I can’t believe we’re coming to the “end” of another school year. I say end like that because we school year round. That said, as we head into the summer months I like to reflect on the year we’ve had. It’s a good time to take an honest look at where we grew and where I dropped the ball. It also helps me to see areas where I need to improve. Check out some of the things I’ve learned from Homeschooling this year.
Things I’ve Learned from Homeschooling this Year
I wish there was a better word for that but I think it sums it up. Over the school year we had a house fire. We couldn’t live in our home for 5 weeks and when we did move home we didn’t have all of our stuff and spent another 4-6 weeks working on putting everything back together.
I would like to tell you that I was an awesome homeschool mom and I rocked homeschooling in addition to dealing with everything from the fire. That would be a lie. After the fire, I simply shut down homeschool for 2 months. Sure, we watched some learning videos and we did some school work in the books that could come with us. However, it wasn’t as in-depth as I would have liked.
The kids did learn a lot about insurance, firefighters, water damage, decluttering, and living out of a hotel. However, these were not my educational goals for the year at all.
Depression needs to be dealt with
With everything that was going on it was natural to be overwhelmed. However, what I was dealing with, was more than overwhelmed. It was like my body/mind decided that it would be steering the ship and I could show up. Some days that I meant I was angry. Others I was so tired all I wanted was to sleep. It really messed me up and completely stole my joy.
After a breakdown at a homeschool mom meeting with a very compassionate friend, I sought out the help I needed. I spoke with my doctor and addressed my depression head on. I was so worried about what he would say. You know what he said, “It’s ok not to be supermom. Let’s help you feel human again.” Such a simple statement that changed everything!
I will be repairing some of what I damaged in that time with the kids. My depression caused me to give them the absolute bare minimum. Since I have started treating my depression, I am able to show up and really be present for them.
Last year’s curriculum might not work.
Homeschool moms are the ultimate hoarders. We have this habit of saving all of the curriculum that we use in hopes of using it next year for another child. There’s just one problem with that. Not all kids learn the same way. What worked for my oldest in a few subjects was not practical at all for my youngest. In fact, it made him angry and strained our relationship.
It is so important to look at the child in front of you instead of using what has always worked and hoping your child will fall in line.
School isn’t the answer.
This is a very personal realization so I want to make sure to clarify that. For my children, the school they spent a month in was not the answer. I was overwhelmed, stressed out, and feeling like a failure after the fire. When my kids begged to go to school I let them. I have always made it their choice but I should have made school a fall choice when I had time to research the schools and prepare for the transition.
That said, my oldest will be going to a charter school in the fall. The school wasn’t the answer to that situation but it is the answer to heart’s desire to go. Now that we spent more time researching schools we are excited about this new direction for her.
Working and Homeschooling is a juggling act.
For as long as I can remember I have worked in some way or another from home. This school year I started a new job working for a curriculum company I am proud to use and love. While this has been fantastic for our family, it has been a HUGE adjustment. My husband has stepped up to educate the kids primarily while I work in the morning. He does the formal schooling and I handle the stuff he doesn’t have the patience for.
Mike has done a fantastic job of adjusting and he has been doing fantastic with the kids. It has been a lesson in letting go for me though. I have had to surrender control and trust that he can teach them as well as I could. For a control freak like me, this has been a huge adjustment but we are getting there and finding a way to make things work better.
Don’t do this thing alone!
I’ve said it many times but it is so true. Don’t do this homeschool thing alone. Find the people who can stand with you. Find the ones who can encourage you and those who can answer your questions. It’s so important to have people who can help you contain your crazy on some days and let you release it on others.
What have you learned this school year? I would love to hear more about your lessons.