Through the years we have experienced many highs and lows of homeschooling. As homeschool moms, we need to realize that with every high, there will be lows. There are seasons of homeschooling and sometimes we have to take the good with the bad.
Every night at dinner we have a tradition where we all share the best and worst part of our day. It’s fun to hear a small snippet of what everyone experienced and it’s a way for my husband to connect with the kids since he’s been gone all day.
I’ve been thinking lately about the best and worst parts of my homeschool journey. I have been homeschooling since 2010 and each year brings with it some highs and lows. I wanted to share some of those with you and would love to hear yours as well in the comment section below.
Learning how to make paper mache-High
This is one of those projects that I could NEVER have done on my own. At this time my youngest was a baby and I had hired a college student from my church to come over twice a month and do messy art activities with the kids. They loved this project and even though every part of my being wanted to say no because it was BEYOND what I considered messy, I said yes. And they loved it!!
All the times I said no-Low
Of course, even though I said yes to this one, there were many times I said no. Had it not been for Kaci, I would have said no to this one as well. I think too often times we say NO. when really we should say MAYBE. Or even YES. All too soon our kids are going to be out of the house and our days of being able to say yes will be gone. I wish I would have said it more often when they were younger.
Teaching the kids to read-High
This has been one of my all time favorite parts of homeschooling. I LOVE teaching the kids to read. Knowing that I taught them something they will use every day for the rest of their lives is what truly made me feel that I could do this whole homeschool thing.
Pushing when they weren’t ready-low
I can see pencil marks and frustrated circles in my Hooked on Phonics curriculum from where I would get SO impatient while teaching my oldest to read. I wanted to show the world I could homeschool, but in the process lead my daughter to tears. I learned early on that was not the way to go, but still, the low is there. Remember dear moms that no matter where you are in your homeschool journey pushing a child to do something when they are not ready is going to do more harm than good. Will they get it? Probably. But, in the process, you are going to damage your relationship, and no academic lesson is with that.
Skipping school for field trips-High
We love field trips and it is very rare for us to say no to one. Even if we are behind on the books. Why? Because I truly think SEEING the world is more important than reading about it. Field trips provide so many hands on opportunities that our kids wouldn’t be able to experience otherwise. Books can wait. Real life learning with friends? Not so much 🙂 Here are some of our favorite field trips!
Homeschooling out of negligence-Low
I shared this story in this post but will summarize it here. Last year I hit MAJOR burnout. And because of it, I was homeschooling out of negligence. Our year was a disaster and we were simply going through the motions. I had let life zap the joy out of our homeschool.
Learning to relax-High
Because of the above experience, I learned a valuable lesson, to RELAX! To go against the grain sometimes and shake things up. I think this is a valuable lesson ALL homeschool moms need to learn. That year we ditched just about all of our curriculum and spent the rest of the school year exploring the kid’s interests. We dissected flowers and studied veterinary science. We got goats and learned how to bottle feed them. We studied the history of Ohio and then visited many of the places we learned about. None of these lessons came from a textbook. We learned to relax and just LEARN, and it was wonderful.
Experiencing the Science fair for the first time-High
One of our all time favorite projects in our homeschool journey so far has been the one science fair we participated in. Taking the time to do the projects was something I didn’t really want to do, but I said yes. And we REALLY enjoyed it! The girls still talk about it three years later and this year we are going to attempt to start one in our local homeschool group.
As homeschool moms, we are often stressed, too busy and overwhelmed. For me, that leads to becoming unglued. I don’t want my kids to look back on their homeschool days and remember me coming unglued every time we had to be out the door at 9. Or every time they made a mess I wasn’ expecting to clean up. But, it happens sometimes. And when it does… I feel awful. It’s a low.
Learning to apologize and give myself grace-High
Even though coming unglued is a low, with it has come a high, learning to apologize and give myself grace. When those moments happen (which is a LOT less often now) I talk to my kids about it. I take responsibility for my actions and truly apologize. I am modeling that for them. They need to know that no one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. The key is learning from those mistakes and taking responsibility for them afterward. I have also learned to give myself grace. Will I ever be the homeschool mom I want to be? Probably not. But, I’m the homeschool mom God gave my kids, and they think I’m pretty awesome, and he must have thought I could handle them or I wouldn’t be here 🙂
Moms, through the years you will experience homeschool failures. You will mess up, and you will wonder how in the world you are going to finish this homeschool journey. Can I just tell you though that for every low there will be a dozen highs? For every bad day, there will be a week full of good ones. So, don’t focus on the lows, embrace the highs. And enjoy your homeschool journey!