We’re homeschooling here, so where are the homeschool kumbaya moments? If you’ve ever asked yourself this question you probably breathe air and live mostly on land.
Oh, and you homeschool.
And you should just stop looking for the kumbaya moments. Give it up. Save yourself the anxiety-fueled pounds to the hips and butt.
Psst…I’ll let you in on a little secret. Hindsight is 20/20.
No No, I don’t mean the part where you look back and ask yourself, “What was I thinking? I’m not homeschool mom material!” That question rears its ugly head every 3 months or so, then fades with the next time you must set an alarm clock.
What I mean is that the kumbaya moments are not in the present. You’ll never see them while they are happening.
Like chiggers. You can’t enjoy them right away.
Which is why I lean on little pick-me-ups like coffee and high calorie baked goods. (see Homeschooling is Making Me Fat)
Highlight Reels of Jealousy
While we desperately look around for (and completely overlook) our own kumbaya moments, we are forced to witness other families’ perpetual happiness and life affirming events on their social media highlight reels.
Braggadocious snots! (ahem…I am guilty as charged.)
Here is a picture of my kid’s award for “Best Supporting Actor” for his recent role as Tom Sawyer.
“Suck on that.” These types of post shares say to the insecure.
I actually enjoy scrolling Facebook for these posts. It’s like getting a movie trailer view of everyone’s lives. I like to find other’s posts of personal and family joy to reassure myself that I can still like some of these people despite their political posts.
And who doesn’t enjoy seeing old school mates who look as old as we do and maybe a few pounds heavier!?
However, many moms have an aversion to social media for one reason. A reason I honestly find shocking. Basically, they would love to follow their family (and my humorous homeschool page), but they had to quit Facebook because it made them resentful of other people’s happy moments, and therefore made them “bad Christians.”
Now I’m not sure, and maybe a more righteous person can explain it, but how is flat out ignoring your friends’ happy moments and successes the Christian way to defeat those demons?
Seriously, what would Jesus do? Or rather his mother, Mary.
Can you imagine her Facebook highlight reel?
“Get a load of this pic I took today y’all! Jesus walked on water. Such a sweet goof! Love him. #Mommasoproud #MySonRocks #AlsoHeisGod #CanIGetanAmen !”
Oh man, the unfriending that would be going on from those trying to avoid their demons of jealousy.
There is plenty to scroll past with smoking fingers on Facebook though. If I see another meme on a woman’s right to… Well, I just can’t even. I’ll hide you from my feed if I can’t stomach your attempts to change my political and moral ground.
But come on people! I won’t unfriend you because you shared a pic of your kid who just got accepted to Julliard, while mine won’t even practice his piano for more than 10 mins a day. That’s amazing! I’ll congratulate and post stupid emojis in the comment section. Then I’ll drag mine off his computer and staple him to the piano bench.
Still, most of these cringe-causing social media highlights are not the homeschool kumbaya moments we feel only happen to other people.
Counterfeit Kumbaya Moments
You also can’t plan your homeschool kumbaya moments. But that’s what we are peddled on all the cutesy and academically mature blogs (obviously not this blog of exhausted truth). Can I interest you in:
Poetic homeschool blogs are the used car salesman of the homeschool world.
And likewise, I speculate, the reason for the most dissatisfaction and returns of the lemon (lifestyle) newbie homeschoolers naively drove off the lot. (excerpt from: “How NOT to Make Homeschool Blog Friends” by Jennifer, the Hifalutin Homeschooler, anti-social extraordinaire.)
These bloggers mean well. Forgive me, oh bloggers of sunshine and love. (see: The Sun Does Not Shine Out of My Arse; A Very Real Homeschool Day)
We certainly need these types of homeschool blogs. It’s how I found much of the curriculum we’ve loved. And a lot of what we hated, and supplies I never needed, and now that I think about it….
