Don’t you just love homeschooling? I do! But there was a time not that long ago I forgot that I loved homeschooling. In fact some days I wasn’t even sure if I liked homeschooling.
See the reality is you don’t need to love homeschooling to homeschool your children. But it sure does help!
We all started homeschooling for different reasons. Whatever that may have been it is probably not the reason you are still homeschooling.
Like most people, I wasn’t planning on homeschooling. But I did choose to homeschool. I did choose to continue to homeschool.
And I fell in love.
Then life changed and I forgot why.
During this time our homeschool was very straightforward, making off boxes, getting it done. Oh, it worked but it sure wasn’t what you would call fun.
As time went on and we learned to cope, we moved out of survival mode slowly adding park days on weekends, library trips and hands-on experiments on my off days. It was better than it was and color slowly returned to our homeschool.
I wouldn’t say it was a great moment of joy.
I knew something was missing but I didn’t know it was me.
When I returned to work I went back because I had to, not because I wanted to. When you’re young you make mistakes. And eventually, these need to be taken care of.
For us a lack of understanding credit cards, loans and other financial matters aided in the mistakes we made. I knew I wanted my kids to understand this better than I did.
So I did what I do best. Make a plan.
I found, purchased and printed off Budgeting 101: Teaching Kids to Manage a Budget.
I used cardstock to make it bright and colorful. My daughter and I were excited. My son was okay. After all, it wasn’t on the original plan so he wasn’t all in yet.
It started out great, we organized the binders, set up a schedule, and dug in each week.
As we moved through I noticed there were things I wouldn’t be getting the children to do such as call companies and ask for quotes. That was okay, I changed it up to suit our needs. I got the kids to figure out how they would find the information, research, and problem solve.
One day we hit a roadblock.
Like most roadblocks in our homeschool, had I been paying attention I may have seen the signs pointing to a problem. I may have been prepared.
Oh, I could make the excuse that I was busy, rushing around, juggling a million things which is all true. However, I wasn’t there.
Even on days I was home I set the assignment in front of the kids and let them figure it out while I did laundry or dishes. Physically there? Check. Mentally or emotionally available? Nope. I was lost in the day to day chores, catching up and life in general.
One day I walked by to see tears and a buried head in arms. Uh oh. Now what?
She didn’t understand insurance, what it was? Why it was needed? She was angry I wasn’t explaining it. So I explained and explained and explained. I drew on paper. I drew on a white board. I used all my skills and yet nothing clicked. I got frustrated until I was almost in tears. I called a break.
“Let’s pick it up on my next day off.”
Next time instead of just checking in I was there. We set it up, but instead of me handing over the paperwork I put it down on the kitchen table in front of me. I stood at the tableside with hot chocolate, coffee, and cookies.
Then I was teaching the kids about insurance, the different types and how to impacts us, difference from other countries.See the reality is you don’t need to love homeschooling to homeschool your children. But it sure does help!Click To Tweet
I was standing at the table, talking, gesturing, teaching. I mean really teaching, it was a great discussion and laughing and it was amazing!
We talked. We discussed what insurance was, why we buy it and how we chose the companies to deal with.
We chatted about terms such as “Act of God” and “Deductible” and other unknown terms. What I knew, I explained. What I didn’t, we used the dictionary, google and actual papers. Then we filled out the charts and worksheets our way.
In that moment I realized that was my win for the week. (month? year?) A true win. I realized this is what I love about homeschooling, this is what I want to do.
Being a Teacher
From that day on I made an effort to do more than “check in” in our homeschool. When the situation calls for it to “teach” engage, listen, open up the discussions and let them lead.
My kids are teenagers and they like learning independently from me.
That means they disappear into books, tablets and other rooms coming up for food once in awhile.
But I look for the signs now. I peek over shoulders, ask questions, and listen in.
We talk, sharing silly stories, interesting facts and they teach me what they are learning. We plan subjects each week that was save for one on one teaching such as Analytical Grammar and others just happen. Those are my favorite.
So 10 years later I am still in love with homeschooling and I hope years from now I will still be in love with homeschooling. What about you?