My husband and I walked into Jill’s home. We had an appointment with her and her husband to discuss homeschooling. John and I wanted to learn more, and see what the homeschooling life was really like.
Jill was the first person I ever knew that was homeschooling her kids. I met her when I was about twelve, and when I found out she taught her kids at home, I instantly fell in love with the idea, and knew, at that very moment, that I was going to homeschool my kids too.
When we walked in, the first thing I noticed was that she and her children were talking to each other in French.
She told me that they were all learning French together. I thought that was really cool and neat, that the whole family would learn a new language together.
As she and her husband talked with John and I, she told us about how they all built this gigantic t-pee out in the backyard when they were studying Indians.
The projects that her family completed were very inspiring to me. I wanted to do those cool things too.
I wanted my homeschool to be fun and memorable like that too.
When I actually started homeschooling, Zachery had trouble. He had speech difficulties, and he wasn’t able to read well. Math was extremely difficult for him, even though he wanted to learn and do well for me.
During our school days, by the time we got finished our “necessary” work, we were both tired and we each wanted to go do our own things.
We never did build a t-pee in the backyard, and our family never learned French together.
Without even knowing it, I had fallen into a comparison pothole, and my pothole was a biggie.
I knew I wanted our schooling to be fun, but there was no way that I could do big projects, like Jill’s family had done.
I had to give myself permission to say that our homeschooling was just fine. If Zachery and I had to move at a slower pace, and only got done the “necessary” work, then that was ok.
Instead of relying on hands-on projects to make our schooling fun, I found that the best thing I could do for my children was to read to them.
I scoured the internet for book lists that were kid favorites. We went often to the library. I read books and stories before bedtime, and I always read in the car.
I realized that through these stories, my kids’ imaginations were making these experiences come to life. Historical events and science inventors’ lives were coming alive and my kids were learning in a fun way. It worked for us.
And now, I know that I should have never felt like a failure. I should have never felt like I wasn’t doing enough.
If I had to do it all over again, what would I do differently?
#1: Pray. God is there to help you. He has given you your child to take care of and to teach about Him. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He can hear you and He cares about your difficulties.
#2: Dwell on the positive. Think or write down all of the positive things you can think of about what and how your kids’ are learning?
Are your kids kind?
Have they been taught to behave in public?
Are your kids improving in the “necessary” subjects?
Are your kids obedient?
Do they think of others’ needs?
Do they love God?
There’s a lot of avenues you can go down with this, but if you are teaching them how to live,especially for God, then you are doing wonderful work.
#3: Record your kids doing some school work. Have them read a story, play an instrument, do math drills in front of a video camera. In a month’s time, have them do it again. You and your kids will see a difference. It’s a great way to monitor how much your kids are learning and how much they change!
#4: Be real with yourself on what you can accomplish. If you really have it in your heart to build that t-pee in the backyard, and you also have 12 more big ideas you want to do, think about your schedule, your strength, and your ambition. If it would be easier for your family to just build that t-pee at the end of the school year for an end-of-the-year fun finale, then just plan it then. If you can’t do a big project everyday, it’s ok. Your kids will grow up to be competent adults, I promise.
#5: Contact me. I would feel honored if you e-mailed me, and let me know how things are going for you. I read all of my e-mails and will get back to you personally.