Here we are entering our second full week of homeschooling. Can I be honest? I am thoroughly exhausted and emotionally drained. I knew that trying to pull this off while working full time was going to be a challenge. There have been some very hard days. I have thought about quitting. But quitting is never the answer. I know what God has whispered to my heart for this season, and I must continue to run the race, although I feel as if I might get run over in the process.
I thought I would share with you this week a little bit of the good, the bad, and the ugly of what I’ve learned so far.
There are actually several good things that I’ve realized so far:
- I do not have to try and get my daughter dressed, fed and out the door at some ungodly hour. She is not a morning person. No matter how much I try to rush her along, she will not be rushed. We’ve been late to school and church in the past because she just needs time. Since my 9yo has to be at school at 8:30a, I drop him off and come back and pick up my daughter and my 18yo son and head on into work.
- I can be flexible with the teaching schedule. Even though I’ve taken the curriculum and calendared out her lesson plan for the entire year, we have already had to move some things around. There might be days where she needs more help, or extra study time for quizzes. There have been days where she actually likes what she is doing and has gone ahead.
- She gets to come to work with me for a day and a half each week. I love having her there. Not only can I supervise her studies, but she is spending time in the house of prayer, which is huge.
- We can take days off when an extra curricular activity arises during the week. She went to the beach last Monday with friends so we did some extra work so that she could take Monday off.
Let’s just call them “challenges”:
- Attitude. Let’s put it this way: Trying to homeschool a hormonal 12yo who is very strong willed is a challenge. One of the reasons I wanted to homeschool my daughter is for our relationship. By spending more time with her, I am hoping that her heart will open up more to me, not just as a teacher, but as a mom and a friend. We’ve had our share of struggles. I think we are so much alike. And I am not perfect. I can throw a fit in a minute and I can say things I don’t mean. This by far has been the most challenging, learning how to work with her and not crush her spirit in the process.
- We are behind on math. I received my curriculum, but our HP laptop is broken so I haven’t had her begin lessons yet. I am not a math whiz and I know she will need to rely on the video lessons for assistance. I am going to have to start this week and we will have to download videos on the internet or get help if she is struggling. *Please pray the Lord provides for a loaner laptop or a way we can purchase one.
- I’ve told her I wanted to quit. Yes, I have told her I was going to put her back in school, that this was too hard. We have both cried tears and slammed some doors. I’ve told myself I cannot do this. Oh how I need His grace.
There isn’t really anything ugly about homeschooling. It really can be a beautiful thing. I think the only ugliness I am dealing with so far is in my own heart. I really am in need of God’s grace. I want to be able to lay down the need to control, and lighten up. My daughter needs a mom who loves and encourages her heart. Not one that points out everything she’s not doing and tries to control her.
Let’s just call these “fears”.
- I want to have the patience for this task, but I am afraid to ask for it. We all know what happens there.
- I want to be gentle with my daughter, so as not to crush her spirit.
- I want to be firm with her so she doesn’t fall into laziness.
- I want to make sure she is learning and retaining the information that she is working through.
- I do not want her to fall behind.
I am considering adjusting her schedule to allow for a “four day teaching” week. I would like to use Mondays (my day off) as a time for her and I to go out and explore together. We could do filed trips or just learn through every day life. I think it will help us to grow in our relationship and make things easier along the way. This is not an easy transition for her. Most children are home schooled from a younger age. I am feeling a little guilty that I choose not to do this sooner, or could not do this sooner. I really want to work on our relationship and have fun together. I think it will help her to trust me and help me to to want to control things. I want this to be a beautiful experience for both of us.
I want to thank all of you who have already encouraged my heart in this journey. If you know of any great homeschooling blogs or homeschooling moms with blogs, I would love to visit them. I am especially looking for support from moms who homeschool while holding down full time jobs.