Whether we are homeschooling or sending our kids to public school, the heart and soul of a mother lies in her children.
Homeschooling my children is the most rewarding, and the most challenging thing I have ever done—and there are some days when I think I’m crazy. But I know I’m not alone. A lot of moms make themselves crazy trying to do the best for their children. It’s the challenges and rewards of motherhood, met in love, that serve as the common thread for all of us, even when our methods or backgrounds are vastly different.
This year I am going into my fourth year of homeschooling our daughters. It’s a choice that is not what society considers “normal,” and therefore I regularly field questions and comments about our family’s decision. Here are some of my responses to the most common questions that get asked about homeschooling.
This question makes me smile because a lot of homeschooled children are extremely social. There are days when I feel like there is no time to do school work because our calendar is filled with so many social activities.
There is a myriad of homeschooling groups that meet regularly throughout the Black Hills area. With our involvement in these groups, my daughter has participated in track meets, gone on field trips, and had many of the same socializing opportunities as public school children.
I am not, and have never been, a patient person with anyone. While having children has increased my patience levels to a certain degree, there is not an extra measure that God doles out for homeschooling mothers.
Just like any one who has multiple tasks going on at one time, patience is a virtue I struggle with daily. My daughters and I will argue as we go through lessons; very much like public school parents who battle through their children’s homework on a daily basis.
Our days are very different. Between managing two businesses, homeschooling and handling household responsibilities, no days are the same. But somehow we manage to make it through and get all of our lessons done.
No, I don’t. Most homeschooling parents don’t and are still successful. Today’s Information Age provides a multitude of teaching resources for every kind of education method, and I have always had the resources I need right at my fingertips.
Over the last three years I have spent hundreds of hours pouring over resources online, at the library, in bookstores, and at various educational institutions and attractions such as the Sanford Lab, Black Hills State University, Crazy Horse Memorial and Mount Rushmore.
Every night after the kids go to bed, I find myself working on lesson plans and preparation until the wee hours of the morning. In the summer months, I devote my time to researching curriculum options for the following year.
While I don’t have a teaching background, I do have a monumental respect for how much work our teachers put into their job! I know how many hours I spend preparing to teach two children, and I can’t imagine how much time they put into teaching a class of 18-20 kids of varying learning styles and abilities.
One of the things I love about homeschooling is that I am with my kids all the time. Because we are together, our family bond has grown exponentially. I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world. I witness all of my kids’ struggles, achievements, challenges and celebrations, and I love that.
On the flip side, just like any mom, I crave adult interaction every now and then.
I wish I had a crystal ball to answer this one! But right now, it takes everything I have to get through a school year, and when we reach the summer months I breathe a huge sigh of relief.
Homeschooling is difficult and we take it year by year. So, the answer to this question is simple—we will cross that bridge when we come to it. For right now, I’m brushing up on my fractions for next year’s math lessons.
Just as there are an infinite number of ways to parent a child, there are a variety of responses to these comments. Each mother is as unique as her own children, but the love we have for each of them is the common bond that unites us all.
Written by Wendy Pitlick Preparing for Another Successful Homeschool Year