kids were at school to be my time.
I still do.
There. I said it.
However, as much as I want to be selfish I also want what is best for my children. I want to be the Mum that God wants me to be. This is my calling; to raise these precious babes of mine. And while I’m sure I’ll never get a Mother Of the Year award, I do want to look back on my life and be proud of — at least most of — the choices I made concerning our children. God entrusted them to my husband and myself. And my husband trusts me to raise them while he is out earning a living and providing for our family. And let’s face it, they’re only here for a short time.
So if I’m able to home school, why wouldn’t I?
It sounds like such an easy decision to make when you lay it out like that, doesn’t it? So why am I still hesitating?
In a word: fear.
I’m afraid that I won’t have enough patience with my little girl. We butt heads so often already, this young independent one (totally don’t know who she got that from). I’m afraid that I will not teach her enough and she’ll be behind. I’m afraid I’ll try and teach her too much, too quickly and turn her off on learning. I don’t know what the proper channels are to be government approved to home school or what goes into it. I’m afraid of so many things.
But basically it all boils down to this: I’m afraid I’ll fail. That I won’t be enough.
So to get over my feelings of inadequacy I’ve come up with a homeschooling few rules:
- Plan ahead, plan ahead, plan ahead. I always feel more confident if I’m prepared. And I know what’s coming up I can get help if I need it.
- Make it fun. If it’s fun then it’s not “learning” (even though it is). Making it fun will hopefully help keep attitudes in check (both hers and mine).
- Take it one year at a time. I may find that teaching is just not for me. Or it may get to the point that it’s better for everyone involved if we call it quits. I just don’t want to add stress to myself by deciding right now that we’re going to home school til college.
- Take it one day at a time. Who says school has to happen during school hours? The beauty of home schooling is that it can happen any time and anywhere. Some days you just need to play “hookie”.
- Give grace. Give myself grace if we decide to stop homeschooling. Give myself grace when I have those feelings of doubt or when I screw up (because it’s going to happen). Give my children grace when they screw up (because that’s going to happen too). In those times just remember to take a step back and give grace. And pray.
Definitely pray. Because that’s what holds everything together. That’s what holds me together.
In a few weeks we will begin our home schooling adventures. I’ve picked out the curriculum (which I love; but more on that next week) and prepared a few weeks in advance. And I will try to blog each weekend about our week.
I think I’m ready.
Wish us luck. And please pray.