August 18, 2017

Dear Homeschool Mom ❤ {5 Days of Back to School Blog Hop}

Dear Homeschool Mom~ An open letter
Dear Homeschool Mom
(or whoever you are),
Hi. It's me, another overwhelmed homeschool parent. I am like you right now. Staring at another year in the trenches. Taking deep breaths. Trying to convince myself that I've got this. I've already knocked out six years, so I should be a pro now. 

Except I'm not.
Because sometimes it feels like it did when I first got started. Looking at this child of mine. Who is dependent on me to provide him what he needs to be a successful God-fearing adult some day. Just like I do every year. Yes, even this 7th year of schooling.

Except, sometimes I think it was easier back then. I didn't know all the homeschooling secrets that I would learn later. The ones that the other homeschool parents already know but don't usually tell the excited newbies.

★You that there will be days when we only make it through with God and coffee and more coffee. And then an evening glass of wine. 

★Or the days when we love our kids, but we might not like them very much.
★The days when we wonder if it's even worth it--because it's hard. Oh so hard. 

★When we call or text a friend and spill our guts worried they will tell us we are overreacting. Or tell us that they knew it was going to be too much for us. 

★Days when we just hide in a closet and cry--so ashamed because we lost our temper again and snapped at our child struggling on something "so easy", or she rolled her eyes at us. again. 

★Mornings when we just don't think we can do it because we've been up all night with the teething baby, but we've already missed three other school days this week and we were already behind.

★Those days when no one is listening to you, no one remembers anything from any previous work, the blank stares. And you feel like you have to start all over--having obviously wasted the last three months.

★When your homeschooling friends share about their amazing lesson plans they have completed for the whole month or (gasp) a year--and you aren't even sure what you are doing today or tomorrow.

★When your oldest is working great, but your toddler decides to drop his naps, and the baby is nursing around the clock again and your teaching is just...not happening.

★The days when you really wonder if you can hack it. If you are going to even make it to third grade. Much less high school.

★When your son is finishing second grade and STILL doesn't seem like he can read well, even though you have worked and worked with him. And you wonder if you really AREN'T qualified enough to teach him.

★When you just had public school parents who are friends talk about how they would never want the pressure of being the one responsible for their child's education because how can you ever know more than trained teachers---and you doubt yourself and your decision. Again.

★When you start a new curriculum and realize it is going to cover things you just don't know yourself. And wonder how on earth you are supposed to TEACH them to your child.

★When you wonder how much your child would really truly be affected by you putting them back in public you watch the yellow bus go by.

★When you hear about the amazing activities and co-op groups your online friends are able to do with their children, but you don't have the money to even buy more than a very used curriculum this year...much less gas to take them to other places. Which would be impossible since you're a one car family anyways.

★When you see other homeschool moms worried about their child knowing their states and capitals--and you are crying because your special needs child will be lucky to even be able to read or write their own name.

But dear homeschool mom...don't forget about the other moments...
♥The moment when your child says all the sounds of the alphabet correctly and with pride.

♥When they correctly sound out and read their first words and look at you with that wonder in their eyes of their accomplishment.

♥Hearing them read to you their first story, and you realize you did it. You--plain old high school graduate without college degree you--just taught your child to read.

♥When you are out shopping with them and you realize they are reading the signs and prices as you go.

♥When your oldest suddenly shares with someone a fact from a lesson you were SURE they had purged from their memory.

♥When your littlest is sitting with daddy in a sound booth at church, and then suddenly tells him that there are 56 knobs on the equalizer because there are 7 rows of 8.

♥When the weather channel is on and your boys are competing with each other to identify all the states that pop up, while their anti-homeschooling grandpa stares at them in amazement

♥When you are out and about on a school day, and another adult smiles after you tell them "no, they aren't out of school, we homeschool" and the adult confides that "you've made the right choice."

♥When out of the blue they tell you how much God means to them and mention scriptures that you have been reading each day before school.

♥When they become enamored with a butterfly they saw on a flower outside and want to learn all about it and spend the day WILLINGLY reading and writing and drawing about any and all things related to butterflies---and you let them because who really cares about grammar lessons when their heart is set on learning the anatomy of a butterfly and wanting to write a proper sentence so that grandma can learn about this beautiful butterfly too.

♥When they are holding the doors open for the people coming in or out of the store without being asked.

♥When your autistic son has a good day and you made it through a store without a break down.

♥When your sensory disorder diagnosed daughter eats a food out of the blue today that previously made her gag and throw up--and then steals all of yours off your own plate and eats that too.

♥When you see your children happily playing with others of every age and race and background on the park playground, and then watch them stand up to a bully without fear, even though you just heard a family member say your child would never be socialized enough to cope with the real world.

♥When your child earns a scholarship and is accepted to a well known college even with their "homemade" high school transcript that you were told by naysayers no college would ever accept.

♥When your child is accepted into med school, fulfilling their dream of practicing medicine. The dream they first found a passion for when you allowed them the freedom to study anatomy to their hearts content so many years ago...shortly after you pulled them out of public school, because you discovered they were being labeled a trouble maker due to their short attention span.
So my dear homeschool mom...hang in there. Fasten your seat belt as you begin a new year. I don't think it will ever NOT be scary to start a new year. It IS scary to think about all that we have taken upon ourselves when we decided we were going to take the road less traveled. Let's try to remember as we start this year--WHY we chose to go this path. Let's remind ourselves what we are GIVING our children, not what they are being restricted from as some would remind us. Don't forget that we aren't being selfish--or over protective. Or maybe we are being selfish for wanting them to have the very best without the painful pressures that this world would throw on them as they tried to find their way. We are doing this because the love we have for them, means we want the VERY best for their education. And that very best is for them to be able to learn and grow up with a support system like none other in this world. Having their biggest cheerleaders also be their teachers. Being able to celebrate their small victories, not just the big ones. To be able to saturate their day with God's love for them. To give them a safe place to explore their dreams at their own speed. Where no one ever makes them feel like they are not enough. Or not good enough. 

Dear Homeschool Mom, 
Just remember that I have all the same fears and bad days that you do. They are just different. And that all we both can do is the best that we can with what we have. And trust God to help us where we lack. 

With God All Things Are Possible...even teaching our child high how to conjugate verbs. (wink)

May you be blessed on this new school year and never forget that you are not alone in the trenches. We stand with you. We will share your burden. We will make it through---and so will you.

Thank you for joining me over the last five days as we explored the 5 Days of Back to School Blog Hop! There have been 35 of us participating in the Homeschool Review Crew blog hop and I hope you have been able to visit some of the other bloggers too. 

Don't forget that you can visit my LANDING PAGE to go back and read all of the posts I've had this week. I really appreciate the support and kind words! I hope at least one post has been helpful!

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