(ahem) Point is, kumbaya moments don’t include nature sketching, giant sacks of read aloud books checked out at the library, or Satan’s confetti glitter. You won’t find kumbaya moments in useless crafts and refrigerator art, which is even more of a letdown when your kid has no one to show after school. Cause, well…
“Look, mom, here’s that thing you forced me to make from a toilet paper ring 30 mins ago
about that history lesson I already forgot!”
Perfection is Not a Kumbaya Moment
The homeschool kumbaya moments are also not found in the completion of a perfectly orchestrated day (month or year) of lessons and activities culminating in a clean house and everyone at the same table for dinner without an attitude.
How boring is that story!
If you haven’t been able to summon woodland creatures, or teach your child fractions using pipe cleaners, seashells and homemade glue, know that you are not alone. Homeschooling is hard and messy and exhausting… and not always fun. Especially after 5th grade. And anyone who says otherwise is lying or just letting their kids watch YouTube all day. That’s my theory and I’m sticking too it.
When the newness of homeschooling wears off you are left with the second half of that word…”schooling.” But…but…but…
We’re not schooling, we’re learning! There’s a difference!
Bless your heart.
Of course there is a difference, but both schooling and learning often involve books and pen and paper and a significant amount of frustration and a smidgen of yelling, on occasion.
You can cover math in biscuit dough and call it life learning, but the answers to Algebraic equations won’t bake themselves.
That literally made no sense, but I’m leaving it in here because I’m eating low carb and biscuits make for high-calorie math manipulatives.
Therefore, biscuits are bad for homeschooling.
And that’s logic.
So Let’s Kumbaya Already!?
I’ve told you all the places you shouldn’t look for your homeschool kumbaya moments. Like I said before, you can’t see the kumbaya moments while they are happening. Therefore, you won’t find them down here at the bottom of this post.
So, that about sums things up. Thanks for reading this thru to the end.
Good luck finding them though! And hey…Don’t forget to share them on Facebook when you do!
Nah, just kidding. I’ll get to the point already.
Stop and Reflect
I have no idea what your personal kumbaya moments were, are, or will be. I know that we all tend to overlook our own. Often, we allow the blinding light from others to eclipse that of our own precious moments.
For instance, just last week I was pointing out to my boys how another homeschool family we know seemed to always get along, help and support each other. They hug their mother in a crowd, uninhibited by teen angst.
“Why can’t y’all get along in public more?” I pleaded after they aired some sibling rivalry at a party. “Act like we like each other like the ______ family does. Help build each other up! Represent, yo!”
That probably wasn’t as cool as I thought it sounded, but dang I was trying to snag a kumbaya moment.
We argued the rest of the way home.
Then some more. For too long really.
And thru tired and honest tears, it ended with my son (he-who-must-not-be-named) apologizing for thinking me “dorky” and “embarrassing.” Then he claimed that though at his age it’s normal to feel this way about his mother, he knows I’m not really a dork, but he just can’t help it. And not to worry, he’ll outgrow it soon.
Teenager: “An idiot with pimples.” ( D1; age 9.)
I numbly went to bed refusing to let those words sting, and quietly chastising myself for allowing the conversation to go on for so long. Realizing I was maybe expecting too much from 3 brothers who spend A LOT of time together, I decided, maybe that other family is weird?
Anyhow, flash to two days later we are all 5 helping take down the stage at our local theater where one of my sons had just finished starring in seven consecutive shows. We were exhausted. And cleanup was a voluntary job for those who could stay and help. Many stood around not knowing what to do or where to jump in.
And then there were my guys… hauling props, tearing down risers, pulling nails, cleaning debris, flexing muscles, and asking what they could do next.
I mean, they wanted to get ‘er done because we were all hungry, and well…chicken fried steak. But my boys were being our kind of best in that moment. I didn’t realize this until we got home, and I reflected on the days events and remembered that ugly drive home days before.
Sure, they tossed a snide remark or two at each other while working, but mostly in jest. I am their mother, after all. How can I expect them to keep their words to themselves?
But there it was, one of our moments. Almost missed it.
Oh Lord, Kumbaya.
Think back. Can you find your homeschool kumbaya moments among the debris of your great expectations?