You Want the Truth About Homeschooling?

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Are you new to homeschooling or thinking about doing so in the future? What do you think of when homeschooling comes to mind? A beautifully coiffed Mom teaching her neatly dressed children, while simultaneously polishing the furniture and baking bread? Exquisitely mannered children doing everything they can to please said Mother? This is my wake-up call to you…that’s not reality!
Don’t fall into the trap of believing all the sugar-coated stories you hear of homeschooling! While there may be amazing families out there who seem to exemplify perfection- this is not the norm! Homeschooling families are real families with real issues, just like yours.
This was almost my homeschooling downfall- I was comparing myself to the fairy tale version of it, and if you’re a new homeschooler, you need to know the truth! That’s what I’m going to tell you today.

– Your house will be messy at times, but learning is happening, and memories are being made!

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My table looks like this at least three times a day.

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It will get cleaned!

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This is where the learning and memories come in.

Remember that your house is lived in 24 hours a day. Don’t beat yourself up if it gets a little cluttered at times. It happens when you’ve got kids at home- all the time.

– Your laundry will pile up, but that’s a great excuse to do school in your jammies!

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Don’t panic. This is extreme- I’ve got twelve people in the house and one washer and dryer.

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Bailey learning in his jammies

Yes, there are going to be days when your kids have to wear mismatched socks (that happens a lot here) or you will remember the night before church that your son doesn’t have clean pants (that happens a lot here, too). That’s okay. It’ll get done. If my kids are perfectly happy wearing their pajamas, and we’re not going anywhere, that’s fine! Less laundry for me!

– There will be bickering and crying at times (and not always by the kids!!), but love and friendship will win out!

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Notice the mismatched socks!

– There will be days…or weeks that you feel just plain burned out, but flexibility is one of the benefits of homeschooling.

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Take the day off and go somewhere!

Put in a DVD or let your kids follow their own interests for a while. Believe me, that’s learning at its best!

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That’s a salamander she’s holding.

– You’re going to want need to be alone at times, but that’s okay! Everyone needs some downtime. If having some alone time is going to help you be a better parent, by all means, do it! If you can’t actually get away (like me), get creative. Take a few extra minutes in the shower, send the kids outside, or let them watch TV (they’ll be fine).

I didn’t write this post to discourage you, but to encourage you. Homeschooling is such a tremendous blessing and joy, but if you go into it with unrealistic expectations,  you run the risk of disappointment, which homeschooling is not.

What advice would you give to new or prospective homeschoolers?

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Linking up with

http://www.happyandblessedhome.com/2014/01/family-fun-friday-week-54.html

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http://www.soyoucallyourselfahomeschooler.com/2014/02/01/new-homeschool-mothers-journal-2114/

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http://momstheword–livingforhim.blogspot.com/2014/02/self-control-is-our-wall-of-protection.html?m=1

A Mama’s Story

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http://the-life-of-faith.blogspot.com/2014/02/mommy-moments-80.html?m=1

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http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/2014/02/hhms-favorite-posts-hip-homeschool-hop-242014/

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http://www.joyfocusedlearning.com/2014/02/anything-goes-link-up-11.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+JoyFocusedLearning+(Joy+Focused+Learning)&m=1

http://www.growinghomeblog.com/growing-homemakers-link-134/

 

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My Word for 2014 (Even Though I Had No Plans to Jump on the Bandwagon)

God will act. Now that’s something worth trusting in.

     I live a pretty sheltered life. Between having such a large family and homeschooling, getting out and about is much more difficult for me than for most people. Church and grocery shopping are about the most socialization I get (and they call homeschooled kids unsocialized), and I don’t do social networking, so I’m not exactly up on the latest things. So when I started constantly hearing references to ”choosing a 2014 word,” I honestly had no clue what people were talking about. After a while, I figured it out, and I really wasn’t interested. Just a new way to say ”New Year’s resolution” which I always inevitably break anyway.
     Imagine my surprise when, as I was reading yet another post about this subject, a word clearly popped into my head. Trust. Immediately thoughts began to flood my mind. Trust that God is in control. Trust in His provision. Trust that your children will learn what they need to learn. Just trust.
     Being the Type A personality that I am, this was a little scary. Unfortunately, this has been a problem for me. I do trust in God. I do. He has come through for me in amazing ways many, many times. I also trust my children to learn. I see it happening all the time. I’m just so used to being in control of things. This is a sin, I know. I’m working on it.
     So back to the trust…I’ve been reminding myself daily that this is what I need to do. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. And I’ve felt more peace than I have in a long time…but I still felt that something was missing.
     Until last Sunday.

