We have been back at it for a couple of weeks now.
I can honestly say that as I begin my 4th year of homeschooling, this is the first time I have felt confident and non-anxious about school.
If you are new to homeschool I want to just give you a shout out to KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON! I was a wreck for the first two years. I compared myself to every other homeschool mom I talked to. I compared my kids to every other homeschool kid I saw. I battled discouragement and self-doubt. I sat online every Monday searching for jobs and for private schools.
Think you’re not smart enough? Nonsense.
Think you’re not patient enough? Breathe, smile and count to 10.
Think you are not organized enough? We are all in process.
I remind myself everyday that I have been given a gift, three to be exact. I finally stopped fighting my own insecurities, and started celebrating my strengths. I finally took my eyes off of what everyone else is doing, and turned my heart toward what is right for us.
Back to school: Back to simplicity. Back to focus. Back to schedule. Back to one day at a time, one morning at a time. Back to one breath at a time.
We are getting started a little bit late this spring, mainly because my girls and I meet outdoors and this winter has been COLD! Essentially, we only have 8 weeks for book circle, but I am excited to see how many of these great reads we get through!
Each semester carries a loose theme. Last Fall, we read about girls from different parts of the world who overcame obstacles of loss, transition and family crises. This spring, we are coming back home to the US, and looking at the lives of girls from early 1900’s through the Depression Era. Throwing in Because of Winn Dixie, which occurs a few decades later, because I try to make it a point each semester to throw in a story about a girl and her animal friend 🙂
So here it is! A big thanks to AMightyGirl.com for always guiding me toward the best finds for us!
Moon over Manifest Out of the Dust
Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry Because of Winn Dixie
May B. A Novel Counting on Grace
And last but not least, I found this little GEM today as I was looking for Depression Era content. Dalhart TX is my home town! My parents and grandparents grew up there. I was stunned when I saw this! Even if I don’t get to it for Book Circle, I am definitely going to read it with my daughter. Then send a copy to my family members.
I never thought I could homeschool because frankly, I was a terrible SCHOOL mom! “Bring 50 cents on Tuesday. Send close-toed shoes on Friday. Sign this. Donate to that. Be at this meeting and that party….” I could hardly keep up! Oh and I rarely had my kids to school on time. My son once said, “Mommy, you have to quit making me late to KINDER-GARTEN.”
So you can imagine that taking the plunge to homeschool was a stretch. I am a fun and creative mom – but not an organized one. I am a people person too, so I was worried about feeling trapped at home with 24/7 kid duty.
Anyway, I am starting my 3rd year of homeschooling and I am loving it. I know my kids better now than I ever did when they were in school. We have been participating in Classical Conversations, which has been a stabilizer for us. We may continue with CC through high school, but we are moving toward more of a Project Based Homeschooling method now. I have my footing a little bit stronger, and this method seems to fit with my personality and the lifestyle of our family.
The reason I started this ironically named blog homeschoolqueen.com is for people like me, who have the desire to take the step into homeschool, but are not sure they have the “skills” or “patience” or “education” to do it. Just want to say YOU CAN DO IT! If I can, literally anyone can!
Lacking confidence as a homeschool parent? Come hang out with me for a day, and you will feel better in no time! Look, I struggled for two years – believing I couldn’t hack it. I watched a 9 year old child play violin in a symphony orchestra. I listened to a 6 year old rattle off Latin declensions. I visited a tricked out school room that made my head spin and my heart sink. I compared myself to every other homeschool mom I met, and I never measured up.
But guess what. I am not every other homeschool mom. I am uniquely me. Creative, energetic, intuitive, and fun. Once I accepted my different-ness, I was able to take my eyes off of my perceived failures, and embrace the parent and homeschool mom I am meant to be.
January 2014 marks the beginning of my 3rd year homeschooling. Do I still feel ill-equipped? Sure. Do I still have blind spots and blue moments? Absolutely. But at last, no more floggin and doggin myself. No more beating and self-defeating. I can see the big picture of what I am called to do in this short window of time with my children. And finally, I am zeroing in on the educational style that unites my specific set of strengths and skills with their individual needs. That feels good.