Our first year of Homeschooling is coming to an end, oh what a year it has been. A year full of adventures, learning adventures, indeed. Maybe more for me and my husband, than the kids. Then again both kids have soaked up this year of knowledge like little sponges. When you look at your average beginner homeschooler, I possibly fitted right in that cliché, and in some way I still do. I worry way too much about our proper school days, worry too much about work and text books and time well spent. This is by far my biggest struggle. Oh it all sounds so easy some days. Coming across so many different homeschool books this year that I read, I have been opened up to many new parenting styles. Honestly it has been a while that I read many parenting books, after my second one is near Kindergarten age, it hasn’t been that important. Sleeping wars were more or less handled, when to feed and what to feed was all dine and dealt with. At once I thought, oh I got this, things will get easier, they are getting older. Parents of multiple kids and older kids will surely agree, it really doesn’t get that much easier. Little kids, little problems, big kids bigger problems. There is always something. And with homeschooling the door of ” somethings” has been opened up “big time.”
When I had my first child I often though, oh I just have to make it to school age, then I have days off , can spend more time on housework, cook fancy dinners, garden, read, educate myself more again and possibly work again as well. I don’t know how seriously I was about these thoughts back then, but back in my head they were there. Having a family has always been most important to me. Even though I come from an amazing family and had a beautiful childhood there were things I thought I could do better. I knew I always wanted to be a stay at home mum and not let business come in our way. With many big career choices for my husband and also myself, this truly has been a lot harder than I ever thought. And I can understand my parents so much better these days.
Nevertheless these things are and will always been important to us. And this is why I can back up homeschooling for myself. Now reading about all these amazing homeschool families brings me to conflicts ever so often. I have found how wrong I have been about previous methods on how to raise my children and family in general and I couldn’t agree more that this year has been a journey for all of us. I struggle with finding strict rules on how to live our daily lives and then I realize again that often there is really no need for it. Yes I agree with many basic rules, and we still try to enforce those general rules. But with many others we try to not let them rule our lives so much anymore. I chose for my kids, that they do not have to spend hours in a classroom anymore and be forced to do things that they hate. I agree that there are things in life, at which we find ourselves at points where we just have to suck it up and do it, and our children do and will face plenty of those, I am sure of it. But during our days I try to make choices in every moment to see what truly is more important. Spending a day with friends and exploring nature in the park, or review addition facts for the tenth time.
For our first year the kids have done amazing, all of us in fact. Yes I praise myself here and my husband because we deserve it. There were days were I screamed and cried, yes days when my kids did the same. Did we have them when we didn’t homeschool ? Yes, but oh so differently and so far less. I have gotten to know my children on so many new levels, they have surprised me so often what smart, little thinkers they are. Learnt to know what they truly like and love and how they think. Both have become great little friends and closer sisters than ever. My husband and I learnt to talk more openly about problems with our kids, seeing problems rise up right in front of you, there are things you can’t deny. I have met many amazing homeschoolers from all sorts of society, from nearly all over the world. Not all of them in person but so many amazing people virtually as well.
I learnt that once again there is no script for homeschooling, just like there is no script for life. Homeschooling is life, life to the fullest with your children. Every day you have the chance to teach them something new. Open their eyes to the world and show them something new. Just like when they were babies. Oh how I loved that time. I loved taking them to parks, showing them animals for the very first times ever. Their expressions were priceless and now I get those excited little faces almost daily again. Not every day is filled with adventures but again, they get time to themselves a lot more to discover and explore things they have around them, they have time to process and think.
I am thankful for all these experiences and our pretty much successful first year of homeschooling. Many things are left to learn. More “styles” of homeschooling to explore, travels and journeys to be made for sure. I know I will butt heads with my children again, but I will take it as opportunities for learning for all of us. I will try to be more understanding and let my children be more of a full person than rather just a child, respect their thoughts, ideas and wishes. Enforce their decisions and let them become more and more independent and I will always choose family over work.