Thursday, August 9, 2007

If only I'd known..

Today's Back to Homeschool Week topic is:

If I had only known...What have you learned on your homeschooling journey? What would you/did you change? This is an opportunity to encourage others who are just starting out or who are struggling with issues that seem unsolvable. It is also a perfect opportunity to tell us about one of those days made you want to throw in the towel. A funny story? Perfect!
If only I had known....

When we started schooling at home, we had a baby. If I had known how hard that was going to be I would have planned differently. At least I would have thought differently - so as it turns out - If only I had known not to be too hard on myself.

One thing I did know - it's okay not to get it all done in a day. Ironically, that's also the one thing I kept forgetting.
If only I had guarded my mind against comparing myself with other people who "Did more" or "did neater stuff" or "had it together" with their school work. Those that were doing more or neater stuff often did not have wee ones - and if they did, they were saints.
So now when I find myself longing for the neater or the more that someone else is doing - I look to see where they are in life? Do they have 1 child? 2 children? how old? I have to be careful not to feel like the babies are holding back our learning.
A very wise mom told me that they will, indeed, make it up. If they have a hole in their school one year, they'll make it up in another. It's just the way it works.
Another mom told me that she finally figured out that the kids could learn ANYWHERE. Learning wasn't relegated to a desk and chair. We took that wholly to heart. We started out in the kitchen. Last year - we moved to the couch. I love clip boards. I love my Giant White board - but now I've added baby white boards to our supplies. And Baby white board markers. It's a happy white board family.
Here's Mini-Me, with her knees in the knee-hole of the computer desk. Her paper work on the chair. Learning can happen anywhere.
Here's G. Reading a book. I said Reading. But he's facing the couch the wrong way:
There is much freedom in not trying to do school at home...but, instead, to learn at home. Two completely different outlooks.

Each year is different. Each child is different each year.
I expected my kids to absolutely love their teacher - they do, but not all the time.
I expected them to love school because I was their teacher - they don't.
I wish I'd known to be careful of my expectations.
I wish I'd known how much of a beating my emotions would take - so I could be on my guard.
I wish I'd known that I really wouldn't want to give it up - even when, in the darkest moments, I felt like I wanted to.
I wish I'd known how much fun it was going to be to see ideas click in the brains of my children. I wish I'd known how much joy I would feel at seeing them learn and grow.
I wish I'd known what mush my heart would be at watching them bond with each other....at watching them give their hearts to Jesus...at watching them watch the world.
I wish I'd known just how closely they were going to be watching me.
Or how funny it was going to be to see math paper work being handed to me under the bathroom door.
I wish I knew what next year was going to hold, because that would make my life so much easier.
But - it's not all about me. (I wish I could remember that) It's just too forkin' sad, as far as I'm concerned.
As we plan on starting our school year - and I wish I knew what was coming my way and I don't - it's going to be an adventure!
That much I do know.

1 comment:

ThoughtfulMom said...

Isn't it a grand adventure? What fun!