Life in the fast line...

Homeschooling is pretty much the hardest thing I have ever done.

The actual nuts and bolts of teaching children are fairly simple. Lesson planning is a chore but not too complicated. Children are not always easy to get along with but that's true with any group of people we interact with.

The most difficult part of homeschooling is the anxiety of wanting it done perfectly. "Are they learning enough?" "At what age are they supposed to know Roman numerals?" "Cousin Betty's kids have dissected fetal pigs and we haven't...Are we failures?" "Aaaack! It's almost September and we haven't made a single trip to a culturally relevant site this month!" My anxious brain travels at the speed of light carrying the burden of the future of my children.

Our culture is designed around the public school system. The year is divided accordingly. All children learn the same things at pretty much the same time. It can be a little disconcerting as a non-traditional educator to do battle with those external expectations. It becomes an internal battle between where we feel called to lead our children (and at what pace) and where we think the rest of the world expects us to lead them.

Ultimately, we know what is important. Are they learning and growing academically? Yes. Are they active and healthy and having their physical and social needs met? Yes. Are they maturing into responsible and virtuous people? Yes.

That's really all I should need to know to slow down the outrageously fast pace of my worry mechanism...and to be at peace.

If I can set aside my pride, I will be much happier. It won't matter to me what other people think. It won't matter if little Suzy learns her times tables 2 days ahead of my kid. It won't matter if I am the only one in the world who thinks this is the right thing to do for my kids.

This year's challenge: To embrace the unique character of my homeschool and the differences and qualities that make us beautiful. Make sure the requirements are taken care of, slow down...And then enjoy the journey.
Posted on August 26, 2008 and filed under "home education", "homeschooling", "lesson planning", "pride", "teaching".