Friday, June 22, 2012

Homeschooling for Wimps

 {There it is in all its messy glory, with no attempt to straighten it for the picture}

Every year around this time the same thing happens.  Amidst putting portfolios together to hand in to the school district to prove that I am educating my children, filling out and getting paper work notarized for next year, (because yes I am still home schooling again) picking out curriculum for next year, and writing up lesson plans for now three children I think I am going to lose it.  I threaten numerous times to quit and to put them all in school.  I start searching the internet for classical christian schools in the area and try to figure out how we can afford it if we say, basically stop eating and using electricity.

While I do have a basic backbone to our year, (Ambleside Online and Classical Conversations) I still need tweak things to fit our style, pick a math program that will work and not leave everyone in tears, make decisions regarding certain books and whether they should be on the schedule or not etc etc.  It's stressful because these books cost money, and I want to make the best decisions because I am going to be stuck with them for the year.  I also worry about college believe it or not, and if I am preparing them well enough, and if they will be able to get scholarships so they can actually afford it.

I was going to title this post "Homeschooling is not for Wimps", but that's wrong.  Homeschooling is for wimps, because I am the biggest one, and somehow I am doing it.  I am sure that I am not the only home schooling mom of many who has heard "I don't know how you do it, I could never do what you are doing!", like somehow I have some super powers they don't have.  People assume that I am super organized, super disciplined, super creative, and even find it fun to sit at my desk littered with books and papers for hours and hours planning the school year.  Wrong!

I am such a baby every year at this time.  "I can't do it!", I say for the umpteenth time as I slam a book down the desk.  "This is impossible and no one can do this!"  How can I be expected to keep the house clean, feed the baby, have dinner on the table, keep the 4 year old busy, weed and plant the garden, run errands, and teach full time while being interrupted countless times.  That is at least 4 full time jobs!  I rant and rave and throw my adult temper tantrum as the kids fearfully ask Christian, "Is she really going to put us in school?"

I liken home school planning to giving birth.  Right when you are about to cross over that hump, right before the baby is about to make his or her appearance is when you are yelling, "I CAN"T DO THIS!  WHERE ARE THE STINKIN" DRUGS!"  Then the baby arrives, and you, in your hormone induced euphoria, blissfully forget the whole thing and wonder what you were freaking out about anyway.  So here I am in the midst of the hardest part of the year yelling, "I CAN'T DO THIS!  WHERE IS THE STINKIN' YELLOW BUS!"

But then somehow you do it.  You get over the hump.  The lesson plans are done, you are into the fall and enjoying learning with the kids again and wondering what your problem was.   Thankfully I have an amazing 11 year old daughter who reminds me to calm down and patiently sits down with me and helps call out page numbers and chapters as we go through the weeks, filling in the grid.  I also have a wonderful patient husband, who reminds me that no I am not a failure, that the kids have amazing test scores, and most importantly the relationships we have with our children are priceless. 

So while I wish that I could be paid for these 4 full time jobs that occupy my time, the Lord reminds me that I am being paid, it just isn't in cold hard cash.  What I am being paid with is what money can't buy. 
And I have to apologize again.  No you are not going to school my dears.

And I need to remind myself next year to listen to that still small voice that continually reminds me that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.  If I am feeling burdened, I am doing something wrong and focusing on the wrong things.  I need to remember to put my hope in the LORD and not in my perfect curriculum choices and scheduling.  Those who put their hope in their curriculum choices grow weary and faint, but those who hope in the LORD renew their strength.  They don't grow weary and they don't faint.

So that's where I've been.  Now that I've had my free blog therapy it's back to planning.


  1. Oh Christy, you crack me up! Your kids are great. They're probably the MOST educated homeschooled children I know. You go way above and beyond the necessary, so don't sweat it, girl!! And you actually enjoy learning with your kids and going on field trips. (I'm kinda like, let's just get it done so we can do something fun or take a nap!) And that's the reason why I don't make up my own lesson plans :) Plus, I basically have nobody telling me what to do or that I even need to test my kids! I do need to get grades turned in though. Anyway, it's good to hear that sometimes you feel like a wimp and you can't do it :) :)

  2. Thanks Ginger. :) Taking a nap, now that sounds like a good idea! Now I need to figure out how to put that in the schedule.

  3. This is my favorite post by you EVER. So real. Thanks for dispelling all the myths I had about you. lol (Although I still think you're more organized, more disciplined, and definitely more energetic than I am.). I'm impressed that you keep to your plan and schedule! I rarely look at mine after October. :)

    Blogging is definately therapy! Best part, it's free. :)

  4. Christy, one thing you are NOT is a wimp.
    Love you...Mom

  5. Yes I am Mom. I just act tough on the outside. :)

    You are welcome. Now If I was just brave enough to post pictures of what the rest of the house looks like right now as I spend all my time planning you would probably feel even better. But I don't know if I could go that far. :) Baby steps.

  6. After reading your post, I could see that you are passionate in what you are doing. May you continue to inspire more people.


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