We started homeschooling this year, and it’s one of the hardest and best things I’ve ever done. One of the reasons I’ve been able to survive it is the support of my friend Angela. She was kind enough to share her thoughts on the first year of homeschooling today. I have a big mouth, so you’ll see my comments in italics.
I never thought I would homeschool my kids. When I sent my now six year old to preschool I thought she would go to the public school for kindergarten like every other kid in the neighborhood. Something changed in those two years though. My daughter began reading entire books on her own and I became friends with some moms who are a bit less traditional. (Guilty.)
Initially the thought of homeschooling was terrifying. Could I really teach my child? I have no background in teaching, what if I screwed it up? Would she even listen to me? How would I keep her little sister entertained while we focused on schoolwork?
Despite my doubts and fears, the idea of homeschooling called to me. I finally decided to give it a shot for kindergarten. I wasn’t committing to homeschooling forever, just for a year. We would see how things went and then decide what we wanted to do next. We are slightly over halfway through that year now and so far it is going well.
Do we have our rough days? Absolutely. There are days when she doesn’t listen to me, days where she is totally distracted, and days when she is just not in the mood to do her work. I’ve finally learned it is best to take a short break instead of trying to push through these times. Otherwise we end up so frustrated that we both need a time out. (OMG YES.) We may still be doing school right up until bedtime but we get the work done.
Then we have the days when she flies through her lessons. These are the days we both love because she gets her work done early and has more play time in the afternoon. I also have more time to get things done around the house or to sit and enjoy a book for a little bit. These are the days that I know I’ve made the right choice because she isn’t sitting in school for extra hours even though she knows the material.
Connecting with other homeschool families in our area has been a huge blessing. I know I’m not alone in having those rough days and have other moms to bounce ideas off of. Just the other day several of us were talking on Facebook about how we were all in competition for Meanest Mom of the Year that day. Group field trips get us out of the house and learning in practical ways. Having this community has saved my sanity more than once.
Is homeschooling a challenge? Certainly. Is it worth the effort for our family? Definitely.
Angela is a wife, mom, book lover, and blogger living in Indianapolis. You can follow her family’s adventures at Living This Moment.