Tuesday, February 18, 2014

It will be ok.

Lately, I've noticed that my reading habits have changed. Not the novels I choose, but the articles I save and read in the cracks of my days. When we started homeschooling, three and a half years ago, I filled my feed reader with homeschooling blogs. I couldn't get enough. I never really searched for the "right" way to do anything, but I loved seeing other perspectives, taking bits that seem to work for other people and sewing them into the seams of our own lives. I still enjoy that, but I have far fewer blogs in my reader these days. I'm no longer looking for The Answer.

I am FAR from having figured everything out. (I don't believe there is such a thing anyway.) We still struggle with routines, and I still struggle with documenting/journaling. Among other things. But I have made a major shift after three and a half years of muppet-flailing through this homeschooling adventure. You see, we've figured out what we like and what works for us. We still try new things. Sometimes they work. Sometimes we fail miserably. The difference now is that I worry less about those problems. Of course, we work on making things better. Always. But now I focus more energy on our successes and building on them than on those failures.

My mindset has shifted from What did I do wrong? or What can I do next? to simply doing. Being. Bird watching. Or whatever else is working.

Only saw a hawk, but still a good afternoon.

Sure, some days still suck. In fact, I had to stop writing this post last week because, as I explained to my husband via text: Worst. Day. Ever. Of course, it wasn't actually the worst day, but, like I said, some days suck. Some days will always suck, no matter if we homeschool or not. The great thing that I've come to appreciate is that we can make those sucky days (or weeks) better.
Together.
Because we're a team.
And I like my team.

While my mind isn't preoccupied with the search for the next great homeschool resource, I do still follow a few favorite blogs, and I read interesting homeschooling articles or posts when I see someone else pointing them out. But I'm choosier now, and I don't have quite such a voracious appetite for those posts. I try to engage in discussions about homeschooling when I can, but more often now I find my attention pulled in other directions: great books/movies, writing/publishing, my community, and what the world might look like when my girls step out into it on their own. I still want to read and write and talk about homeschooling, but less.

What's the takeaway of all of this? Well, for one, I'm posting here less, but I'll still be around from time to time. Second, while I still like to read and keep an eye open for ideas, I know that The Answer for us is not Out There. It's here. With us. I might find clues out there (oh, yes, I am SO grateful for some of the clues to our successes that I've found in the corners of the internet), but ultimately our success and happiness depend on our choices and attitudes. Ours. Not someone else's.

Finally, if you're new to homeschooling or you're feeling the mid-year slump, remember that it's going to be ok. We all make mistakes. We all get tired. We all need to shift gears at some point. Trust your gut, change directions, try something new, or just do something better. It will be ok. Three and a half years doesn't sound like a lot of time, but it feels like a much different place. I have a relaxed confidence now that I didn't have before. Even on that "Worst Day Ever," I believed that things would work out, either on their own or with a little tweaking. After three and a half years, I truly believe, It will be ok.

10 comments:

  1. I was thinking the same thing as I drafted today's post...I don't read homeschooling sites. I read some blogs, but that's about it, and I'm not reading them BECAUSE they're homeschoolers' blogs, if that makes sense.

    I have More Thoughts, but maybe not for your comment section...maybe for an email. :-)

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  2. “Because we're a team. And I like my team.”

    “The Answer for us is not Out There. It's here. With us.”

    yes, yes, a million times yes. <3

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    1. Last year was tough, but learning those things, and really believing them, was worth it all.

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  3. Brilliant. I've been noticing my view changing from one of keeping up and striving for an ideal, to one of following what's working for us and letting other stuff sort itself out. Timely post!! Thank you!

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    1. Thanks! It's such an important shift, isn't it?

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  4. I have been home educating my girls for 7 years now. As they change and grow, their needs and requirements change, so in their best interests I do too. I was recently berated by them for taking it too easy on them ... apparently I need to step up my game this term ... cheeky sods!

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    1. I agree! We're adapting and growing all the time, too. That's why we have little evaluation meetings throughout the year, when we look at our goals and discuss what we want to change. It's a a process and we are always going through it together.

      At a certain point, depending on how old they are, I think the kids get old enough to step up their own planning! It's a great life skill to research their own materials and set their own goals. :)

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