Congratulations! You’ve just freaked out your friends, neighbors, and family with your intent to homeschool and ruin you kids’ chances for a normal life, so stand up and take a bow!  Now get a cup of coffee with unlimited refills, quit imagining those Stepford children, sit down and repeat after me:

 

Rome was not built in a day.”

The truth is that Rome took years to rise to grandeur, and then it crumbled faster than my kids can fill their laundry hamper with clothes they only thought about wearing.  So maybe Rome isn’t the best analogy. But, the point is, don’t expect everything to go as you imagined when you were kidnapping your kids from the public school secretary who smirked at you over her reading glasses with an expression that said, you’ll be back. And if you’ve always planned to homeschool, don’t expect little-house-on-the-prairie-manners and an extreme love of great literature to magically appear when you sit your oldest little darling down at the sweet school house desk you found at the antique fair.

In fact don’t expect anything.  Then you don’t have to feel like a failure if/when the following happens:

  • Your plan to have beds made, teeth brushed, breakfast served, and dressed children reciting Shakespeare by 9am sort of happens the first day and never again.
  • Your child that hated math, still hates math.
  • You look over the teacher’s manual and realize, you still hate math.
  • The crystals won’t grow.
  • You want them to think critically, so your children question the necessity of everything you make them do.
  • That expensive, award winning curriculum sucks.  And you already wrote in it.
  • You start to worry about socialization because your kids don’t know how to Whip or Nae Nae at the team party.
  • You discover it is best to write your lesson plans in pencil. Very lightly.
  • Painting X’s on the driveway for PE was a kind of ridiculous idea that won’t wash off.
  • You have to do a tick check after your first family nature walk.
  • You can’t make grammar funner.  Punctuation bingo didn’t quite catch on.
  • Grilled free-range chicken breast atop organic greens isn’t a practical lunch option.  Microwave taquitos, a God send.
  • Your child knows more about the topic you’re trying to teach than you do, thanks to Morgan Freeman.  You aren’t doing enough.
  • You’re out with friends and notice your son is wearing his shirt on backwards, unmatched socks, and is a month overdue for a haircut.
  • The library can host elaborate parties with the late fees it collects solely from your family.  And you never even read half the books you checked out.
  • Your child reminisces about everything fun (and fantasy) about public school and how they miss having friends in front of your biggest homeschool critic.

This list of things I once stressed over seems absurd now. Except for that I never actually painted any X’s on the driveway.  But I thought about it that first week as I had them run laps around the house while yelling which direction they were facing at each turn.  In the first year of homeschooling, Great Expectations are more than a hefty literary conquest by Charles Dickens. And every year after that we still hope for more than will ultimately be achieved. I think it does a homeschool good for mom to dream of perfection, aim for well done, and be okay with over easy.  We can plan and maneuver how we want things to go, but our children will ultimately be the biggest navigators of their homeschool journey.  By all means plan the trip, but allow for detours that will come, and learn from them, always forging ahead.

And one day when you’ve been a little more tenderized and seasoned into homeschooling, the neighbors will drive by as you take an unexpected picture of your kids posing in ridiculous outfits, with their faces covered in chalky-war-paint for no identifiable reason whatsoever.  The neighbor will probably wonder if your kids know how to read, or if you realize they are clearly immature and socially awkward for their ages.  But you won’t notice, because you know the truth. Your kids are awesome and unique. And their witty efforts to make you laugh are the kind of unexpected hiccup you’ve come to appreciate.

 

 

Yes, My Kids Have Asked to go to School

And it was like being stabbed in the heart with the pretty blue math compass I bought him for 5th grade math! “… I just wanted to see what middle school is like and meet some new friends.” …I’m not protecting him. I’m providing him with an alternate route with which to emerge having lost none of himself.

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7 Reasons Winter is the Best Homeschooling Season

All is not lost. In fact, this is our season! …We are always willing to forge ahead, find a way, clear a new path, and especially in the comforts of an amazing new fleece hoodie night gown!

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The Day I Wanted to Quit Homeschooling

” …And then I do the lowest thing we homeschool moms know to do when backed into a corner feeling all hope is lost…I tell them I am taking them back to public school in the fall.”

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Handwriting and Other Homeschool Torture Devices

Sometimes I just sit around thinking up ways I can provoke my kid’s groans and hissy fits, so I can make my day especially obnoxious, long and unbearable. A day filled with carefully calculated ways to be griped at and made to feel mean and overbearing. Because that is what it’s all about. Me making their lives miserable.

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10 Things I Hate About Homeschooling

…homeschooling is not all pencil bouquets, nature walks, and cocoa on the couch with story time. It may only be that you hate the cheap pencil sharpener that you settled for, or how the new globe is slightly off its axis, but you hate something about homeschooling, so fess up!

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Summer Homeschool Hack for Moms on Holiday

Summer Homeschool Hack In a weary stupor, one morning in late May, I came up with a summer homeschool hack and never lifted a finger. (Please hold the applause until the end.) I was looking for a way to ensure my kids wouldn’t bury themselves in digital debris with a...

Make Summer Reading a Blockbuster Hit: The Book vs. The Movie

How to read your way to the silver screen:     Some of the best movies of all time originated as books.  So one summer several years ago we skipped recording minutes spent reading for cheap prizes at the library and created our own summer reading program. We...

We Joined a Homeschool Co-op. What Happened Next…

We survived our first semester without any noticeable spiritual judgment or confrontation. I was worried we’d be “Christian-timidated,” which is a word that I just made up and here means– made to feel less than biblically adequate to hang with the click. Of course, we proclaim we are Christians in this house, but we are not up on the lingo. Does that make sense?

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Why It’s Okay to Homeschool One Year at a Time

“I don’t remember standing before God and having my family and friends witness me taking a vow to homeschool until graduation or death!… Instead, I made a silent promise that day. A promise that I would never quit seeking the best road for raising and educating my kids. No matter how uncomfortable, against the grain, or what looks or comments came my way, I would continuously seek the best educational opportunities I could provide my boys.

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Dear 12 Year Old Girls, My Son Feels as Awkward as You About Your New Body

Do the guys a favor and don’t point out the obvious. They are completely aware you are towering over them. They see the adult world and know that they are supposed to be bigger and stronger. The knife is already in their side, you don’t have to twist it. …they are literally eye level with your training bras. How mortifying! But for who really?

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