Hey friends! Some of you may know this, and some of you may not. In January we, or really I, began the journey of being a home educator. It has been quite the roller coaster journey so far. I knew it was going to be. Honestly, I was afraid of what it was going to do to my day. That sounds and is so selfish, I know.
Here I am a mom trying to do all the things. I am trying to take care of a home, raise my kids, grow my business, and be present in all the things. I find myself feeling like I am failing at all of those things often. Yet, I know that's not the truth, the truth is I am growing every single day. I was so afraid that I was going to have to give up on my business, something I enjoy so very much.
I was pleasantly surprised our first month and thought it was going to be so much easier than I expected. I actually got MORE time to get things done. I was blessed, I was blown away and I was thrilled. BUT we were really in our deschooling time.
Deschooling is a time when you transition your kids from what public school is. Traditionally it goes along with unschooling which is basically not following a curriculum or school routine - this was not what we wanted to do, yet we knew we needed to allow kids to switch to a new mindset. Normally you would deschool your kids 1 month for every year they were in public school. I chose to do this for the month of January, we made it 3 weeks and then we began.
Before I began the journey I visited with other homeschooling moms. All of them said:
"Take your time"
"It's okay to go at your own pace"
"Do what fits your family"
"It's okay to change curriculum if you don't like it"
"You don't have to start it all, all at once"
"Take time to prepare"
"It will be hard, you'll have good days and bad days."
"It's all worth it, the relationship you will build with your kids is so worth it."
I am so glad I had these ladies to talk to. Because of these ladies, I chose to take it easy. I can remind myself that not all days or weeks will be hard, even if I feel different. Those first 3 weeks we really focused on just getting into the Bible together, behaviors, and creating a routine. It was good. The girls became good helpers.
After those 3 weeks, we added in our Math which was online and they basically do 98% on my own. Then 2 weeks later we added the first part of our Language Arts curriculum. This went well, they needed me for only parts of it. I didn't need to prep or teach a lesson. I helped with flash cards, questions, the read aloud items and that was it. It was going so well. It was easy really. We started school around 10 am and we were done by 11 or 1130 every day. Plus the girls were learning to cook & made meals without me!
Then it all changed. I ordered our Creative Companions (2nd half of our Language Arts), History, and multiple Science Units. We prepped as a family knowing we were about to see a big change. We agreed we would start with our Creative Companions, then History, then Science. The box came, we were so very excited! We opened it up and were thrilled at how beautiful it was.
The transitions so far have been so hard on ALL of us. I learned very quickly that now I needed to take time each week to Lesson Plan for the week. That now I was actually going to have to teach them, not just sit alongside them and that school was sometimes going to have to take ALL DAY LONG! Emma lost it when she found out history was not exactly as when she was in school. Mama freaked out internally and later externally because her kids couldn't just be willing and now it was going to take a lot more time than she thought.
Each of my girls is so different - give one a list and she can go and just do, but struggles with distractions. The other one struggles with doing what she wants vs what is right and doddles her day away. We have so many big emotions in our house AND we all struggle with self-control. Oh, and we have a toddler who wants to be into every single thing. Do any mamas relate? Plus all any of us have ever known is a public school.
I'll tell ya, I'm so thankful for Jesus and being able to whisper to him, yell to him, cry to him and lean on him. More so I am thankful for His grace and that His truth can help me overcome all the things I say to myself and all the moments of impatience
I am thankful for Facebook the homeschool groups right now. The groups are really so helpful, I love that I can post a question and I get an array of ideas and thoughts that help me find my way. I love following the pages and even following people on Instagram. I've made some new friends and am enjoying getting ideas. Yet sometimes social media makes it harder. I see all the 'perfect homeschool rooms' or read about 'how much the kids love school' and more. This can cause me to wonder why I don't have it together.
The blessing is that this is my school now. I can choose to do what works for my family. I was reminded by quite a few homeschoolers today that it is about what works for our family and my children will learn. Some also shared that it took them a couple of years to find their groove. Which means at 2.5 months it's okay for me to feel upside down.
In this short time, I have learned SO MUCH about my kids.
1. How each of them learns
2. What excites them
3. What stresses them out
4. What calms them
And although it doesn't feel like it yet, Chad's and my relationships with our kids are changing. Plus, my kids have new life skills that it seems like we didn't have time to teach.
Friends, I felt like I was going to have to give up my calling with my business but really most of the time, I'm able to do more. I just finished a week of feeling unbalanced but the truth is some days & weeks will feel that way and the next will be better. Better yet, I'm learning how to express my calling in a new way through my kids. That's truly beautiful.