It’s that time of year again.
My Facebook feed has been filled with back to school pics of some sort or another.
I have to say that I love them all. The cheeky grins. The brand new backpacks weighed down with all those school supplies. Those fresh haircuts and new clothes bought at back-to-school sales at Penney’s.
We weren’t doing Facebook or those cute little signs when my sixteen-year-old started kindergarten… let alone when I was in school many, many moons ago.
Though I would give BIG MONEY for pictures of my middle school besties wearing those parachute pants we were all so crazy about.
Being who I am I have as many homeschool Facebook friends as I do public school “friendys.” Some of us have also gotten into the “back to school” pic tradition.
My absolute favorite of all time has to be the time a homeschool family decked out in matching pajamas for their back-to-school picture.
It was EPIC. I can’t remember who did it, but give me a shout out if that was you. I am still telling your story in the homeschool circles.
As we begin our “Back to School” Blog Hop this week I thought I would open up with a little motivational wisdom for some of you newbies or nearly newbies. Or maybe some of you “oldbies” need some reminding of some truths about homeschooling.
It’s the beginning of the year for many of you. Around October the “shiny” is going to start to wear off and some you are going to begin to contemplate putting everybody back on the bus.
Or maybe, you started homeschooling yesterday and you are thinking about registering everybody for Public School tomorrow morning.
You are rethinking this grand experiment and the vision you had in your head for school at home isn’t meeting expectations.
I don’t want to burst any homeschool bubbles, but dear sweet friends.
In the words of my friend, Forest Gump, homeschooling is like opening a box of chocolate. You never know what you’re gonna get.
Those of us who have been at it for a while can tell you this. If you embrace the thing as some sort of wacky and wonderful lifestyle and consider the kinds of relationships you are getting to forge with your children you will be just fine.
Don’t worry. It’s going to get better. Hang in there. Drag down those board games that have been gathering dust. You’d be surprised to know all the wonderful skills simple board and card games teach. My son learned his math facts while playing WAR when flash cards couldn’t do the trick.
Pack up some sandwiches and take walks. The longer you are at this that little backpack holding a lone PB&J will start gathering company. You will soon find a couple of sketchbooks and colored pencils (I prefer the Prism brand, myself) and maybe an obscure reference book you ordered from Amazon to help your band of little explorers identify purple toads and animated stink bugs.
Don’t worry. Everybody has one.
Pick out a book. Pick out three books. If you don’t do anything else. Read. And then read some more. When in doubt, always read. When you are having a rough day, always read. When you think you have too many books…buy some more.
Homeschoolers can never have too many books. Don’t let anybody tell you any differently.
The “Read Aloud” (in my humble opinion) is the cornerstone of civilization and every good homeschoolers abode. My son is sixteen and we still spend our afternoons with a cup of tea and a read aloud. Although now I let Audible read for me.
Just a little side note for the parents of Littles: I always let my son do something with his hands while I read to him. Puzzles, playdough, coloring….You’d be surprised how much those little busy boys absorb when they can move something.
The lesson plans and curriculum are always going to be there. The beauty of homeschooling is that YOU are the captain of the ship. And that ship can be as tidy and as pristine as you need it to be. Or it can be kind of sparkly and a bit wonky like mine.
You will find your way. Just keep at it.
Eventually, you will find your tribe. You will begin to recognize other homeschooling families at the library because of the variety of age groups and because one of the Littles is probably wearing a tutu with snow boots.
There will be some mornings you feel like you need a coffee IV drip. You will feel like you need to hold your eyelids open with duct tape and a little washi tape for decoration.
Some of your favorite features in the whole wide world will be your Amazon wishlist because it helps you organize your readers and read alouds and the online reserve option at your local library.
You will begin to use Youtube for its intended usage…to organize playlists of music for your composer studies AND tutorials on how to use chalk pastels and/or make soap from lye and a rocket from a coffee can (that coffee IV drip has been in full effect this month).
Some of you will have exceptional children who will decide they want to take college classes at 16. Or become pilots or mechanics or teachers or pastors or homeschool mommas. Some of you will have kiddos who take a little bit longer to get there. And that’s okay.
The big picture is those relationships you will build with your kids. Those are indescribable. Those moments spent piled across pillows and couch cushions reading Hank the Cowdog or Caddie Woodlawn are priceless. The time spent in the Word and in prayer with your children can’t be taken away.
These are some of the best days. They won’t be perfect. But they sure will be good ones.
A BIG THANK you to Rebekah Teague from There Will Be a $5 Charge For Whining for writing this article.
Meet some of this weeks participants in the 5 Days of Homeschool Encouragement Blog Hop
Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool
Angie @ Run Ran Family Adventures & Learning
Annette @ A Net in Time
Betty @ Let’s Get Real
Brenda @ Counting Pinecones
Carol @ Home Sweet Life
Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses