To the New Homeschoolers Out There (and Veterans Too): Day 1 Back to Homeschool

Please click here to see all of the posts in my 5 day series: Back to Homeschool!

Summer is winding down.  A “new” school year is coming upon us.  In many parts of the country traditional schools have already started and my Facebook newsfeed already shows me that lots of my homeschool friends from around the country have started a new year too.  In our family we generally homeschool year round though we do so more gently in the summer.  We like the routine and the slower pace it affords us during the busier seasons so we keep up with the basics.

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I want so desperately to hang on to summer this year.  My children are growing so fast.  Fall means both of my boys will turn another year old. My oldest will turn 10.  His days of endless pretend play, fort building, and the fun and silliness of childhood are numbered.  The teen age years are barreling down the pike.  I only have 8 more years to be his homeschool mom and then I have to launch him into the world.  The last 10 have flown buy so I know the next 8 will too.  Wasn’t he just a baby in my arms?

To all the new homeschool moms and the veterans too… these are precious days that we’ve been blessed. Despite the chaos and stress that homeschool often brings I want to savor the good moments.  So to you I say…. Start the new year very very slow and let summer live on a while longer. All of the museums, parks, libraries, beaches will be emptying out. Now is the time to go enjoy them. So do it. Take out a stack of library books and read them aloud. Fill up the car, pop in an audio drama and hit the road to some further away field trip. Talk, laugh, draw, paint, and make messes. Add in just one thing, maybe some math, just a few days a week. Slowly slowly slowly build on that. If homeschooling is new to you then understand that it is a new way of living. It will take time to figure it out. New or veteran, give yourself and your kids and ocean full of grace.  Remember, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for both you and your children.

Just the other day I sat with a mom who is just starting down this homeschool journey.  We both realized that the world will look different as a homeschooler and that it’ll take some time to unlearn the old traditional school ways.  Later I got to thinking about some veteran homeschool moms we know (including me sometimes).  We get so caught up in getting it all in and getting it all done.  Life feels rushed where we go go go. No time to really stop, pause and observe. Sometimes we move through life, adventures, and experiences, and even our lesson plans too quickly. Once we’ve done something we have the attitude of “been there seen it.” To me that is just skimming through life and learning.  I want to dive deep! You must make time for that. It will take a long time for a new homeschool mom and her children too see the potential and down shift.  To realize how much an outing, a book, a field trip, or sometimes even a friend has to offer. These things are NOT meant to be skimmed over but to be soaked up.  We veterans likely already know but lots of us need a swift kick to remember and take advantage.  

When my kids grow up they won’t think much about our grammar curriculum we did, or the math pages we do. Important stuff yes! I want them to learn that too. But what will really really make a difference in their lives are the experiences we had together and the relationships we built between ourselves and our loved ones.  If I ask my kiddos to name the top 5 things they loved about homeschool the last year they will list slow days with friends at the park, long days on some of our craziest homeschool adventures, the stories we shared either aloud or on CD as we crisscrossed the state in our van, and the times we visited and revisited and revisited again our favorite museums.  Those experiences provided the most learning, had the greatest impact, and brought us close to one another.  I can’t wait for another year full of them!

 

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