I thought homeschooling was a mistake when I put Mr. Senior 2013 in public school Kindergarten.
Teaching him his colors and numbers at 3 years old seemed easier at the time than homeschooling him at the beginning of Kindergarten. I chuckle now many years later, but it was not laughable then.
I learned that no matter what grade I was homeschooling, my homeschool conviction can only burn bright if I fueled it.
Running on empty is a common homeschool mistake. I made it too. I didn’t take time to cement my foundational goals and to ask myself burning questions like: what is it about homeschooling that lights me up or, why is homeschooling the best choice for my family.
You can’t skip ahead and choose curriculum, begin your homeschool journey, continue your journey year after year, or call yourself a homeschooler if you don’t take time to polish up your vision.
It really matters because otherwise, like me, you may react to your feelings of being inadequate and return your children to public school without good reason.
I want to make something clear too because the last thing any of us needs is another homeschool post that rants about homeschooling at all costs.
It’s one thing to not have the circumstances presently to live on one income, have health problems or other significant things that prevent you from homeschooling and quite another to completely abandon the homeschool lifestyle because we didn’t take time to get a dose of reality in the beginning.
There really is no magical formula to keep going in homeschooling, it’s just plain hard work.
I learned it just didn’t come together without some effort on my part.
Each year, these 3 points are essential to me embracing another year of homeschooling.
- Recommit. What works for me is both a combination of personal prayer and writing down my feelings in plain view for me to reflect on later.
Personal feelings are just that which means a time to reflect on progress. Part of this time for you could be goal setting for things that you want to see fulfilled for the next year.
For me, I tend to keep goal setting separate. When I recommit, it means taking time to pour out my feelings and thought on paper until they overflow. They don’t have to make sense, they just need to be on paper instead of all floating around in my mind.
Sure, it sounds emotional and it is. Homeschooling is a personal attachment to a life-long lifestyle and part of that is reflecting on the positive and awesome part of homeschooling.
The flip side is reflecting on what you are finding hard to cope with and deciding on what you will compromise on.
- Compromise. Through that writing and sharing in my personal journal, I basically commit again. But, it does not come without compromising and letting go of how I thought my year would turn out.
For example, this year, I am using an online school for Mr. Awesome for part of his high school courses. This was something that I never even considered with Mr. Senior 2013 in high school.
Wrapping up my personal reflection this year, I have had to compromise to keep homeschooling because my circumstances for homeschooling have changed. The Mr.’s health suffered and so more of my time was required in our business.
On the positive side, we wanted to homeschool overseas as a family and experience that adventure. I have come to grips with the fact that each of my son’s homeschooling journey can be different.
A different path for Mr. Awesome is just as enriching because of his unique experiences for learning here in South America unlike Mr. Senior’s journey in the states.
Compromising is an art, but better yet it is a must for staying the homeschooling course.
- Recharge & Refuel. After you sort out what you will compromise on to keep homeschooling, then you need to recharge your energy for homeschooling. Simple things motivate me and one of them is reading.
Something about curling up with a book, homeschool magazine or even curriculum catalog that I have not had time to pore over rejuvenates my personal homeschooling spirit.
Other homeschoolers need to do more physical activity and still others may need to step back completely from homeschooling. I find too that a combination of physical activity and a mental break renews my empty spirit.
I have made many mistakes in my homeschooling journey. But, I have also done some things right since pulling Mr. Senior 2013 back out of Kindergarten many years ago.
I returned to homeschooling and I’ll never give up homeschooling so easily again, no matter how painful. It has been worth every tear shed and sleepless night.
By turning inward and recommitting on a personal and emotional level of attachment, learning the art of compromise by giving a little to get a lot, and nurturing or refueling your homeschooling spirit, which may be dwindling, you can keep the forward momentum in homeschooling.
Besides a new year always means do-overs and second chances. What do you do when you feel homeschooling is a mistake?
Hugs and love ya,
Check out some tips to keep going!!