I love homeschooling!
I also love reading and listening to other homeschoolers stories, struggles and victories.
I hope you will enjoy the homeschool stories I will be sharing from Guest Readers, as much as I do!
Savor The Season
Homeschooling Guest Post
By Kathy Chauffe
“I have a friend who is thinking about homeschooling. I told him I’d give him the number of a veteran homeschool mom who could answer all his questions.” Announced my friend during a phone chat.
“Awesome. Text me her number. I have some stuff I want to ask her too.” I responded.
“I mean YOU. YOU are the veteran homeschooler!” She chuckled. “You have forgotten more about homeschooling than a lot of people will ever learn.”
It is true that I have forgotten a lot of things. But a veteran? Me? After teaching public school for 8 years and homeschooling for another 8, I still feel like I’m flying by the seat of my pants most days. But it is a comfortable seat and one that has its merits.
Homeschooling at our house has evolved into a nice balance of structure and exploration and I have to remind myself that each of these is equally important. Every lesson that does not begin with a lesson plan and end with a recordable grade does not indicate a failure for learning to take place. Sometimes I worry that I am not doing enough. Ok, every day I have thoughts along those lines. Sharing my heart with other homeschool parents leads me to believe I am in the majority on that. We can all rest assured that there will be no shortage of humility in the parenthood journey.
The sheer weight of the responsibility of educating my children can feel pretty overwhelming at times. Have I chosen the right curriculum? Am I keeping good enough records to satisfy the state, the feds, nosey neighbors, inlaws? Are we doing enough extracurricular activities? Are we keeping up with public school? Should I feel guilty that my son just took his math test in his pajamas? In his bed? The day I gave a spelling test from the bathroom…was that wrong? If I let myself, I could go on and on, constantly second guessing myself. Questioning every decision. Worrying about every detail and obsessing over every imagined scenario. Sucking away every drop of of joy this precious opportunity to homeschool offers, and missing out on what promises to be a most cherished season.
I want desperately for my children to be well educated. I also long for them to want that for themselves. I have to remind myself that when I teach from a place of relationship, the odds of them developing that love of learning multiply exponentially, and that is not insignificant. Who else would know that allowing my daughter a few minutes to doodle in her art notebook before a test would guarantee her a higher grade and leave her feeling encouraged and empowered? Who else would know to save every A+ paper to pull out for a son who just made a rare B and thinks his world is ending? Who else would care?
I am learning to count the privilege of homeschooling my children as one of my biggest blessings. The days are long but the years pass quickly. It is a season to savor. I stand prepared to enjoy it to its fullest.
In ten more years all but one of my students will have graduated. The shelves and shelves of curriculum will have dwindled to a tidy stack. Requests for my assistance with sounding out words will have long since ceased. No one will need me to devise rules about wearing roller skates to class. The currently rare commodities of time and quiet will be plentiful. By that late date in my homeschooling career I will have forgotten tons more stuff and might possibly even be ready to finally entertain the notion that I am a veteran homeschool mom.
What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.
Ecclesiastes 3:9-13 (NIV)