When Homeschool Teaches Me a Lesson

Today has been quite the day! We stayed home sick from co-op because the kids just haven’t kicked their cold symptoms completely. In the meantime, I have been eating supplements like candy to try and stay well because getting sick and taking care of sick kids was how I spent much of our Spring semester of school this year. I don’t hope for a repeat.

I had imagined a snuggling movie day with the kids, but somehow blew that completely out of the water and turned drill sergeant on them instead. It wasn’t pretty. I had done really good on not getting upset and loosing my cool lately, but today wasn’t one of those days.

I decided that we weren’t getting enough done in our days and needed to sit at the table all morning. With two school-aged kids and two little ones running around needing attention I should know better than this, but it’s like I can see that this is not going to go well, but just not stop myself. Anyone else do this? Maybe it’s just me…

Anyway, I started to feel like a failure for still using their workbooks from last year that we didn’t finish. Workbooks that were huge and boring and based on standards that I don’t really hold my kids to anyway. And I definitely wouldn’t want anyone judging their level of knowledge based on these ridiculous books. They were supposed to be a supplemental filler and I was treating them like the law or something.

So, I ripped the pages out that had been completed and threw the other 300+ pages straight in the trash. These were massive workbooks people! Maurice had been asking recently to tear pages out, but I’d been too worried about the pages getting out of order. I’m the same way with printed photographs being in chronological order! I’m a mess! I was also hopeful we’d still finish the workbooks and I’d have a nice record of their work. Since most of our learning is spent catching frogs and listening to stories, I was getting too caught up in the record keeping aspects of homeschool to see how much I was killing their love of learning, while simultaneously killing my love of teaching. All in one terrible day. Ugh.

I’m going back to the way we learn best, tomorrow. Without pressure and harsh words and judgy pages of busy work. I’m going back to days with love and kindness and interest in the (real life) subject matter. It may not always be this easy as the kids get into older grades, but it definitely doesn’t need to be this miserable right now.