About Shawna Wingert

Shawna Wingert is wife to a fun loving, makes her laugh all the time, stole her heart away husband. She is also momma to two uniquely challenged, wildly joyful little boys. She writes candidly about motherhood, special needs, and the beauty of everyday messes at Not the Former Things.

How my homeschool planning has changed this year

Written by Shawna Wingert of Not the Former Things.

It’s the middle of summer.

Summer days for my family this year include a lighter, Harry Potter themed school schedule, lots of sprinklers and water play, and easy crafts that my boys can do on their own (outside of course!).

Summer days also mean I am planning for our new school year.

Honestly, I love this part.

I find it inspirational. A fresh start, a new approach – our homeschool plan existing only in my mind means nothing has gone wrong yet!

Planning for the fall is one of my favorite parts of summer.

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”

—F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

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On homeschooling an anxious child


Written by Shawna Wingert of Not the Former Things

When I was in the sixth grade, I ran for student council president.

One of the requirements was getting up on stage, in front of the entire school, and giving a speech about why you should be elected.

I bombed. For reals.

I couldn’t remember the lines I had prepared. I stuttered and started sweating. I ran off the stage as fast as I could and burst into tears.

It was pretty awful.

But what I remember most about that day is what happened next. I went back to class.

I remember trying to take a math test and the page seemingly swimming before me. I remember not being able to focus on verbal directions and wondering what was wrong with me. I remember my anxiety increasing, not decreasing as the day went on.

I didn’t learn a thing that day at school.
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By this time next year (how I measure progress in our homeschool)


Written by Shawna Wingert of Not the Former Things.

“There…in the…wa…wa…water was a boy.”

My youngest son struggled to read the sentence.

Again.

I tried to encourage him, my heart sinking.

“Good. Keep going.”

As he worked harder than any eleven-year-old boy should have to just to read The Story Of Ping, I thought to myself, “Surely by this time next year he will be able to do this.”

‘This time next year’ has been a constant, lingering, elusive measure of success in our homeschool for six years now.

I mutter it to myself when the math concept is not clicking.

I think it constantly when someone questions my dyslexic son’s reading ability.

I comfort myself with it when we are having a tough day.

‘By this time next year’ has somehow become my method of measuring progress and instilling hope in our homeschool. And it is not serving us well.

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Shawna’s homeschool day in the life (with an 11- & 14-year-old)

Written by Shawna Wingert of Not the Former Things

The title of this post cannot be accurate.

An 11-year-old and a 14-year-old??? How on earth is it possible that I am still homeschooling these kids?

The truth is, when I first started homeschooling, I could barely picture the elementary years.  I went to school to be an elementary special education teacher – I felt like I should have an idea of what to expect.

But middle school and even worse….high school?

A homeschool day in the life

No idea.

I have no idea what it is “supposed” to look like.

Maybe this is a good thing – if I did, I might never allow this day in the life to be published.

Because the longer we homeschool, the more our days look less and less like the school I grew up in.

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Homeschool lessons learned at public school

schoolpicmo

Written by Shawna Wingert of Not the Former Things.

In what can only be described as a surreal moment, I found myself signing documents to enroll my son in public school last month.

I love homeschooling.

My sons love homeschooling.

I write all about how much homeschooling has made a tremendous impact on my sons’ education, despite their learning differences. The longer we homeschool, the more I can imagine us continuing to do it all the way through high school.

So it took a lot to sign those documents. But it was worth it.

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