Homeschool by Andrea Dodd

“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them – every day begin the task anew.” ~ St. Francis de Sales

My chest is heavy and my eyes are begging to tear. I’ve been swallowing the lump since I met my students this am, already sitting at the kitchen table, ready to start their day. Standing above them, I take note of the energy in the room; Corbin (10) is quiet and Anna (7) blurts “what do I start, mama?” Oliver (8) is clearly battling a case of goofy; which is not an ally of his easy distraction. I skimmed through three homeschool resource books, drew up lesson plans plus 30 math facts for each child, and created journal entries last night while the family watched a movie. I bounce between three syllabuses all day long, and I’m suddenly struck with “what the hell am I doing?!”

It’s one of those curriculums that gently expects you to be creatively sharp every day of your life. At any given moment, it wants me to create my own impromptu math story problems and verbally deliver them to Anna. Corbin is supposed to read to me  and discuss her book and Oliver is supposed to be mastering cursive and copying paragraphs that I have written for him in cursive (um. do you write in cursive anymore!?). All of which requires ME. It is very hands on, which is great. It’s… why I’ve committed to homeschooling the kids. But, I am realizing I’m totally rusty or have forgotten the PROCESSES that I need to have memorized and mastered in order to give the kids the right foundation in their education. I’m relearning while teaching and I HATE saying “I don’t know.” So, I don’t. I just get frustrated. (It’s a fault of mine). I try to make myself feel better by saying “an English teacher would be struggling with math for a third grader, too”.

So, when I’ve about had enough of the negative chatter, I summon Nicole, my truth toughie best friend. She simply said “Confidence, dear”. I scoff at it, but it beckons my attention throughout the day alongside the tight chest.

CONFIDENCE… I add patience, Andrea.

Allen and Oliver head out after our school day is over, and he shoots me a text of Ollies comment: “I want to homeschool my kids”

I guess not all is lost. There’s always tomorrow.

*Do you homeschool? How do you keep inspired? Why did you decide to homeschool? What are the benefits? What are the draw backs?  If you don’t homeschool, would you consider it? If not, why?

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Bad at gaming the system « Un-schooled
  2. Kate
    Jan 20, 2011 @ 14:01:36

    I love your description of the curriculum! Great post!


    • appletiniteacher
      Jan 20, 2011 @ 14:22:17

      Thanks, Kate! I loved your UNschooled post- I too think it’s important for kids to learn that it IS in fact very fun to learn. It may very well be why Im a homeschooling mama:) There’s days that I really feel this excitement about the kids’ schooling experience… My littlest, Anna, who has struggled with reading said to me the other day “Mom, can I keep reading?” Instant sunshine in the soul:)


  3. Kate
    Jan 20, 2011 @ 20:30:22

    It is pretty exciting, to be that involved in their learning. I’m glad my mom was that interested in my life :)


  4. Holly
    Jan 20, 2011 @ 21:00:52

    Linked here through Kate’s blog and thought I’d answer the questions! First I’ll comment on your great post. Don’t be so hard on yourself! Sometimes it is better to watch the movie with your family and the take the day off then to stress yourself out. Be confident and patient, take a deep breath, and relax. :)
    The questions.
    Do you homeschool? Yes
    How do you keep inspired? By watching my kids learn on their own and feeding off their excitement. Also by having a great support network of friends.
    Why did you decide to homeschool? I want my children to know who they are. I think homeschooling will give them the best chance at discovering that.
    What are the benefits? The flexible schedule. The time together. Getting to learn so much myself!
    What are the draw backs? Scheduling time for myself.


  5. Sonita
    Jan 23, 2011 @ 07:28:28

    *Do you homeschool?
    Yes, we’re Christian unschoolers
    *How do you keep inspired?
    My kids inspire me, my own curiosity inspires me, life inspires me, other homeschool moms inspire me, documentaries inspire me…
    *Why did you decide to homeschool?
    Because PS wasn’t working for my child, at all. He was a curious and inquisitive child and 2 years of PS (PreK and K) killed that in him. He’s got it back now :)
    * What are the benefits?
    My son got his love of learning back, he’s excited about learning again, I don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn and fight with him about getting ready to get to the bus stop on time, I don’t have to stop my day in the middle of the day every day to go get him form the bus stop, my kids are closer (best friends), he can learn what he wants, he has free time to be a kid, and so many more!
    *What are the draw backs?
    Sometimes mama needs a break! LOL
    But I must say, lack of socialization isn’t one of the drawbacks!


  6. Siggi
    Jan 25, 2011 @ 08:37:20

    I homeschool with my four year old twins and their kid brother (aged 2). Why? Because they want to learn, and it helps to throw ideas at them in a somewhat cohesive form! (At least it helps me!)
    What keeps me motivated? They wake me up every morning asking if it is homeschool time yet! Seriously! Sure, they have the attention span of amoeba, and take off to play in the middle of things, *but they always come back.*


  7. Norlin
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 13:51:20

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I really love hanging out with my 9 and 5 year old kids. When I started homeschooling last year, I thought I’d be doing a lot of teaching. Turns out, I actually learn a lot more from my kids. They’ve taught me to let go and to live in the moment. That learning is a natural process and it happens all the time for them. I can’t stop them, even if I want to, actually.

    I do have days when I wonder if I’ve provided enough stimulation/activities towards their learning experiences. When this happens, I’d reach put to other homeschool friends or read other homeschoolers blogs (like yours and Kate). They always put things into perspective for me. And as a homeschooling friend once told me, I just need to trust my kids that they are learning.


  8. tereza crump aka MyTreasuredCreations
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 14:29:43

    yes, we homeschool. I don’t use a Curriculum per se. My DD8 learned to read and now my DD5 is learning. I have 2 more children under 4 y.o. We learn every day. We ask questions, we watch TV, we read a ton of books, we play games on the internet and in real life. We do stuff together. I try not to stress and they surprise me every day with the things they know.

    My children are my greater inspiration as well as curiosity. I love to read on new curriculum, or new ways of doing things. I love to try it my OWN way so in the end I learn new things, the kids learn new things.

    We began homeschooling because we didn’t want them expose to “stuff” in PS. Now we homeschool because of the freedom it provides, as well as because we get to spend all this awesome time with our children. I love to see them discover new concepts and things. :)


  9. inhistiming
    Feb 24, 2011 @ 10:57:20

    We homeschool…for many different reasons. Moving often, avoiding ‘those’ influences, delayed ability in one child, I wanted to be with my children, SO much freedom to learn what we want, how we want, when we want. For inspiration I read lots of homeschooling books….lately mostly those on simplifying. I LOVE the unschooling handbook by Mary Griffith….still gleaning and hoping to implement many of her ideas. I also read lots and LOTS of homeschool/unschool blogs. A big drawback is never having time alone, but then I didn’t have a large family so I could be alone! (we have 5 children from 4 months to 13 years) We’ve been homeschooling 5 years and I would say one of the best benefits has been that we still have the biggest influence on our children.


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