Sometimes it’s hard to be grateful about homeschooling.
After all, I’m with my kids 24/7. As their teacher and parent, I get stuck with all the whining, all the planning, and all the “mistakes.” I am like a chameleon, always shifting into what is working for my children at any given moment; always trying to make our lessons fun and improve on what doesn’t work.
When the holidays creep up on us, we get so swept up in all that is bright and shiny- sometimes it’s hard to stay focused and be thankful for our homeschooling. The kids don’t want to do school when the holidays are upon us- they would rather go play, eat cookies, and never do another math worksheet again. All I want to do some days is stick them on a bus and go sit at Starbucks and order a holiday drink…and write.
It can be tempting…but…
Homeschooling has taught me so much more about my children (and parenting) than if they were in school.
Homeschooling has made me the woman I am today. Its made my kids who they are today.
Its helped me understand what they need, as a child and as a student. I can use this experience to help them flourish into healthy, functional adults. Homeschooling has taught me how to effectively communicate to another human being. And we’ve all grown in so many ways because of this opportunity.
While I’ve learned a good bit when everything has been going so-called “right”, I’ve learned so much more when things go “wrong”. Without the struggle, without the failed planning, without the CONTRAST, I wouldn’t truly appreciate a good homeschooling day.
So I’m thankful, even for the challenges!
Yes, homeschooling is not perfect. You are going to have times when everything is flowing as planned. You’re able to stay on target and accomplish so much. And other times, you are going to want to tear your hair out and throw a temper tantrum like a toddler. You have a pile of activities that go unused because you just don’t think you can make it through the day.
And that’s okay.
If Thanksgiving teaches us one thing, it’s that we can be grateful for our lives. I’m fortunate for having the chance to stay at home with my kids. I know that not every mom gets the chance to do that. I also know that homeschooling doesn’t work for everyone. It is not a one-size-fits all. It takes a lot of hard work and patience (a learned skill btw).
If my mind starts to wonder and I romanticize the yellow bus, I bring myself back to center by doing these things:
- I take a deep breathe, and remember WHY I homeschool.
- I take a break, and stop pushing for a moment. That worksheet isn’t going anywhere, no need to rush.
- I take some “me” time, for reflection and a chance to think straight without a toddler screaming in my face.
- I take stock for what I’m grateful for, and see the beauty within the chaos of parenthood.
This temporary pause reminds me that I’m grateful for my homeschooling life.
After all, I get a crash-course in teaching and parenting. I get to know what it’s like to maneuver an academic meltdown. I get to experience the struggles of multi-age teaching and how to successfully distract a toddler. I get to learn what makes my kids tick. I get to relish in the feeling of a job well done.
I get to be there when they learn something new. I get to be there when they cry because they don’t understand something new.
I get to be there, through the ups and downs, and I get to really know my kids. Furthermore, my kids get to really know me. They get to see their mom do her best EVERY DAY, even if sometimes it’s not so glamorous. They are watching me grow, just as I’m watching them. I know one day they will look back on this time and appreciate my hard work.
That, my friend, is a beautiful thing.
So I’m thankful and humbled by my homeschooling life. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. And I definitely wouldn’t trade the opportunity to experience my children for a cup of Starbucks, even if that meant peace and quiet every day of the week.
I welcome and embrace the challenges, and I KEEP GOING.