Monday, December 13, 2010

Lighting the homeschool fires

So far, homeschooling is a lot of trial & error.
As in, I try to get my 5 yr old to do something that is way over his head, and I encounter an error when he looks at me like I'm crazy and runs away from the table.

There is a balance that I've not quite discovered how to achieve. My guy is "gifted" which means that he has the ability to learn at a little quicker pace than the norm, but he's definitely not going to learn anything if I skip the basics and plunge him head first into Quantum Physics. 
Not that I could ever teach him that. I'm going to have to rely on Google to explain what Quantum Physics even is.

I've always been the kind of person who gets a little lost in the details. Plus, I'm a rule follower by nature and I have to constantly fight against myself in order to both parent & teach they way I want to and the way my kids need me to: with a little freedom. 
I find myself obsessing over the California Content Standards, worrying about the possibility of me failing my child completely. I even warned our Education Specialist at the onset of this homeschooling adventure, that I am going to be THAT parent. 
The one who emails several times a week for clarification and a virtual pep-talk.
I am not trying to over-analyze this stuff but dang it, if my kids' education isn't one of my most important responsibilities. 

But all it takes is a quick check-in with a fellow homeschooling mama who admits to not knowing all the answers either, but is still confident that homeschooling is definitely the way to go for her family.
Now, I just take a deep breath and relax into the swing of things.
I look over those content standards and realize, the kid knows this stuff already. 
My job is made instantly easier and I can let go of the grip I have just a bit. 

I spend an hour or two on the Internet creating an outline of a lesson plan, nothing too solid, but making sure I've got all the subjects in there, relating to each other in a fun and interesting way. 
If we don't get everything done tomorrow, we have the next day, and so on, and so on. 

I remind myself that making the choice to homeschool was not about rigidity, but about fluidity.
We take our lessons to the zoo, we do them in the kitchen, we are learning in the car on the ride home from Grandma's house. There are things that baking cookies can teach us about math and physical science.

And at dinner tonight my child will give my husband a compliment, a lesson in friendship that was learned a week ago, and it will hit me: I can do this. We are doing this.


  1. It'll probably get much easier as they get older:)
    Gosh, I've forgotten how intensive it can be when they're starting out!

  2. Hi, thanks for visiting my blog earlier - I am your newest follower :) If you check out Time4Learning, you'll have to let me know what you think. I am not a homeschooling mom (yet) so I'd like to know how it compares to your work.

  3. You CAN do it! Take a deep breath, you will find your way, and no rush, you've got some time to figure out your groove! Read lots together, explore! The well-trained mind board is a good place to hang out and get ideas, if you are looking for any. My 1st homeschool student is now in 10th grade, we are still at's a good place to be.


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