Dear New Homeschool Mom,
Welcome to a crazy roller coaster ride of amazing experiences you will never forget! Who knew you could be excited and terrified in the exact same moment? I sure didn’t when I was brand new to the homeschooling world. I sat down with my piles of curriculum and planned out every moment of the coming year. I was going to teach my child better than anyone ever. I was also terrified as I did this though. Would I be enough? Would I be able to teach her at home? Would she miss anything by being homeschooled? Would she be weird? Would I have friends while walking this road? What if? Could I? Could we? Will I ruin her? These questions swirled through my mind at the speed of light.
You see, I wasn’t homeschooled. I didn’t even come from a home where I saw my parents very often. My parents were divorced and my mom rocked the single mom life. If you are the child of a single mom you know what I mean. My mom worked full time, went to school full time, and tried her best to take care of us alone full time. Because of this I had NOTHING to pull from when I started homeschooling. I looked at all the moms around me with 4-6 kids homeschooling like the queens of the world and I was scared. I wasn’t super mom. I couldn’t fix it all.
If I am being completely honest I didn’t even finish High School. I dropped out at 15. At 17 I got my GED and a trade and I went in to take over the world. However, I didn’t know everything. I didn’t know most things. If you learned it in high school I probably didn’t know it. History? Ha! Math? Good stinking luck! However, I knew that homeschooling was our call. It was where God really wanted us. So I forged ahead.
I clasped my fear, my pile of curriculum, my bible, and off we went. That first year was messy. Expect it. You will start the year with intentions of grandeur. One of two things will happen. Either you will do what I did the first half of the year, cling to those intentions like the world depends on them, robbing yourself and your child of joy or you will burn out on it and choose to take it as it comes. I recommend the second avenue personally. Skip the stress of struggling and just move to the part where you accept that homeschool is crazy. Each child is completely different and they learn various ways.
I also found that I hated the curriculum. I mean like loathed it with every part of my being. I didn’t know then that my daughter is dyslexic and she couldn’t possibly learn that way. I just thought that I was failing her because the curriculum didn’t work the way it was supposed to. Do yourself a favor. Give yourself grace. The curriculum may not be a fit. That is ok. It is completely ok to change directions and find something that better suits your child. For the sake of consistency though, try not to change gears too many times.
This journey is crazy. You will find yourself doing things you never thought you would. You may even find yourself on the internet researching questions or watching live births with your future veterinarian. Wherever this road takes you, know this:
You are not alone. You will make friends. You may miss some things but the things you experience will be worth it. You can do this and you won’t ruin your child.
The not so new homeschool mom.
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