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Because life isn’t always roses and daisies. Illness, pregnancy, hospitalization, and crisis or other difficult times occur and everything looks and is topsy-turvy. This is why I’m writing this today.
If I could go back in time to counsel with my younger self, my early homeschooling, worried self, I would tell myself to stop worrying. All of the advice of the homeschool sages like Oliver DeMille, John Holt, Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore, John Taylor Gatto, and Resa Steindel is true and to trust my gut and the process. But, if I didn’t have those worries and go through the difficulties I did, I wouldn’t be sitting here right now writing this article with the wisdom that comes from struggle and experience.
You are You
“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!”
Homeschool shouldn’t be a conveyor belt. It shouldn’t look like what the school system does. We have lost faith in the natural education process. We’ve lost faith in our abilities. Mothers, you are more than qualified to nurture your child. Nurturing involves teaching, molding, shaping, inspiring, uplifting, listening. In my book, education should include all of these attributes and more, but in the school system, they don’t have the time, some the inclination, or paycheck to nurture each child in this way. But, you can. Even a sick and/or pregnant mom whose abilities are very limited are still more influential and powerful. Be you and be excited that you are here at home and have the freedom to teach your children in the way that is best for your family.
The Difficulty is the Lesson
Most of our homeschooling years I have been sick and pregnant, or just sick from various illnesses. Our family has taken every difficulty and we create lessons around it. What can we all learn from this? Over the years our family has learned the following: how to cook (and all the terms for) gluten free, vegan, paleo, raw vegan, body ecology diet, fermenting foods, making kombucha, water and milk keifer, GMO, why organic, how to read labels, how to shop and get the best deals & the safest foods, how to use an ATM card, how to gas up the car, all about herbs, tinctures, Bach flower remedies, homeopathic remedies, essential oils, about the body and it’s systems and organs in-depth, yoga, energy healing, meditation, vision boards, positive thinking, ways to study the scriptures, how to gain a testimony, all about the trials of our faith, patience, understanding, service, how to care for babies, toddlers, peers, adults and others, how to give massages and acupressure, and trigger point therapy. And that’s just because of life’s difficult situations. This doesn’t count any of the reading or lessons that have been integrated in between. In a family that is always learning, the children are always learning. Let the difficulty be the lesson. Your children will become leaps and bounds ahead of their peers in life’s wisdom and when they are out on their own, they won’t be able to thank you enough.
It is recommended when you pull your kids out of public school to do a one year detox. During that time, mom should read, study, and prepare how to do this homeschooling thing. The family gets used to being around each other. Systems are put into place to manage the home. The kids learn to get along with each other and how to entertain themselves when they are bored. During our one year detox, we moved three times to three different states, and I was pregnant with our seventh child. The following year my husband left for Iraq for a fifteen month deployment and I worked on my poor health. By the time we really got “100%” into a rhythm and educational flow it had been three years. During that time, however, I provided a stimulating learning environment and included life skills (chores, etc.). We read aloud on a regular basis and I bought them fun curriculum to do when they wanted to. I was sure I was failing, but I simply couldn’t do more. After those three years I had my kids tested by a teacher friend and was overwhelmed with surprise that they were still right on target. (That was when I cared so much what the schools were doing compared to what I was doing.)
Take care of your needs: your spiritual needs, your emotional needs, your educational needs, your physical needs. Read from the best books that will remind you of your ultimate goals. Whenever you feel like you’re not doing enough, take time out to ponder and pray. Is it a true message without fear that is inspiring you? Or is it a messenger of fear and pressure and comparison? Re-evaluate and remember the difficulty is the lesson until it’s over and you can move ahead with more intensity, energy, and time.