That was my initial reacting when my mother half-jokingly suggested that I homeschool her precious grandchildren who are “too smart and special” to be around other children and taught by a stranger.
Bless her heart.
The funny thing is that I couldn’t shake the thought. The more I thought about it….and watched the news, the more I warmed up to the idea of homeschooling but the logistics and actuality of it scared me. At the time my three youngest children were at home with me, ages 3, 2, and newborn. I am blessed to be a stay at home mom, but it seemed ridiculous and overwhelming with everything I was already trying to manage. How would I start? What would I teach them? Would they listen? Do I have time for this?
And scariest of all was the thought of shouldering the burden of being gatekeeper to their pathway of knowledge and education. AM I CAPABLE?
I had to take a mental step back, breathe, and look at the possibilities in real terms. First of all, it’s preschool material. It doesn’t have to be a set school schedule like 8am to 4pm. I can work it around our normal day and there are plenty of great resources to help get started. Plus, who doesn’t have at least one friend who is a teacher that can answer some basic questions for you, seriously! So, that’s how I decided I CAN do this. Since homeschooling seems so weighty to me I prefer “Homemade learning”. It feels more comforting than “homeschooling”.
The change in attitude really helps. At the end of the day, as parents, we are already teaching our kids so many things just from our daily lives and how we interact with them. It’s deciding to purposefully add educational components to what you are already doing every day. As I started to search online for worksheets and activates, not going to lie, I was ready to end it all. THERE IS SO MUCH! Word of advice: keep it simple! If you have preschool age kids like me and want to give them a head start, decide 4 or 5 topics you want them to focus on thought the “year”. Letter recognition, number recognition and sequence, sensory activates, colors, and shapes are great subject starters. If your kids are like mine, they like hands-on activities. Crafting letters with popsicle sticks and paint is a huge hit with them. Fuzzy pom-poms for counting and sorting, finger writing in a pan of sand, stacking counting cubes, hide-n-seek with shapes….these are all things we do that help keep them engaged and enjoy learning. Our local library has story time which is a great way to switch up your routine or make a regular part of your routine. I found that the more our day was structured, I actually got more done, the little ones were less cranky, and because they were using so much mental and physical energy - they took great naps!
WINNING! I want to encourage you to not be intimidated by the IDEA of teaching your children. Sit down, write out want you want their education experience to look like, and implement w hat you can. When you see it on paper in real terms, it will make sense to you and seem more achievable.
My journey started two years ago and currently one of three I mentioned before is in 1st grade at a traditional school. The two still at home are doing well and “never want to leave mommy” (or want mommy to be out of their sight at all). There are still days that just don’t work as well as others. It’s not perfect by any means, but by taking ownership and finding what works best for you and your family, it can be so rewarding and amazingly satisfying. Eventually all of our children will join traditional school classrooms, but I wanted to have the first educational influence over their tiny minds. It’s made me a more involved parent for my two children in school (that’s 4 kids total if you’ve lost count). Learning starts and should continue at home, whether you are “homeschooling” or not. I am responsible for knowing what my children are learning and furthering their quest for knowledge. So to answer those doubts in your mind or even the lack of “want to”, just know that you CAN do it. You ARE capable.
Resources and support are READILY AVAILABLE.
From one momma to another….WE GOT THIS!