Written by Shawna Wingert of Different by Design Learning
I have been homeschooling now for a decade.
What began with flash cards and Bob Books has slowly, over time, become discussions of trade schools vs. community college programs and how to best use our last years homeschooling together to prepare for adult life.
It feels strange and foreign to my mother’s heart. It’s like a bit of a tug-of-war between wistfully thinking of the sweet cuddles of the early years and the intense gratitude I feel when I see how far my boys have come.
Would you rather listen to this post?
After ten years, I can tell you that the drastic changes in how we are “doing school” during this pandemic have only served to reinforce what I believe to be true about homeschooling.
At its most essential level, I’ve learned that homeschooling is an extension of parenting.
We help our children learn throughout their lives – as they talk, as they walk, as they make neighborhood friends, as they slip on shoes, bathe – all of it on some level reflects how we help our children progress.
Homeschooling adds in more subjects, more time spent devoted to learning, more relationship, but at its core, remains true to its beginning – a parent doing what they can to help their child grow and develop.
If you are new to this or even taking on your child’s learning in absolute protest, I want to share with you something that I wish someone would’ve told me a long time ago.
If, like me, you have been homeschooling for years, my guess is you may need to hear it, too.
What No One Tells You About Homeschooling (especially now)
It’s easy to get caught up in the reading levels and the math worksheets. It’s even easier to blame ourselves when are children struggle or are resistant.
My social media feeds are filled with parents asking for help, struggling to figure out how to do all this, and a ton of memes taking a fun look at the reality we are all facing right now.
Crisis-schooling is the worst, whether you’ve been homeschooling for three years or three weeks.
Here is what I want you to know.
Even if your child ripped up the worksheet or refused to get on the computer for an online class.
Even if you wanted to hide for most of the day in your closet.
Even if you did hide for most of the day in your closet.
Even if your child seems unfocused or lazy, disrespectful or sad.
Even if you seem unfocused or lazy, disrespectful or sad.
Just like parenting, homeschooling brings out the best and the worst in all of us. We learn as we go. There is no easy button.
My family has spent the last three years trying to manage one crisis after another. Truth be told, we are accustomed to a certain level of chaos as part of our daily life – more so than I would like.
What I know now, looking back, is that homeschooling can be part of the cure.
The togetherness, the ability to just be how we need to be, in the space we feel most comfortable – it matters.
It matters far more than any writing assignment or online class.
As you and your family move through the next couple of months and all the turmoil that may come, I want you to know that your children will be better off for the time they are spending with you each day.
Yes, it will feel like a mess, all the time.
Yes, it will be difficult and you will be sure that you are failing them.
We all feel this way.
But what I can see now, looking back, is that my children are much more capable and resilient because they have been able to weather very difficult storms in the safety and security of our family dynamic.
It’s a tragedy, what is happening in our world right now.
I am glad our children are experiencing it with those who love them most.
What’s Your Homeschool Mom Personality? Take Jamie’s quiz now and receive a free personality report to help you organize your homeschool based on what your personality type needs most!