Coming Home to School – Joyful Journey
It’s that time of year again. New homeschoolers are letting out long, slow sighs of relief. No rushing to catch the big yellow bus. Rainy days mean cuddling together to read one book after another versus waiting in the car pool line.
You tick off one advantage after another and wonder, “What’s not to love about this? What took me so long? Yip-yip-yipee!”
In a flash, you find yourself wavering over your decision. “What was I thinking? Can I do this? I sure can’t do it through high school!”
Those thoughts may become, “This is hard. It’s confusing. My kids aren’t happy. Oh, what have I done?”
Oh, sweet Mamma just beginning her journey: take a deep breath. You are not alone. Veteran homeschool moms feel it too. There are days we all look longingly at the front door wishing a school bus would bring relief.
On days of doubt and fear, take a deep breath, and slow your pace. Call the kids around and build with blocks, create amazing sidewalk chalk art, bake cookies, and snuggle under a blanket with good books.
As the stress eases out of your joints and disappears from the faces of your littles, remember your goals for this journey. Those goals are not accomplished in a day.
Pace yourself for the sake of you children. Don’t lose yourself, or them, in a frenzy of fear over academic attainment. Remember – learning is part of life. Everything you do from mailing a package to folding laundry is a teachable moment.
I tell many young moms, “When they are little, you just can’t break ‘em.”
Years slip by, and a note arrives in my inbox. “You know, you were right! I was putting too much pressure on them and me. I didn’t break them. We have transitioned to formal schooling this year. Guess what, he/she made the honor roll!”
As another year begins, my advice is the same. When they are little, you cannot break them.
Show them reading is fun because you enjoy reading with them. Turn them lose to explore bugs in the backyard and then read about insects. Look for teachable moments about real life, and count it as part of the school day.
Before you know it, your job will be done. You will look back and say, “It was true! I didn’t break them. What a while ride it was, and how glad I am I stuck with it. What a joyful journey.”
Carol Anne Wright Swett: I am a former school teacher with experience teaching LD kids ages 5-9 who were patients in a psychiatric hospital. I began homeschooling in 1998 when our older son was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. My older son, a homeschool grad, now works in the advertising industry as a digital strategist. My rising high school junior is a Fencer who competed in the 2013 Junior Olympics. When i grow up, I want to be a writer. Or an apprentice on the DIY show Rehab Addict.