It’s hard for me to believe that it’s only been a year since I pulled my oldest daughter (The Adventurer) out of middle school. So much has changed- for all of us.
Are you wondering, is it all good?
Yes, but please don’t confuse that with easy! Honestly, some days are awesome, some are challenging, some are fun. Some days leave me wondering why am I doing this?
So I take a step back, out of their way and remember.
I’ve shifted my thinking about education quite a bit. That shift has made all the difference in our day-to-day lives. To be brief, I let go. Learning is a lovely, natural process. It doesn’t have to be painful (though that realization can be painful).
When the Adventurer left school, she had been recently diagnosed with ADHD. Yet, a new doctor was convinced that she did not have ADHD. She thought she was bright, intuitive and sensitive. School was boring her, making her anxious and defensive.
I see zero signs of ADHD at home now. Zip. She has a high energy level, but now she channels it into her interests.
(WARNING: MAMA BRAGGING AHEAD!)
She’s explored fashion design, discovered she loves ice skating, started her own blog with a jewelry making business to go with it, studied botany, acting, the history of theater and knows more about Greek mythology than most college grads. She works on her novel when the mood strikes her.
And my girl, she sings. It’s the most amazing thing to me, because I can’t. I was the only kid in the third grade who didn’t make the chorus. Oh, the memories!
As for the Butterfly (now 8), she has discovered a love of chemistry, martial arts and spending lots and lots of time outside. She cooks with me, plays games, covers five math lessons in one short sitting and remembers it all…but won’t bother with it everyday. She has studied medieval history, geology, poetry and all things related to owls. She knows what it will take to become a veterinarian (and thought over her goal carefully). She loves video games, painting and crafts. She made Angry Birds out of Bend-a-roo’s for an art show. She hosted our home school group’s talent show and wasn’t the least bit nervous. In fact, she didn’t seem to think it was a challenge at all.
The Princess, (now 5) taught herself to read. She is constantly adding numbers and asking me if she has the right answer. She plays Stack the States, Poptropica and all things Barbie. She would be up all night playing if the rest of us would stay up with her. She texts her dad at work because she misses him.
And thanks to the Olivia series, she thinks our next vacation should be to Venice to eat gelato and ride in a gondola.
Still, we all struggle with certain things. I miss writing. I simply don’t have time. Right now, at this moment, I should be doing something else.
They say the first year of homeschooling is the toughest.
Here are some random thing’s I’ve learned this year:
- A Charlotte Mason approach to homeschooling is beautiful, especially in other people’s homes. It sounds so perfect, but dictation and narration make me throw up a little. I’ll keep the nature study.
- The single most important thing my little women need from me is to be fully present, hearing them. I need to not be distracted by other things.
- It’s very hard for an introvert to stay fully present 24/7. Or even 8/7. I’m working on it, but I need breaks. And that’s okay.
- Each of my girls learn different things in different ways. I’m on to them now. I can help.
- Kids learn. Don’t try to stop them. Let them run with their interests and enjoy the ride.
- I really, really love pecans. I know it’s off topic, but I can’t believe I survived on this planet for 39 years without them. All those wasted years…why? Why did I wait so long?
- Homeschooling is not for wimps. Finding support is essential. I am so thankful for the strong, beautiful homeschooling mama’s I’ve gotten to know this past year.
- I can be crafty once in a while, if glitter glue is not involved. Check out these puffy journals we made together:
There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle. Albert Einstein