Here’s some truth. I didn’t think I would fit into the homeschool world. I had pre-conceived ideas about what a “homeschool mom” would be like… or should be like. And I really didn’t think I fit that mold. I didn’t think that I could STAND being home with my kids all day. Don’t get me wrong. I love them like crazy. But I’m not really a kid person. Like, at all. So how did I end up being a homeschooling mom? Well. It’s time for the confessions of a homeschool mom, who never thought she’d be a homeschool mom.
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The last couple months have been among the hardest in my life. My son had a bad case of pneumonia, I was sick for a couple months straight, and as of the last week, our family was hit with something that has the potential to be completely life-altering. It’s not something I can share about at this time, but all we can do right now is hold onto God and each other.
Through it all though, living the life of a homeschool mom has been such an incredible blessing. And what a beautiful surprise this has been for me. I often hear about people dreading Monday… but since getting into a homeschool groove, I wake up on Monday morning and I have this overwhelming (and honestly, surprising) sense of peace and joy.
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Confessions of a Homeschool Mom
Let’s break these confessions of a homeschool mom down in a way that makes sense. Homeschool is not all sunshine and roses. To make this clear, I will confess to the positive stuff & the negative stuff. Just like when someone says they have good news and bad news, we’ll start with the bad news first. But please don’t stop reading before you get to the good news. Because that’s actually the reason why I’m writing any of this at all.
The Disadvantages of Homeschool
When we were deciding to homeschool, I just saw a lot of negatives. Now that we are kind of “established” in homeschool, those negatives… are still there. Just being real. So, what are they?
- You are your child’s teacher. This is a good thing, too. But there are times where it just feels like a lot of pressure. You ask yourself: Am I screwing this up? Am I smart enough? Do I make sense to them? I’m not as warm and fuzzy as the average kindergarten teacher…is that OK??
- A few hours of your day are taken up with school. But again… we’ll see later that this is also a positive.
- Sometimes, kids don’t want to learn the way we want them to
- My kids witness moments of impatience (these may be more frequent than I’d like to admit)
- We had a hard time finding a “homeschool” community. Now, before the anti-homeschoolers start shouting, “I told you so!” and the pro-homeschoolers start shouting “Hey, that’s not an accurate picture of homeschool!”, let me explain:
Finding Community as a Homeschool Family
The fact that we had trouble establishing a homeschool community is entirely my fault. The truth is… I’m hyper-introverted. I’m perfectly content having just a few key people in my life. My husband is my absolute best friend, and partner in everything. I honestly just don’t need a lot of people in my life in order to feel supported, loved and part of a healthy community.
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My kids, on the other hand, began to feel like they were the only homeschooled children in the world. Oops, my bad.
Once I realized that my home-body tendencies were possibly affecting their perception of being part of a community, we just went and found community. So what did that look like?
We joined a once-a-week community class. At once a week, though, it can be hard to develop friendships. So we took it a step further. I texted another homeschool mom that had a kid in my son’s class, and I literally just asked if we could all hang out. This led to a beautiful poetry tea time, a book club, and deepening relationships.
So take it from me. Homeschooling doesn’t have to mean no community. If you find that happening… just make community. Even if it’s outside your comfort zone to ask people to hang out… just do it.
The Good News
I feel like this is where the true confessions of a homeschool mom come in. That’s because when I started homeschooling, I came in with the limiting belief that I would likely fail. In the back of my mind, I thought that I just needed to try homeschool for a year so that I could satisfy the little voice inside that was (shouting) at me to homeschool.
I even told the principal at their old school that we might be back in a year. The biggest part of who I was doubted that I could homeschool my kids. I think that’s what makes this confession kind of beautiful.
Have you ever noticed in life that it’s the hard stuff that does the real work of shaving off your rough edges and revealing a side of you that God intended all along?
This is what homeschool is doing for me. My impatience has been revealed, and I have no choice but to work on that. My tendencies to over-scheduling and over-working have been revealed, and I have no choice but to work on that. In fact, that has become a passion of mine: I love to help people understand their priorities , manage their time, and simplify.
Something I came to notice was that life was passing me by in such a hurry, that I didn’t even really invest in the beautiful moments that were right in front of me. Homeschool helped me to see that I was having a life… but not really living it.
Advantages of homeschooling
- Homeschool has calmed down our family life. Our mornings are slow, and filled with laughter and games. No longer am I yelling at people to find their shoes and pack their bags. The rush is gone, and peace has moved in instead.
- I get my kids best hours. Previously, we shared rushed morning and exhausted evenings. Now, we get those beautiful middle hours.
- I’ve learned to love reading with my kids. I am so sad that for the first few years of their life, I hated that. I hated slowing down, picking up a book, and patiently reading it while they asked questions. Now, my favorite part of the day is settling down in the living room with the kids and getting lost in a book (or three) together.
- I’m investing in their faith. Both their dad and myself have more time to pray with them, to answer questions, to have conversations with them, and to get involved in serving with the kids. We have re-structured our lives so that faith is truly the driving force in our family life. We used to say it was, and I think we believed it… but it simply wasn’t true.
- I get to learn with the kids. One of the sweetest surprises is re-learning things, from a fresh perspective. For example, the Flanders Fields poem hit me so hard this past November. I sat on the couch with the kids, reading that poem, while tears streamed down my face. The same thing happened when we did a study on Martin Luther King Jr. There is so much beauty in learning with your kids, getting vulnerable, and letting them see you feel. Those are the kinds of things that have a lasting impact on both me and the kids.
Confessions of a Homeschool Mom who Never Expected To Be a Homeschool Mom
Those are the confessions of a homeschool mom, who never expected she’d be a homeschool mom. I feel so blessed that I get to be home with them. There is nothing I would rather do. And the fact that they are content and happy with it as well is the delicious icing on top.
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We are happy. We are at peace. This life kind of chose us. I tried to say no to it over and over. But now, it is the very thing and it brings me joy every morning.
Just know that you get to choose, too. And I’m not even talking about education choices here. What I mean is that you get to choose how you spend your time. You get to choose what you invest your heart and soul into. Choose wisely, and listen to the voice inside. That voice is there for a reason, and it’s wisdom is unfathomable.
For more reading, check out this post by Rebecca Spooner of Homeschool On. In it, she talks about the biggest homeschool challenges, and how to overcome them!
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