Monday, 17 November 2014

Confessions of an Imperfect Homeschooler

I am really good at showing only the good in my life.  The well planned lessons, the cute preschool crafts, the baking and painting in cute home made aprons.  I like people to see my clean house and my styled hair and my children wearing outfits that actually match.  Truthfully, I'm a little bit afraid to let people see too much of the real me because the real me can be a little bit gross.

Confessions of an Imperfect Homeschooler

Homeschooling has not come easy to me.  When I first started I pictured reading by the fire, bonding over art lessons and laughing with my children over a successful (and surprisingly clean) science experiment.  

But our days don't often go that way.

I'm impatient.  I can read by the fire for a half hour or so but I start getting grumpy after the third reading of Amelia Bedelia.  I get twitchy when my three year old refuses to draw anything without my help but then freaks out because the horse I drew looks like a school bus.  And I lose my cool when my four year old takes 35 minutes to get dressed.  

I'm distracted.  I have a million things running through my head at any given time.  I often have to ask my kids to repeat their question because I wasn't listening the first time they asked.  Sometimes I'm checking Facebook while they're doing their art project or I'm reading during what's supposed to be a family movie night.  

I'm kinda lazy.  We don't do a lot of science experiments.  They require a lot of set up and even more clean up and I'm just not down with that these days.  There are finger prints on the mirrors and at this very moment there are at least three loads of laundry that need to be folded.  Oh, and we have eaten more fast food than I care to admit.  

I'm afraid.  Everyday.  All day.  That I'm failing my kids.  That they will never learn algebra and that they'll resent me for it.  That they'll get sick of each other and not get along as adults.  That my husband will stop finding yoga pants hot and I will have to start wearing real clothes again.  That I'm not cut out for this and I won't realize it until it's too late.  

I make myself a lot of promises.  Tomorrow will be better.  I'll get up earlier.  I won't eat any chocolate.  I won't raise my voice when my seven year old starts whining the second she sees her printing worksheet.  Sometimes I make good on these promises.  Many times I don't.  That's when the guilt comes.  That heavy, heart crushing feeling, the voice that says I'm not enough...that the kids want someone better...that I'll never measure up.


That voice isn't my kids' voice.  They think I am enough and they want me just as I am.  These patient, forgiving, loving children don't hold grudges or remind me of every failure.  They don't notice that my hair is almost always in a pony tail.  They don't mind that I forget to do composer study most weeks or that I don't want to teach them Latin.  They don't care how dirty our couch is; they just know that it's a great place to cuddle.

So I thank God for homeschooling.  It is such a blessing to hang out with these four incredible little people everyday because I would do well to take a few pages out of their book.  They stretch me and force me to grow in ways I never knew I could.  

And that's the funny thing about homeschooling.  I thought it was all about me teaching the kids.  I had no idea just how much they would teach me.  

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