I have an admission. I am intimidated by Pinterest parents. I am. You know the parents who are dying their spaghetti in rainbow colors and making their children’s lunch boxes into awesome cartoon characters. These parents leave me shaking my head! How in the world do they have time to make their own hand sanitizer and personalize their child’s birthday party with every possible creation? These are impressive women and men, but I am not one of them. I want to be. I long to be. But, in the end, I am NOT.
As intimidating as Pinterest parents are, they are nothing when compared with the super homeschool parent! You know who they are…or maybe you are that super parent. Own up to it. Own it! We all stand with mouths agape at your accomplishments. I page through your creations of lap book programs and unit studies with amazement. I look at your collages of organized crafts and science projects and your well organized schedules and I think, “If only…” If only I could be that put together, that creative, that time savvy. If only, if only…
But No, not me. Nope. Not even slightly. I do have a lesson plan…written…even in pretty colors…most of the time…some of the time…
Should I hang my head in shame? Should you? I know that I am not alone. Plenty of you fall into the same category as me. You see those posts right here on this blog or others and you think, “Maybe I am failing,” or “I wonder if I can hire them to homeschool my kid?” or “I’m not telling anyone what my homeschool looks like!”
I say hold your head high ladies and gentlemen. Hold them high and say, “Today we started school before lunch! Today we finished our school work — or at least math and reading! Today I did not yell at anyone, or cause anyone to cry! Today we survived!”
I have encouraged others when they were struggling. I have told them not to worry, not to stress. I’ve told them how cooking meals and grocery shopping and even playing games is educational. But, how do I feel about it really? How do I feel about it when I apply it to my family, my homeschool?
Honestly, I want to be the super mom. I start some weeks that way! It may even last a week or so. Probably over the years it has lasted months at a time, only to have that perfection swept away by the events of life: unexpected circumstances, illness, or just too many days of negative attitudes — swept away and then given up, when too much time passes or passion passes or I decide that I just can’t anymore.
So I guess the question is this:
What does the perfect homeschool look like?
A. Your homeschool
B. My homeschool
C. Super parents’ homeschool
D. All of the above/None of the above
Your answer might depend where on the Bell curve of emotion you fall right now! But, the answer for me is D.
Really, there isn’t a perfect homeschool. Homeschool is fluid. It is constantly changing and morphing into a new form. What is one day perfect for your family may then turn out to be too much a week or month later.
Right now, we are doing great! But, doing great for us right now means that we are doing only the major subjects. It means that we are doing school five days a week and that we are keeping the house clean. That’s it. No art. No science. No handwriting. Spanish when I remember to remind them. I haven’t written a lesson plan in three months!!!
But, we are doing great, because it is where we are right now. It meets our needs, today. Really. You see, my nephew just moved in with us and has begun homeschooling for the first time. We have absorbed him right into our program, and he is catching up quickly — but what a shake-up to everyone. He not only joined our family, he changed countries; and, while he speaks English, he’s not caught up.
So you have compassion for me now, right?! You are saying, “Well, you have an excuse!”
BUT last year, it was that my husband started working from home. And before that, we moved. And another time, we were doing some remodel work. Life is not stagnant. It doesn’t wait or keep things on an even keel.
So, STOP! Stop beating yourself up. Stop saying, “Why can’t I be like super parent!” You are a super parent. You are rolling with the punches. You are loving your kids when anyone else would lock them in their room for a week. You are educating your kids! Homeschool is education. Education is learning to handle every day: how to turn a bad day into a good day, how to make cookies and double the recipe, how to keep a house clean, how to make a meal when you didn’t plan or shop. Education is your child seeing you handle unkind people, or unkind circumstances. Education is reading stories to your children and listening to them read stories to their little brother. Education is being right there in the moment present with your children, there for them. Oh yeah, it is English and math and history too.
Remember, today they know more than they did yesterday and they will know even more tomorrow! So, since your kids won’t say it, and your spouse may not realize that you need to hear it… Thank you! Thank you for showing up every day! Thank you for loving your kids! Thank you for being an awesome educator!
Blog author: Dusty Meyers