When I pop on the internet and look at homeschooling sites, homeschool mom blogs, resource pages and the like it is easy to get caught up in the perfection and ease.
Photographs of perfect classrooms and smiling active learners. Tales of advanced reading and math prodigies. Gifted children and complicated lessons or full on curriculums.
And I am left feeling, inadequate… overwhelmed and so far from perfect that at times I question my choices. This is reality.
My children are not prodigies, though I admit to an admiration toward Gavin’s amazing ability to draw what he sees (specifically dragons right now). My classsroom is very often a jumble, with ongoing projects and stacks of books out and about. My lessons are not always complicated but always completed.
We are in constant trial and error, learning from our mistakes, not always smiling and most certainly NOT always succeeding.
We are sometimes loud, sometimes sad, sometimes frustrated and sometimes afraid of failure.
BUT we are learning, progressing and making memories. Sometimes failing, sometimes succeeding but always moving forward.
There is a world of curriculums, lesson plans, suggestions and options… with years of schooling ahead of us. Plenty of time for trial and error, break through, and finding hidden treasure resources.
Amidst all of this chaos and progress, confusion and sudden insights… it is good. We are good. Behind the pretty pictures (carefully cropped for mess and cranky faces) and the moments of academic brilliance (or at least success) is the reality of the homeschool life. And beyond even being good… it is WORTH IT.
So the next time you feel overwhelmed by the amazing things that others are doing remember, we all struggle. We all worry that we will mess up (and to be honest, we will make mistakes… that is human), that we won’t challenge our kids enough.
Homeschooling is fluid… if you don’t feel the child is challenged, increase the difficulty, something is boring – go on a tangent, too hard… review.
Take it from this homeschool mom of over 8 years… not everything works, not everything is fun, it can be overwhelming and tiring and frustrating… but it is worth it! Take a break, have some fun and realize that a walk, a talk, a quiet moment, it is all a potentially successful learning moment.
AND, if you need an ear, a shoulder or a giggle… here I am. A mom who is not perfect, whose house is not magazine page ready, and whose kids are sometimes wild and crazy.