Thursday, June 11, 2020

the greatest secret of homeschooling

God is so good. We are homeschooling through the summer! I am hopeful we can take a break this fall, if kid-related places are allowed to open! It's been going great. I finally realized the greatest secret of homeschooling: MY home school is MY SCHOOL. It does not have to look like a public school. It does not have to look like Karen's school from Facebook. It does not have to look like an Instagram picture. It does not have to look like a Pinterest post, or my next door neighbor's school (hi Carrie). My school does not need to be compared to any other school. Comparisons are honestly the idols that I hold in my heart: Instagram pictures and facebook posts of what other people do fill me with uncertainty and envy. But this is ridiculous! I am not that mother, so why would I expect my school to be just as fun as hers?

My school is only responsible for teaching my children (and myself, if I'm honest) and since it's so tiny I can cater it exactly to Reuben and Rebekah's needs. I don't need to feel guilty that my day isn't scheduled if I don't want it to be scheduled. I don't have to feel guilty that my kids aren't Instagram models. And I don't need to ask any more questions from other homeschoolers because they don't parent my children. Their school is not my school. We all have freedom to learn any way we want! The goal is a life-long appreciation of learning, not fitting X activity into Y box.

Honestly, the main goal of my school is learn about Jesus. That's our foundation. We also want to learn math, science, crafts, bible, history, Spanish, music, reading and writing, just to name a few. There is literally 500 million ways to learn these things and not one way is best. The best way for my school is the one that teaches my kid. And that is why my school is going to look different than every other school on the planet.

Learning this has helped me shift through the internet's homeschool ideas and throw out what doesn't work for us and keep what does.

This is the beauty of homeschooling. It's educational freedom. I am free. My kids are free. I'm not going to make the right choice every time and I know learning isn't going to be easy, but I am determined love teaching and learn alongside my children. And this means: if something doesn't work, I have the freedom to try something else without feeling like a failure!

There is no pressure for my school to resemble any other. Literally anything goes! This realization has taken a lot of the educational weight and guilt/stress off my back. I simply think of our goal (learning about Jesus/ learning how to learn/ having fun) and pick a curriculum (or make my own) that I like or think my kid will like. If I end up hating it, I give it away. No regrets. If my kid hates it, we do something else. No pressure, no self condemnation needed. Learning is the end goal, and even if the only thing he and I learn is we don't like that, it's still something.

I hope this encourages you if you are on your own home-school journey! Cater and build a school for your own family--take what you like and what works for you, and throw everything else back into the pot. Someone else will love it if you don't.

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