After several “false starts” and more than my fair share of tears, we are starting over. Again.
After Thanksgiving, we decided to take a break. Step away from trying to home school and take the month of December to regroup. I was overwhelmed and still pretty unsure about this whole change. So we played and enjoyed the holiday season. I started to give a lot more thought to the type of experience I wanted to have with the kids at home. Not lesson planning, not researching the methods or styles of instruction, just simply thinking about how we’d look, the things that might have to happen each day for us all to be happy.
Taking a break from home school for a while gave my brain time to air out. One thing that was very hard for me was this feeling of really wanting to home school and yet still retain a sense of identity. My sense of self. I can’t devote my life to them entirely. I had this notion (where it derived, I have no idea) that if I schooled the kids, I would be forgoing a life of my own. Homeschooling is also in complete discord with the notion that my time would be much better spent going to work in a professional capacity.
All of this really is a whole bunch of nonsense. Clearly there has to be a way for me to retain my sense of self, allow the children to grow and learn with independence, obtain my own goals, and have a fun time doing it along the way. That is going to be what you’ll find here: how I piece together my needs with those of the kids. I’ll let you in on the days that stink, the struggles, and the times I feel that we’re crushing this home school business.
We just started our home school year. In January. Yep– that’s one super cool thing about it– you can start whenever you want! After struggling many times in the last few months, here are the 3 things I did to finally get going:
- Stop sending your kid to school & take a break. The break needs to be longer than a week. Maybe a month- or like in our case, three months. Don’t do anything that remotely resembles school. Play. Do projects. Reignite curiosity- your child’s and your own.
- Feel the fear and do it any way. I’m stealing this from a friend, but when I started to apply it to our home school situation and all the fears I had,they slowly started to dissolve. I was so afraid that I’d be making mistakes. Then I realized: everyone makes mistakes. Teachers. School districts. Presidents. I would not be the first. I won’t be the last. It’s important that the kids learn that mistakes happen, we learn from them, make adjustments, and move on. I also don’t ever want them to be fearful of something that shouldn’t be feared.
- Figure out how your kid learns and what he or she likes. Starting at a point where they (and you) are most comfortable is going to make the transition so much easier. Focus on positive aspects of their learning and harness their strengths while supporting their weaknesses. This is also the time to recognize your own strengths and weaknesses and how they relate to your expectations.