Think back, if you will, to the beginning of your homeschooling journey…the season in which everything was brand new and a little scary. This may be easier for some of you than others, especially if you are recently joining us on this wild and crazy ride!!
I remember it well. I was excited, a little bit nervous, and full of anticipation of things yet to come! And now, with the close of our fifth year coming in May, I am still excited and full of anticipation. But the nervousness has been replaced by a sense of calm. A sense of knowing that I’ve “got this”…with God’s help, of course.
I can also look back, reflecting on the ways in which my approach to our homeschool, as well as that of my daughter’s, has changed over the years. The seasons of our homeschool journey that have shaped where we are today.
Much like the weather changes during our seasons of the year. Or the seasons of life. Of parenting. Of relationships.
In all of these areas of your life, there is one thing you can always count on.
I, for one, feel incredibly blessed that God allows us these changes. Life, without any kind of change, would be quite mundane. Change is one of the things that defines and shapes us. I have illustrated below a number of the ways that I feel homeschooling moms grow during the four seasons of homeschooling.
1. “What in the world have I gotten myself into?”
Followed by a flurry of curriculum research, locating local support groups, and finding anything under the sun (field trips, park dates, etc.) that you can register you and your kiddos for. This is also the season in which you plan to cover about 25 different subjects with your five year old. Isn’t it absolutely necessary at this point that you begin Latin AND astronomy along with math, reading, spelling, writing, grammar, history, literature, vocabulary, critical thinking, sewing, swimming, art AND Bible? With your first grader? Nope. Not even close to necessary. And if this is where you are right now, let me whisper these words in your ear…relax, sweet mom. You will figure it out. You have absolutely no idea how much time you actually have to cover all of these things. Years. Literally.
2. “This isn’t so hard after all!”
The calm has begun to set in. You and your kids are beginning to hit your rhythm. You have an idea as to the learning styles of your students. You have a pretty good grasp (in terms of your basic subjects) on what works for you and what doesn’t. A basic schedule has started to take shape as far as when you do school (times of the year…times of the day…days of the week), and you are beginning to be comfortable with the lulls that happen with every day life. Curriculum isn’t working? Toss it. Start over. No problem.
Now..this is not to say that every day is smooth sailing. There will still be those rough spots..but now you handle them with more finesse. You’ve learned how to “shake your homeschooling groove thing”, and life feels pretty great!
3. “I’m like a homeschooling ninja!”
Most days you feel like you’ve totally GOT this! Not only that, but you finally feel equipped to dish out advice to new homeschooling moms when asked. You may have a few homeschool conventions under your belt, and your family has developed a strong homeschool network. You know what direction your homeschool is headed in, and you know mostly how you will get there. Your kiddos have settled into a pretty strong routine, and know what is expected of them.
This is where we are now. Our season. I must say it fits me like a worn, comfy pair of old boots. Or a new pair of Yellow Box sandals. Take your pick. All I know is that I’m good here for the time being.
4. “What will I do with all of this free time?”
This is a season I am not yet familiar with, although I have given it a bit of thought from time to time. I’ve got about 8 “ish” years to go, so no hurry on that one. But I have read a bit about it. Some homeschooling moms get more involved in their churches. Some go back to work. The homeschooling community needs its veterans as mentors, so some find their spot there. I know of a few who have found themselves involved in the education of their grandchildren. And then, there are those who enter a season of rest…..well deserved rest.
I have no idea where this season will take me. I know that I will be older and wiser when it arrives. Whichever direction I head, I will know that I have left behind a legacy of having poured all that I could into growing this awesome human being that I will, at this point, most likely call “my friend.”
What season of your homeschool are you in? We would love to hear about how you have grown as a homeschool mom during them!
Ellen is a homeschooling mom to one sweet young girl. If you ask her about homeschooling, one of the first things she will tell you is that it is the “coolest thing I’ve ever done!” Next she’ll let you know that the whole thing was God’s idea, and she just had to pay attention to His calling on their life. She is married to an overwhelmingly supportive man who adores his family. You can find her in her corner of the web blogging away at Grace Tells Another Story, sharing her passion for homeschooling and Jesus, and sharing her thoughts the curriculum she and her daughter review!