Though lots of homeschoolers choose to educate at home because their faith hangs in the balance, my husband and I chose to homeschool because we know first hand what it is like to be labeled “Learning Disabled”. Both of us are ADD/ADHD and visual/spacial learners to boot. Though we are quite intelligent, this label prevented us from benefitting from traditional teaching strategies. Each of us discovered we could teach ourselves better than a typical teacher. We didn’t want our kids to be ignored because their learning style isn’t in line with the majority.
With that said, I embarked on a journey of reading, note taking and learning as much about how to homeschool as possible. I planned and prepared my lessons in more detail than was probably necessary. I worked with my advisor to make sure that each of my children was given the best guidance for their learning style.
But then I made a critical error. I read Home School Mom Blogs and found that I am the worst homeschool mom ever. I was totally nonplussed at my apparent inadequacy. Evidently, I should have plenty of time to plan lessons, craft beautiful worksheets, planners & calendars, prepare exceptional & healthy meals, keep my home sterile, bathe small children, go grocery shopping, take my car in for an oil change, reflect on each child’s progress — finding just the right resources — and, then BLOG about it with professional grade photographs! My children should never complain, and should do what they’re told when they’re told without threats with a paddle and the loss of privileges. My kids are supposed to be talented violists/pianists, exceptional athletes and they ought to write code in their down time.
One word: Laundry.
I have two children in two different grades with entirely different learning styles. I spend 10 hours every Sunday lesson planning. If I’m not planning, I’m reflecting on their progress and determining in which direction each child needs to be encouraged. My cooking is healthy, but by no means extravagant. I can keep the bathrooms and kitchen spotless, but my house is never immaculate. My car needs an oil change…it has been a while. Soccer, gymnastics and archery are massively time-challenging. One more time, because it begs repeating: Laundry.
Blog? No chance. My husband and I would have exactly zero time together.
Here, I confess that I am not a fabulously organized wife/mother/teacher. I do not take my children out 12 times a month on pricy field trips. I can’t find a “co-op” in my area that is organized enough to keep it up and I don’t have the time to start my own. When I read the blogs, I feel like a complete failure and wonder where I am going wrong. But, if I keep my eyes on my own work I feel like our kids are aces (if combative/inattentive at times) and we are giving them everything they need.
(Image: getty images)