GET UNSCHOOLED TO RELIEVE THE STRESS OF HOMESCHOOLING
Are you searching for what to expect when you begin homeschooling your kid? You’ve made the decision and started only to find out THIS is nothing like you had imagined. Or maybe you’re still contemplating and want to realistically prepare. No matter the position you’re currently in, this will give you a 10,000 foot overview of the reality of homeschool and how to be successful.
I did a ton of research before beginning and I can tell you one of the biggest stress relievers was the summer I unschooled my whole family. Since then life in the world of homeschool has taken on a whole new breath of fresh air. Unschooling was the difference between forced homeschooling and freedom in homeschooling.
It took a couple years to really make the resolve to begin homeschooling my child. It’s a big decision and since we are so far removed from the ways of oldtimes it can seem kind of taboo these days.
In fact, one of the most common push-back comments homeschoolers get is that we are sheltering our children.
In short, that’s nonsense.
Homeschooling your kid is such a great idea. Nevertheless, if you are still on the fence and just doing some research, you may be interested in reading how sheltering your child isn’t always bad.
It may bring some comfort and encouragement to take that leap of faith.
YOUR FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
So you want to start homeschooling your kid. You have bought a bunch of supplies like crayons, pencils, paper, and binders. You also splurged on cute pencil holders, stickers, and watercolors for “art time”.
Maybe you have some curriculum or just some subject books to get started. You’ve got your calendar, with your schedule and all your papers nicely organized. There are some learning posters on your walls so it looks more like school too.
The whiteboard has a nice little message on it for your students, because you are no longer mommy.
Today you are teacher mommy.
Then the first day of school comes and BAM, it hits you like a ten-ton truck.
You woke up late, the kids made a huge mess during breakfast; and it took longer for you to clean up than you thought.
The children decided to play instead of getting dressed… because where are we going mommy is the question of the day?
By the time you actually sit down to do work an hour goes by and the children are tired of learning already!
You deem it recess time and demand everybody is back at the table in 15 minutes. Well, someone is in the bathroom, or maybe deep into playing trucks. You not so vaguely hear the request for lunch and think didn’t I just clean up breakfast. Truth be told, yes and no.
Recess has lasted an hour! Time slips right through your fingers.
You got distracted by a phone call, a dirty diaper or another mess. You get lunch and try to get back into it but laundry needs to be done and it’s almost time to start dinner. Oh well, tomorrow you’ll try again.
WHEN WILL IT BE OVER
This went on for months in many different manifestations. Of course, I have 7 children 5 of whom I am schooling at home. Nevertheless, I was so stressed out it made me want to give up more than once in a pile of tears.
I was expending way too much effort trying to mimic the public system. Instead, what I needed to do was get unschooled.
Everything changed when I took a summer and unschooled my family.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO GET UNSCHOOLED
Unschooled means doing school at home the way it works for your family. The public system is not the standard. Every family is different. Honestly, it’s a life changer when you understand your child isn’t defined by a grade level, state tests, or an 8-hour mandatory routine that every other child is bound too.
You can get your children up when it works best for your family. If your husband works late you can stay up later and get up later. A school day doesn’t have to be 8-3 broken up by 15-minute activities.
If you want to spend all day on one subject and break it up you can. If you want to do three subject 20 minutes each with no break to get it done, you can.
Field trips can be down the street to the park, or the grocery store. Everywhere you go can be a lesson of some sort. You can learn on the go or sitting on the couch. Everybody can snuggle up in the bed and practice reading or sit upright at the table.
It doesn’t matter because it’s YOUR SCHOOL AT HOME!
Don’t be hard on yourself because today didn’t turn out well. Call it a snow day in the spring and make it up later. If it takes all day to explain one concept to your child, so what!
The important thing is that at least you know where your child is struggling right away and you can adjust to their individual needs right now.
No more waiting three months for a 15-minute conference to find out your child is a half year behind or their behavior is less than par.
The best news here is you are STILL mommy! Mommy first and teacher second because being mommy you are always teaching anyway. You are teaching them to love!
A NEW FIRST DAY OF HOMESCHOOLING YOUR CHILD
You get up before the children and realize your children are safe and sound. Whatever the day holds is okay. You’ve got some curriculum that may or may not work but you are prepared to see what works for your child and adjust from there.
After all, this is not a race or a learning funnel.
An extra long breakfast was a blessing because you taught your youngest how to count with their Fruit Loops. Your oldest learned this morning when they made pancakes and practiced reading the directions on the side of the box and engaged with fractions when she had to double the recipe.
Take a big sigh of relief. The right decision was homeschooling your kid.
Don’t give up.
Getting unschooled is one of the best things you can do for your own sanity. Needless to mention, your children will not grow up and not know how to read or do math.
AND they will have had YOU for the extra 19,000 hours they aren’t in a public learning system.
Nothing can replace YOU!