Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Open Letter To New Homeschoolers

Dear New Homeschoolers,

Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime, for late night memories & crazy conversations. They are going to happen. When you least expect them. When you most need a laugh. When you’re plate is fit to bursting & you’re ready to give-up. It will happen.

Get ready for cozy days curled up together in front of the fire reading aloud to your children. For unexpected trips to the park. Vacations when everyone else is still in school. For hot cocoa & Bible studies, & maybe a few extra marshmallows to boot.

But, Fellow Homeschooler, don’t feel disheartened when things don’t always work out. When the well meaning project involving glue & glitter takes you 2 years, a house move, & a professional cleaner to resolve. They’ll happen too. You’ll want to scream & cry, but it’s okay.

Don’t panic when your kids don’t want to sit still & listen to the book your reading. When thy tell you it’s the worst thing they’ve ever heard in their whole life. Or when they make enough noise you can’t even hear yourself reading anymore.

You’re going to have moments when you’re going to have to talk yourself out of bed to face another day. Another math lesson that you’ve all ready taught three times, but just doesn’t seem to be sinking in. When one more phonics lesson might really put you into a serious coma-state. There’s going to be that moment when you look up & realise all the huffing, puffing, shouting, & tantruming was actually you & not the three year old.

You’ll waste precious time looking for lost books. You’ll keep your library well stocked just on overdue fines. You’ll find your library never has the book you want or need despite that well padded overdue fines account you ring up. Your printer will run out ink in the middle of printing a lapbook at 12am because you totally forgot to do it during free-time on the weekend.

Dear New Homeschooler, don’t give in. Don’t throw in the towel. Don’t compare yourself to Suzy or Jane. Their instagram photos only tell half the story, the unspoken words. The before. Or, maybe the after. They won’t tell the struggles Mamma’s climbed to get there or the disaster created in the process.

Those Facebook accounts tend to focus on the best, the side they want you to see. The success. They forget that with every success story comes a struggle. They may not share the years of hard work, searching, & sacrifice it took for their child to learn to read, to finally succeed in math, or to write in a straight line. 

Don’t drool longingly over blog posts. Don’t compare yourself to what you see there. They only tell half the story too. Don’t be fooled by half the story. Feel free to write your own. Don’t rush. Instead, plod gently down the path you’re forging. Go boldly forward & know that no one has it all under control. You’ve got this!


Corinna Rhodes said...

Love this Kendra. Great reminder for all homeschooling Mum's at the start of the new year.

Kendra said...

I need the reminder myself.. :)

Melissa said...

Indeed a letter for newbies and oldies :)

Rhiannon Hammerich said...

Hello fellow Aussie,

Oh wow what an amazing letter and soooo encouraging and upbuilding. I am begining my 2nd year homeschooling a 7year old, 4year old and now a 9week old. Last year I was so overwhealmed, totally felt I was on a rollercoaster all year. I restructured my organisation for this year to take things slowly and not to structure a learning day in the time slots that schools do. We began schooling again on Monday just gone and the week was fantastic, myself an my boys had sooo much fun. Your letter has lifted me to cloud 9. Thankyou for those words. xx

Aussie Pumpkin Patch said...

Oh Rhiannon, I'm so glad I was able to encourage you. Homeschooling is not for the faint at heart, & too often veteran homeschoolers paint a picture of beauty & simplicity, but I'm hear to say that beginning our 11th year I still run around like a headless chook at times! Slowly is a GREAT way to put it, I still have to remind myself of that very word each year that there's no need to rush things. :) Enjoy your journey.