Ever feel like you’ve just kind of, you know, “been there, done that, got the shirt”? Some days, I really feel like this has been our motto for our homeschooling experience- and we’ve only be doing this for a short 6-ish years! You see, that’s what happens when you are wracked by self-doubt, Pinterest plan, and read WAY too many blogs and books of homeschooling before you even pop out kiddo #1.
I have run our homeschool like a public school, over scheduled and over filled our days, relaxed and over relaxed, checked off lists, counted hours, and saved too much only to realize not only was it not necessary, but also not working. My problem? I wasn’t letting my curriculum work for me, I was working for it. I was failing to trust that I was doing a good enough job and tried to do too much.
Yes, I was one of those moms.
Yes, I spent way too much time planning “the perfect” school day. Pinterest used to threaten to give me thumb osteoarthritis with all of the scrolling for the best ideas to use in our school day.
Yes, I planned and even back up planned. And back up planned for my back up plans. No kidding.
Yes, I researched curriculum even when I was perfectly content with what I was using, because, you know, it could be so much better and definitely requires me to spend what little free time I have to learn everything about it, read all the reviews, watch all of the YouTube videos, add it to my Amazon wishlist- only to come to the conclusion that no, I really don’t need it. I’m still working on this one.
Yes, I have delved into Montessori, Charlotte Mason, Unschooling, Traditional, Classical… only to realize that not one specific method fit us just right.
Well, something changed a few years ago. Maybe it was turning 30, or maybe having a house full of kids, most of which are younger than 6- either way, something in me snapped and I realized [hopefully once and for all] that I can’t and shouldn’t do it all.
I found something more important was just being with my children and watching them explore and grow up without being focused on a to-do list or hours to fill for our school day or the perfect assembly of activities displayed just so. In reality, with our big family full of our quirks and blessings, we just aren’t designed for any of that. The perfect school day doesn’t happen when you have a bunch of littles in the house. Heck, I have a hard enough time maintaining the peace between brothers and keeping the house from being buried under kid stuff as the littles go behind me and the oldest after we clean. Seriously. Perfect doesn’t happen. Just because the day is an out of control river rapid doesn’t mean I have to try to calm the waters, much easier to just go with the flow and realize that down river there will be calmer waters. Today is today, and if I let myself take it moment by moment, I won’t freak out and I can actually let go and enjoy the kids.
Pinterest no longer threatens to give me thumb osteoarthritis, I probably could just delete all of my boards since, when I do use it, I just search anyway (even if I already have pinned what I’m searching for).
I definitely have back up plans, but I’m not spending hours upon hours planning said back up plans. Now, my back up plan is simply using Easy Peasy All-In-One Homeschool when things are too crazy for our usual Weaver Curriculum. Of course, when things are even more crazy, we just read good books. Yup, that’s it.
Letting go of the ties that were binding me has really opened up this whole new world of possibility for me. I see now that I don’t have to do it all. I can step back and let them explore. I can step back and watch them just be children. I don’t need to prove anything to anyone. If something isn’t working, we can change, we can take a step back and breathe when life gets chaotic. We can just enjoy being a family that gets this amazing opportunity to spend our days together and let the learning happen when it happens. I’m their mommy first and foremost. Letting go of the unnecessary frees anxiety and let’s this adventure we’re on together to really be something special.
I’m a full time mommy, part time Children’s director for our small town church. We homeschool our five little boys ages 6 months, 2 years, 4 years, 6 years, and almost 9 years old. I occasionally blog and vlog for a mental outlet, and post way too many pictures of our daily adventures on Instagram to document the moments I want to remember, from the toy store amount of junk under our couch to my children’s genuine happy smiles of discovery.