Monday, May 17, 2010

Question #100

Does homeschooling ever frighten you? As in, do you ever worry that your kids might now know it all when you’re done?

First off, I want to start out by saying that I, just like every other homeschooler out there, has those moments when you hold your breath and try really hard not to panic. We’ve all probably been there at some point in our homeschooling careers. In fact, I have those moments quite often and my husband, the normal worrier in the house, dutifully takes the time to calm me down and bring me back to reality. 
I think, honestly I do, that it’s easier for someone on the outside looking in to see just how much you’ve accomplished with your children. It’s easier for someone who isn’t with your children 24/7 or who hasn’t climbed the same hurdles and ladders in each lesson to see so much more quickly what we, as the teacher, often overlook.
While I consider my husband a very involved homeschooling parent, we’ll both admit that I do the brunt of the schooling. Which simply means that while I’m lamenting and worrying about my child not being able to remember that 8+8=16, my husband can see the bigger picture. 
He notices that when the boys say, “Hey Dad when was that Star Wars movie made?” He can say, “Nine years ago.”  While I’m sitting there wondering what difference it makes and will my child comprehend exactly when 9 years ago is my child smiles and says, “Wow, so that movie was made in 2001. It’s older then I thought!” 

My husband points out, at moments like those, that it’s those little moments that add up to something bigger. While I struggle with the concept of not worrying about if my kids are up to speed on each and every subject, my husband rests assured that the boys understand the concepts I teach them. 
I think it’s just one of those fates all homeschool Moms (and Dads) are doomed for. The parent who takes on the blunt of the schooling for any particular subject will see the struggles and the progress and while we rejoice and cry with our child, we also have those hopes and dreams for the day when they can accomplish the task without the tears and struggles.
I have a child who has struggled with reading despite the deep desire to learn from the moment he could speak. “When can I read Mommy?” was a constant question. He’d spend hours writing his alphabet at the table and he knew what he was doing too! When the day arrived that I decided to teach him to read, things went downhill quickly.
There were so many tears, frustrations, and outright tantrums and that was just me! Don’t even get me started on the poor child. Reading was such a laborious task for him. One day he’d have it all together and be doing awesome and the next day it was like pure torture again. Unfortunately, I didn’t remain calm during all of those hard lessons.
It was hard for me to see the small progress he was making simply because I wanted him to be able to read one sentence without having to sound out the same repetitive words over and over again. I wanted to escape one simple phonics lesson without a single tear shed. I wanted him to love reading as much as I do, but I was convinced the entire situation was doomed.
Then one day my struggling reader suddenly lamented that he’d much rather not read the fun Little Bear book I’d obtained for him. “Not because it’s hard Mom, but I really find it boring when they just say the same thing over and over again.” 
I was taken aback. I finally saw what my husband had been trying to tell me for months. Our struggling reader wasn’t really struggling anymore. Those trials and hurdles I’d climbed with him, they all paid off. We’d finally reached a milestone.
The truth is that all homeschoolers worry. We worry when we find ourselves repeating the same math problem, rereading the same history or science lesson. We worry when our child struggles to read and write. We worry that our little one isn’t up to speed with fellow homeschoolers their age. 
So, yes I worry. I’m grateful my husband grounds me in this area. I’m grateful my children amaze me and remind me that the struggles are worth it when we see them triumph. It’s why we, as homeschoolers, seem to find ourselves saying, “Don’t worry, they’ll be fine!” As much as we say it to others is as often as we need to hear it ourselves.

1 comment:

Spesamor Academy said...

Hear! Hear! I second everything you just said. :)
I thought it was just because my husband was so amazing that he could reassure me. lol