Monday, February 7, 2011

The Homeschool Roller Coaster

I must start by saying how much I love homeschool.
I love having my kids here with me and going for a walk on the parkway on sunny days after lunch.
We love to see the ice cold river and the winter birds that did not fly south for the winter.
We love the contrast of the winter trees as compared to the vibrant summer colors and the cool shades of the fall leaves.
I love it when Beano reads to me and begs to do "just one more chapter".
Then, before we know it, he's read the whole book.
He likes to read to me so much because he thinks he's really reading to his baby (which I guess he is and which I also really love).
I love it when Doodle plays me piano songs before breakfast.
If she had to go to school she'd be rushing to get ready for school instead of making beautiful music.
I love reading scriptures from the New Testament with my children.
It was the New Testament I fell in love with first, it was the first volume of scripture I ever read on my own.
I fell in love with Christ and I love reading and teaching His stories to my children every single day.
I feel like I'm finding that part of myself again in the process and it's truly magical.
But just like everything in life, homeschool is a definite roller coaster.
We have incredibly great highs.
Highs that make me feel like we could (and will) do anything.
Then there are the lows.
This is when I struggle with my sanity.
Questions whirl through my mind.
Am I doing enough for them?
Are they learning all they need to know?
What do they really need to know?
Do we play too much?
What curriculum should we use, or should we just wing it and learn what we want, on our own time table?
Am I even doing this right?
I struggle with these questions, some days more than others.
I worry my kids only practice their writing skills because I make them and not because they love to do it.
Yet I am at a loss as to how to inspire them to truly love writing.
I love writing, but how did that passion grow in me when I was young?
I honestly don't remember.
Maybe it didn't come until college.
Homeschool can be really fun and really hard, all on the same day.
So how do I combat the homeschool roller coaster?
I pray.
I look at Charter schools online.
I look at "What your 3rd grader should know" on google searches.
Then I realize I'm not doing as badly as I thought.
I listen to them as they read and make notes about where they need more focus.
I look at their writing and see their continued mistakes (like contractions) and we have a mini lesson about contractions.
We take a break to reevaluate our goals and methods.
Sometimes we take a whole week and do no school work at all.
Then I really start to feel the heat.
I feel neglectful of their education and for some reason that fuels my fire to want to do better.
I talk with other home school moms and find out what works for their kids.
But mostly I pray.
And then I lock myself in my room and have a really good cry and pray some more.
Then we eat lunch and I pray in my mind as the kids chatter away with food in their mouths.
I relish their noise.
Then I feel peace.
That is, until the next thrilling turn of the ride.

1 comment:

Amber said...

Definite, reasonable goals for the kids gives them confidence by realizing they are doing things they didn't think they could or would otherwise. Definite goals also gives you as the parent peace of mind because you know where you are headed and prioritize and get the important things done and out of the way. Then everybody can play.