Friday, March 11, 2016

What I Learned The First Week Of Homeschool


When I wrote We Survived The First Week Of Homeschool I had never interacted with the online homeschooling community other than to ask a few questions of some seasoned parents.  The outpouring of support and encouragement has been tremendous.  THANK YOU!!  Thanks so much for the well wishes and for getting to hear from the parents who preserved and now have graduating homeschoolers, so very encouraging. Thank you.

Jumping in the water of homeschooling, I must admit I was very timid. However, I must confess that now that I'm in, and a few weeks have passed, I'm actually starting to relax and enjoying myself.  Clearly that was not the case during our first week, but you live and you learn.  Here are three lessons I learned from the experiences of the our first week in homeschool.

It's Not About Me
Ever since my child has been born, I have been having a recurring lesson.  The lesson is "It Is Not About Me".  Quite an unusual concept for a single child and only child in the entire family for 18 years who was married for 13 years before having my one and only.  Can you get the picture I'm trying to paint?  Everything has always been about me or so it seemed.  So now to have to be concerned about my offsprings' interests over mine should be natural as a mother but sometimes that is not the case.  I am an awesome Mom, but sometimes I confuse what my daughter needs with what I want for her.  So the lesson continues into homeschooling.

I recounted to you in Part 1  how over a pain staking period of time I had prepared and planned for our homeschool adventure together.  So imagine the hurt and upsetment I encountered when my daughter refused to cooperate after only three days.  I was so upset at the rejecting of our plans that I couldn't even console her in her upsetment and I remained so that it disrupted my sleep.  Did she not understand all the work and effort that I went through to present this to her? How could she be so ungrateful?

No. This is why I stated in the companion post that hubby is a wise man.  He zeroed in immediately that I was offended and that I was mistaken in my belief that she was rejecting my efforts on purpose. He went on to explain that with her limited understanding could she really conceive all that we do for her particularly as it relates to homeschooling or anything else for that matter.   Intellectually, I didn't need him to explain any of that to me.  I knew it already, but having him explain the way he did allowed me to  put my ego to rest and release the grudge, yes grudge, I was holding against my four year old.  Parenting is soooo emotional!!!

Homeschooling Is Not A Work Project

I love project management.  There is something about pulling together and creating resources, working through the problems, perfecting and evaluating a project that excites me.  Creating something out of nothing.  In many ways project management is very similar to homeschooling and the skill sets have helped me get our homeschool up and running, but there is one thing that is very different very different that I did not anticipate.  The human component.

When I work a project its all about the manipulation of tactile resources in which I can order about.  Homeschooling is different in that I am working with a live human, my flesh and blood.  One in which I have determined will be a free thinker and analytical.  In turn, she thinks with confidence questions everything.  There is no blind following by this personality type yet she is tender and sensitive. In turn I have to be intentionally creative to garner her participation. My "let's just get it done" attitude doesn't work in this environment which pushes me to reevaluate my approach and demeanor to homeschool teaching. Patience and flexibility are calling my name. 

Allow For Transition
Remember the GIANT mistake I made when Princess expressed her concerns towards my new role as teacher and not the fun craft mommy?  I brushed off her concerns to satisfy my desire to execute.  It was not a wise decision as you find out as you read on.  What I learned from that portion of the experience is that I need to slow down.  Skip the time lines and blocks and just find our own flow.  So now what I used to pack into a week I now let spill over into two weeks.

Another transition tool was Miss Tanya.  Remember her?  She is my daughter's PMO teacher. Instead of getting my panties in a bunch, when my daughter expressed that she preferred Miss Tanya as a teacher over me, I went and solicited Miss Tanya's advice.  She is an instructor that gets good results from her students, why not have a closer look into how she does things?  One piece of advice she gave us was to create our activities around stations about our homeschool as opposed to trying to get a toddler to sit still for long periods of time.  It also simulated how the PMO classroom is laid out which would give her a sense of familiarity.  She was right.  Her advice has helped tremendously. Thanks Miss Tanya!

Basically, homeschooling seems to have morphed into my personal development project.  Lol, I had no clue it would be taking this route, but I'm willing to put the work in so that I can create a fun and creative learning environment for my very bright, intelligent, always negotiating, independent daughter. One which she looks forward to returning to each day.  

The weeks are passing smoother now, but not without stumbles.  On week three there was partial break down.  Part of the outburst included a statement about my not dressing cute for school like Miss Tanya.  OMG, now I have to bring my apparel game up too?  But on the serious, what she was trying to express was when she is in school everyone is dressed up.  Her, the other kids and Miss Tanya.  How could she know we are doing school work and not just playing around at home if she nor I were dressed up? It was a very good point and by taking time out to understand and acknowledge what she was saying, right there and then I was able to respond to her comments to her satisfaction.  We made a pact that there would be some kind of signal as to when we were homeschooling and when we were just hanging out.  After that discussion were able to continue on with our day easily.

There have been a lot of lessons to learn.  From the material to personally and discoveries about my daughter and I'm sure there will be many more lessons coming in the immediate future.   Honestly,  I'm just looking forward to merging Teacher Mommy and Fun Mommy.

(Why these last few paragraphs are red I have no idea.  So sorry!) 
If you would like to read the companion post to "What I learned The First Week Of Homeschool", please follow the link to "We Survived The First Week Of Homeschool".  

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  1. It's fun hearing about your home school journey, and I love how you are reframining this as your personal development journey. Our family has some new challenges this year, and it would probably be helpful I we began referring to these as our family growth and development journey too.

    Thank you for hosting another great linkup!

  2. I can relate even though my homeschooling days are over. When we first started I was so meticulous as to how the day should go, using a premade curriculum, etc. When you have several kids with different learning styles, you can't make them fit into a mold. After that first year I became much more relaxed about it. I realized that I wanted to teach them how to learn and not just recreate school at home. So we schooled pretty unconventionally but my kids learned and they had time to pursue areas they were really interested in. I won't say we did everything right because that would be a lie. We had our share of mistakes, etc., but I'm so glad we stuck with it even though it was very hard at times. I know what you mean here, "Basically, homeschooling seems to have morphed into my personal development project." It sounds like you are doing great! It really helps when we moms can be flexible. Blessings to you! I'm visiting from the #Family #Friendship and #Faith linkup!

  3. Homeschooling is fun, isn't it? I love it because there are no rules. There is no authority. You can do what you want.

    You are working into it. Every year will present exciting new challenges, and change you like you never thought.

    Have fun, stay flexible, and enjoy your daughter.

    Kisses to you!

  4. Wow! I enjoyed reading your experience with homeschooling. Thank you for sharing this.
    God Bless

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