Thursday, May 10, 2012

Random homeschool mom post

It has been so long since I've written a blog post that I didn't even know Blogger changed the dashboard.  I am not sure I even know how to edit and post anymore.

I'm late on my monthly reading post.  That's probably because I haven't been doing much reading.

There's a blog post in my head titled "Homeschooling can break your heart" but I can't get it written.  I love homeschooling. But it can be heartbreaking.  I think a lot of people don't know that, particularly if they read a lot of homeschool blogs.  (Hint:  a person can know that homeschooling is their right choice for her family, but still find it difficult and tedious and yes, heartbreaking at times.)  Sandy is one of the few bloggers I've come across who will admit that homeschooling can be hard.  (Notice she didn't use the word heartbreaking.) I will, though, when I get some time to do it.

As we get deeper into high school, I find myself visiting the Well-Trained Mind forums more often.  It is very helpful. But it can be dangerous for those of us who tend to compare our kids unfavorably with others who seem to be doing better. (Or compare ourselves with homeschool moms who seem to be doing better.) Sometimes it seems as if every child of every mom who posts there is an exceptional student, or at least well above average in everything.  If I read one more post by a mom who has to slow her kid down because he/she is advancing too far in math too soon, I think my head will explode.  As with every other resource, we have to search to find what's helpful. And there is much that is.

We have to remember (I'm speaking to myself here, but some others might need to remember this too), that though there are some near-universal standards for "a good education," there are many different ways to achieve that.  If I try to keep up with my highly-structured, rigorous homeschool friends, I get frustrated because I can't do enough.  If I try to emulate my relaxed, almost-unschooling homeschool friends, I get panicky because my kids don't seem to be natural self-educators, at least not in the areas they need.  (It's true! My kids don't wake up in the morning anxious to get to work on algebra!)  After all these years, you'd think I could find my own way and be comfortable in it.  It just isn't always that easy.  But it's still worth doing, isn't it?

Maybe I should go read now.  If I finish a book on May 10, can I count it for April?  I thought not.


Sandy said...

I think I haven't used the word 'heartbreaking' because homeschooling hasn't been heartbreaking for me so far. Hard, yes. Heartbreaking, no. I think it would only be heartbreaking if my kids decided not to follow God or not have a relationship with me or one of their siblings. If someone left the family, that would be heartbreaking. Academic stuff is tough, to be sure and sad as well, but I have some real heartbreaking things going on right now and homeschooling doesn't even come close, for me anyway, even on the hard days. As for the message boards and blogs, people only post their best days. They don't post the days that they felt like a failure. So we read their best days and compare them to our worst days...a recipe for disaster. Maybe it would help to start posting some small successes each week? The biggest thing that happened here homeschool wise this week was not a success. Most weeks it's a mixed bag.

Gillian said...

We totally have ups and downs all the time. And I think the WTM message boards can be dangerous... I go on there and instantly feel that my kids aren't learning enough. They're not conjugating Latin, flying through advanced math, reading Chaucer in Middle English, etc. Heck, my nine year old still doesn't really even read!

Then I have to step back and think about why WE homeschool. And try as hard as I can to stop comparing.