I’ve mentioned in an earlier post about writing a book. I’ve actually started many writing projects that I haven’t finish or just give up on. Over the last year, I’ve worked on writing an article/book about homeschooling. It’s geared toward new and seasoned homeschooling parents who just feel frustrated with how they are organizing their curriculum or their school year. I’m still working on a name for the book. So far I came up with “The Not So Perfect Mom’s Guide to Homeschool” with a subtitle: “One homeschool mom’s advice for creating a plan that works” Here is the beginning of my writing:
One of the hardest parts of homeschooling is getting a plan of action together…and then sticking to it. Well, the sticking to it might be the hardest. But this first step is by far the most important step we must make. This becomes our foundation upon which our homeschool year is built. So why do we overlook it? Why do we make it then forget about it?
If you ask my friends they will tell you that I often talk about my “utopia” homeschool. It’s the homeschool world I would live in if I had total control of everything around me. But reality is, I don’t. Life happens. Schedules change, people get sick, cars breakdown, and we get worn out. I know that my “utopia” is not my reality. I probably wouldn’t really want my utopia anyway…it would most likely be boring there with nothing changing.
The truth is we need some changes in our life. It helps to make us who we are. Our children need to learn how to deal with unexpected things in their lives too. So it’s a good thing that life happens, right?
Yes and no. Life does happen, which is why in all other areas of our life, we need to create order. When things are in chaos, nothing can be successful. We’ve all been there with too much on our plate. We want to be involved and we want to help out our friends. Then there are play dates, and co-ops, and sports, and clubs. Is this just “life happening?” No. This is us creating a chaotic world for ourselves and our children. But it’s hard. Where is the balance?
Here is the reality (which is no surprise to any of you). If we are too busy, or if we make our children too busy…no plan or curriculum will work. If we stretch ourselves too thin, we will do poorly at everything we do. I am the worst at doing this. I get so excited about new things and ideas and want to just jump right in and do it. Not only do it, but be the leader, start the group, organize the trip. I take on so much that I am too busy to be a wife and a mom….let alone a teacher for my children.
The result? A whole lot of misery for me and my family and in the end I can’t be successful at any of it. I mean you just can’t be slave to all those masters! I get cranky, tired, anxious. My kids feel the worst of it because they are the ones that I end up getting short with. And they are tired too. All that running around from activity to activity is hard on a kid.
But what about socialization? That’s the question we get, and that’s the issue we try to prove wrong as homeschoolers. We try to show THEM that our kids are WAY more socialized than their kids. Our kids do more, with a variety of age groups in different settings, than any public school kid would be able to do. Which is great. But at what cost?
Does that mean I think we should just stay home all week? No! I’d lose my mind if I did. But find a balance that works for your family. Help your children find something they have a passion for and only get involved in that activity for right now. If you have a large family, you might want to alternate between the kids. I know of families that rotate each sporting season. One season child #1 will play a sport. The next season a different child will choose something. And so on. It’s kind of fun because then the whole family gets behind that one child and his/her activity to support them.
Do what works. But if you feel like a taxi and you and your kids are stressed out over your hectic schedule, then maybe it’s time to re-think it. Don’t create stress…reduce it. So when “life happens” for real and something unexpected comes up, you can handle it. Remember, there is no plan for homeschooling that will work if you’re not home to implement it! So take time to be home, be with each other, and learn together!
Well, that’s the first little bit of my book… actually that is just the beginning of chapter one! I continue on as we learn what type of planner we are so we can see where we are strong and where we need help! From there I go on to talk about the HOW behind creating a plan that works for your family by helping you to understand what is important. Creating a Christian Classical Education at Home (or any homeschool plan) is not hard. The hard part is getting rid of all the old habits and ways of thinking in our own brains! Really, it’s much easier and more peaceful than the old way! In my book, I hope to give you a humorus and very honest picture of what I have learned so that we can learn on this journey together!
But wait…I know you’re saying that you have that BIG book about being Well-Trained. That big book is overwhelming and reminds you that you just can’t attain your goal right? Well at least it was like that for me. Look, I like that book. I read it over and over. But truth be told, no matter how much I tried, I could not replicate what was in that book in my own home. Maybe I was too lazy? Maybe I was not organized enough? (I know those who know me are laughing at that one…I love to organize). There were many reasons why I couldn’t get that book to work for me. I talk about some of those reasons in my ebook. If you have that book, keep it. It has wonderful information and works as a great resource. Just don’t let the weight of that book weigh you down!
More to come!!