Chilling Out. Letting go. & Having Fun!

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I know many of the blogger super home school Mom’s talk about how everything is awesome.  Their kids are so well behaved and learning at break-neck speed.  Their house household runs like a well-oiled machine.  The all-natural, gluten free, one month meal plan makes the school schedule, co-ops, ballet, tap, violin, underwater basket weaving class more manageable.  But I’m here to tell you – THIS.IS.NOT.ALWAYS.AWESOME.  I am not a super mom.  I pretty much struggle every stinking day.

At the end of last semester we were nearing Christmas and the absolute END of my rope.  I shut down.  I can’t tell you how many times at night, in my husband’s arms I just shook with sobs and announcements that “I just can’t do this.  I’m not cut out.  I give up.”  Jim is so good to listen and let me vent.  He then picks up the pieces of me and helps me rebuild my confidence piece by shaky piece.  I took 2 full weeks off before,during and after Christmas to just unplug from the whole homeschooling thing.  I put my teachers guide away and shelved every single subject and literally haven’t looked or thought about it for 2 weeks.

Jim had a heart to heart with the kids and asked them what they liked and didn’t like about homeschooling and my son, at age 7, had such an insightful observation that it almost knocked the wind out of me.  He said, “I like it when Mommy is just being Mommy – not the teacher.  Mommy is fun.  The teacher Mommy isn’t.”  I had to sit in silence for a good 5 minute letting this settle into my soul.  “…Mommy just being Mommy.”  Wow.  That’s it.  That really is the root of everything I’m doing wrong.  I am taking myself out of my element and trying to do what I think I should be doing instead of just doing what I did their whole lives when I taught them their colors, letters, numbers, to read, simple math, etc etc.  We just live, we see, we read, we watch, we learn.  When Jackson was 3 I used to watch what he was getting into (dinosaurs, space, firefighters etc) and when we would go to the library I would grab a huge pile of books of that subject.  And then I would just have those around.  The boy would read what he could, look at pictures, bring them to me to read to him, ask questions, we played with Playdough and made little planets and put them in order from the sun and WE HAD FUN.

But that was because I wasn’t “homeschooling.”  In my mind there was no pressure.  I was just doing what naturally came to me for my child.  I don’t know what paradigm shift I had once I pulled my kids from public school, bought my curriculum, stuck my chest out and announced to the world, “I shall NOW begin to home school.”  What the hell is that?  I have to relax.  I have to stop worrying that my kids aren’t going to be well-rounded, educated, smart, courteous adults if right now I don’t follow some regimented schedule.  They will learn what they need to learn, when they need to learn it.  I am not a paid, public educator who has to answer to some bureaucracy at the end every 6 weeks (I pray for our teachers and the monumental task they are given every day).  Hell, I don’t have to answer to anyone except myself.  And “myself” needs to chill-the-fuck-out and stop being so hard on herself.  I am a free, adult, caring, creative, loving MOM who knows her kids better than anything else on this planet and is devoted to their well being and education.  I have got to give myself credit that IT WILL BE OK.  IT WILL BE OK.  IT.WILL.BE.OK.  They will be educated, kind, caring, HAPPY adults if I just keep doing what I know I’m good at – being their Mommy.  I suck at standing at a chalkboard and being a cliche’ teacher.

I shall return to this blog and read it often to remind myself of this.  If you are about to begin your homeschooling journey, learn from me – just chill out.  Stop stressing.  Just be Mommy.  Love your kids, watch them, let them tell you what and when it’s time to learn and sort of toss ideas their way.  Bam – done.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Heidi Taylor  •  Jan 7, 2014 @3:08 pm

    See there. You’re getting it. Nearly every unschooling mom goes through the “classroom in the home” phase. Someday when a new himeschooler tells you about the class room she set up in her home in preperation for homeschooling, you’ll just send her an encouraging smile and remember your iwn process, and with the knowledge that the world is a classroom.

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  • Why I Write this Stuff

    My children called me Bobby when they were toddlers due to not being able to prounounce "Mommy." They are now 7 and 8 years old and I am Mommy. But my real name is Mandy. I just do this so I can keep in touch with the REAL me. Being a Bobby is a dream I thought I may never realize and I do not take it for granted. I homeschool (more specifically unschool) my two children and it's easy to lose yourself in the tasts of the day. I just want to make sure that after 19 or so years have passed,and my kids have moved out, I'm not stuck looking in the mirror and squinting in hopes of seeing Mandy again.