Learning at Home

Rediscovering Our Why’s | Reflections After Three Years of Homeschooling

Another homeschooling year is complete, but we’re far from finished learning. I cannot believe we’ve been educating our kids at home for three full years now. God has clearly been granting us a lot of patience for each other.

Noah, making homemade butter and whip cream. This happened because he wanted to learn how one substance, like milk, can become multiple different substances. So, we studied it.

That’s not to say it’s been all sunshine and rainbows. In fact, a month ago I did the thing nearly all homeschoolers have done at least once in their educational careers – I looked up private schools. I seriously toyed with the idea of sending my kids off to a regular classroom five days a week come September.

Why the shift in mindset? I was completely burned out; running on empty. My enthusiasm and creativity were gone. The idea of not being responsible for educating or entertaining my kids for 7 hours a day looked appealing. Very appealing.

In this zone of negativity, I couldn’t remember why I had chosen this in the first place. Maybe I was crazy. Maybe I was depriving my kids of something. All the negatives I’d ever heard about home education suddenly felt like a weight sitting on my shoulders, pulling me down.

Why Did We Choose This!?

Freedom to enjoy our surroundings and each other. Okay so we don’t always enjoy each other, but most of the time we do 😉

So I stepped back. I told the kids we were taking a week off so Mama could take a break. They didn’t need a break, I did. I needed some time to rediscover the why’s.

For the first few days, I didn’t even think about homeschooling. I spent time with the kids outside and in their playroom. I cleaned my house. I cooked meals and baked. Then I talked to my homeschooling support group – fellow Christian Mama friends who have also decided to go against the natural flow of education. Lastly, I read articles from just about everything author and blogger who has ever touched on the topic of homeschooling burnout.

Do you know what I realized? I wasn’t alone. This was a very normal feeling within my circle. I was encouraged by both friends and authors to rediscover our why’s.

I often find myself googling homeschool memes now. They lighten my mood, haha.

Why did we decide to do this in the first place? What is it about homeschooling that first drew us in? What is it about a classroom scenario that we didn’t like? What are the positives and negatives to each educational path? Do I feel God calling our family to go in a specific direction?

What Did We Decide?

And just like that, I had my answer. No, we aren’t suppose to be in regular school. At least not now. We sit together as a family unit and study the things that interest us. There’s time to think, to share, and to take in our surroundings. Nothing is rushed. No question is off limits. Discussion is highly encouraged, even if it takes us 30 minutes off track. Our schedule is ours and the kids genuinely enjoy learning. In fact, they often lead the learning. Inspiration and passion is our guide, and I love that.

The boys completed Kindergarten and Grade 2 last week. This marks my third year of homeschooling.

What have I learned? That I’m only human. I’ve learned that when I get to the point of exhaustion or impatience, it’s likely because I’m trying to control too much or I need a break. Maybe we’re stuck trying to finish a boring curriculum or Mom (me) hasn’t been away from the kids in over a week. Yeah, that happens, guys. I’m very rarely away from my children.

It’s okay to admit that this is hard. It is hard! And some days are harder than others. But that doesn’t mean it’s still not the right path. It just means I need to step back, get some perspective, and re-fall in love with what brought us here in the first place.

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