Homeschooling

Why are we trying to sprint through a Marathon?

Dear Mom, let’s talk about how hard this whole homeschooling thing is sometimes.  Our kids can be rotten, our days go totally wrong, and we feel as though we are utterly failing at both momming and homeschooling. Can you identify with the previous statement? Boy we sure can! It’s hard, but aren’t most rewarding things usually a little difficult? I think sometimes we moms get so focused on the here and now, the comparisons, and the standards we aren’t meeting, that we lose perspective.

Why do we pressure ourselves and our kids in the now, when it isn’t even about the now? This single issue being resolved will remove 90% of the homeschool angst and fears from your life.

We aren’t graduating them tomorrow, they’re 5, who cares if they can read today? And even if they are 18 and supposed to graduate tomorrow, who cares if they take an extra few months to get it all right? Sure there are serious issues that need to be properly resolved, that need therapies and treatments and evaluations. The truth is though that more than half our worries are for naught. We start struggling and worrying from like day 1, way before we ever need to.  We start sprinting when the finish line is nowhere in sight, and then we try to keep up the pace of sprinting for the entire race….we forget this is a marathon and we treat it like its a 50 yard dash. No one knows but us when our homeschoolers are “supposed” to graduate, and really mom who cares how they compare to their “peers” in public school?

Comparison is the thief of joy.

We get so focused on today that we forget, it’s not about where we started it’s about where we finish.  Not many kids start their educational careers headed to Harvard by 12, in fact so few do that it makes headlines when that happens. It’s this mentality that we have to rush forward in order to stay “caught up” that is ruining what should be a wonderful experience for both you and your child. Who is it exactly we think we’re catching up to? The public schools? Didn’t we think public education did such a terrible job we chose to take on our children’s education ourselves? So why is it we’re trying to “keep up” with it then?

Let’s get brutally honest here mom, because it’s time we have a “come to Jesus” on these issues.

We started out this homeschooling journey with visions of snuggling our sweet ones as they learn to read, leading them breezily through libraries to choose books about all their passions, and child led learning. Then we toss all that out the window for some reason and begin to race headlong towards homeschool disaster, yelling and fussing all the way, with kids in tow. Why?

Because we’ve been brainwashed into thinking that our kids have to meet all these standards of learning, that if they’re not reading by 6 we’re total failures, and that we have to somehow “measure up” or even be better at educating than public schools are.  

So let me share the truth with you here and now. You are better, no one on this Earth has a more vested interest in the outcome of your child’s education than you do. You have no reason to rush to meet all these standards and timelines that public education imposes on its prisoners parents and students. Why? Because we aren’t trying to public school at home, we’re trying to homeschool right?  If public school goals were for us why not just send them to public school? Are you hearing what I’m saying?  It’s time you relax mom, and do your own thing and stop worrying about the starting line and look at the finish line and realize you have plenty of time (literally….you have as much time as you choose to take) until you get there.  Evaluate your goals for your child’s education, what are they?  Then take into consideration your child’s unique abilities and realize, we aren’t all headed to Harvard, we aren’t all going to be doctors and lawyers, some of us will become skilled tradesmen and that’s fine too.  Your goal isn’t to nail your 10 year old down to a career goal, it’s to help them explore all their passions and teach them how to learn. 

If you teach your child how to learn, you’ve given them the world. You have opened the door to any and every possibility they can ever dream, whether that be plumber or brain surgeon.  Why? Because teaching someone a skill is great, they’ll learn that and they’ll remember it; Teaching someone how to learn gives them the keys to the kingdom, there are no longer limits on their lives and they can change goals anytime.

So mom, I said all that to say stop focusing on today, it isn’t about today. Teach your child to learn, teach them to love to learn, teach them that learning is the goal and nothing else. Stop running a race you don’t have to run. Your life (and your child’s) will be much better for it.

 

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