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My pastor was preaching the message and referred to these verses- Commit your way to the Lord, Trust in Him, For He will act. – Psalm 37:5-6. And then it hit me… I was trying and trying to trust in the Lord, but it was still all about me. Do you see it? I was trying to trust so that I would have the peace that surpasses all understanding… I was counting on my trust to bring these things to fruition. I was still counting on myself, not God.
     That’s why these verses hit me so hard…” …For He will act.” The Lord will act…my trust is not the be all and end all of this process- what God does through me is. And it doesn’t say He can act, and it doesn’t say He may act. It says He will act. There’s no question about it.
     God will act. Now that’s something worth trusting in.

     
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Linking up with
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Raising Homemakers Homemaking Link-Up

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http://www.themodestmomblog.com/

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http://www.gracedsimplicity.com/?m=1

Lessons from an 8-Month-Old- An Illustration of Natural Learning

This is how God wired them to learn- naturally.

My youngest child, Kenzie, is learning to crawl.

I sat for a while watching her, joyful, but also a little sad, when I started to think about her journey up until this point. Sitting. Rolling over. Laughing. Crawling. My point? She did all this on her own. I didn’t teach her how to do these things. I didn’t hold classes, ringing a little school bell saying, “Kenzie! Time for crawling lessons! Put your blocks away! It’s time for school!”

Absurd, right? But isn’t that what happens to kids everyday? They’re pulled away from enjoyable, often educational, activities to learn something they would have eventually learned on their own.

Now I know what some of you may be thinking. Some babies don’t do this on their own. Some have to have therapists come in and help them. I know. Three of my children had physical therapy because they were delayed because of low muscle tone. Did you catch that word? Delayed. Meaning, they’re not following a neat little chart stating what children should do when. I realize that some children truly do need this help, and I’m grateful it’s available to them. But the vast majority, including my children, would have eventually accomplished this themselves in their own time.

This is what happens in so many schools. Children are learning at a different time-table than what is expected, so they’re labeled as ”special needs, ” a label which often stigmatizes them, when there really is no problem. I can’t read the mind of God, but I’m pretty sure He created us as individuals- not as mindless robots programmed to all progress at the same speed in every area of life.

Children are individuals. They need to be given the opportunity to learn what they want/need to know when they need to learn it.

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Another example of this theory is language. In her travels around the floor, Kenzie found the TV remote. I told her sister to take it from her before she put it in her mouth. Kenzie heard me say this. She looked at me, dropped the remote, and started to cry. She understood me!

She understood me without flash cards, and workbooks, and Mango Languages for Babies. She learned herself by being exposed to language all the time. This is how children learn best! This is how God wired them to learn- naturally.

Am I saying you should never expose children to new things they would otherwise have never known about? Absolutely not. We should provide a stimulating environment in which they should be able to learn, explore, and be the little scientists they are!

So the next time you’re ready to make your kids put their playdough away to ”do school,” reconsider. They’re already learning everyday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Days Are Tough

If every day were beautiful, would we see the beauty in each day?

     Why is it always that the days that I’ve gotten little to no sleep are the days when everything else goes off kilter? It’s my own fault, really- the no sleep part, I mean. We ran out of decaf coffee yesterday, so I proceeded to drink regular All. Day. Long. So I guess I was asking for it when the baby awoke at 3:20 am, and I was never able to fall back asleep.
     The day didn’t start off so bad, really. Ireland (3) was awake at the crack of dawn, as usual. She wasn’t particularly crabby, so we just cuddled and watched TV until the other early risers filed downstairs.
     Breakfast came and went with no particular problems, but that’s pretty much when the peace ended. Sometimes I think that the kids pick the days when I’m obviously exhausted to pick fights and bicker the most.
     Little spats over sharing play dough colors, copycatting, and name-calling ensued. The baby was crabby because she’s teething, and I just couldn’t seem to get the house in order. I was still jumpy from the caffeine overload yesterday, but I managed to get through the morning in one piece without having a meltdown.
     Finally, things seemed to calm down. It was a beautiful day, so the kids went outside to play while I got some much needed quiet. Until our oldest son, Brendan, stopped by unexpectedly. That’s when everything fell apart.
     As I mentioned in another post, Brendan is a 5 yr. old trapped in a 20 yr. old’s body. He has a gift of getting the kids wound up more than anything else can. I had little ones running through the house and jumping on him, kids being flipped over his shoulders, and the noise. The noise. And while all this was going on, I was on the phone with his bank to sort out an issue with a missing debit card. (Hence, the reason for his visit.)
     After he left, and the kids calmed down, I was more at peace than I had been all day. Sure, the family reading didn’t get done today, and we didn’t get to plot various countries on a map that we had planned to do. The house was a bit messy, and my husband was due to be home soon, but that was okay because I realized something today. If every day were perfect, we might overlook little blessings like these-

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Little blessings that happened amidst the chaos of the day.
     If every day were beautiful, would we see the beauty in each day?

What blessings have you encountered today?

Linking up with
A Mama’s Story

Raising Homemakers

http://proverbs14verse1.blogspot.com/2014/01/wise-woman-linkup_15.html?m=1

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http://www.joyfocusedlearning.com/2014/01/anything-goes-link-up-10.html?m=1

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