You know, sometimes you read something that just seems like you could have written it yourself! That's how I felt when I read Loralee Choate's blog today "Discouraged: I just don't know if I can keep homeschooling"
This is our second year HSing, but I was HS graduate myself 20 years ago, so I've been in the HS "culture" for a while.
One thing that I have learned is that I HAVE to lead from my strengths. I tend to try to spend a lot of time improving my weak areas (I'm a project kinda girl!) and then feel really discouraged because I fail miserably! When I "go with the flow" of what I AM good at, my life is much more simple.
Another thing that I have let go of is the idea of a "perfect" homeschool, how things "should be done" and the pursuit of doing it like someone else (those "awesome" HS families out there!) Don't get me wrong, I'm not opposed to reading their methods, being inspired by their passion and ideas, etc. I'm not against self-improvement! It's just more about taking what others are doing and making it fit into YOUR home, not trying to make your home fit into someone else's system!
A big mistake I made last year was trying to do school at home, instead of thinking about what worked for my family. This year, we've taken the lead into the scary world of "unschooling" and are all much happier (even though some days it terrifies me - my son might be in your basement too one day ;) LOL)
The very best peice of parenting advice that I ever received was "the fact that you worry about whether you are doing a good job as a parent MAKES you a good parent. Bad parents never wonder because they don't care!" I try to translate that advice into my homeschool too.
Will there be gaps? Will I screw up? YES. There would also be gaps and problems with public school, charter school, even private schools. It's really hard as a HS parent because you CARE SO MUCH. I'd love a good day of ignorant bliss where I don't worry about it, but I guess that would move me toward the bad parent category. I guess for now I'll just agonize and trust that my children will learn more by accident than I could ever teach them on purpose. I just have to try to make that environment happen. It doesn't mean 6 hours at the desk, 20 pages a day of reading, competing in the science fair, blah blah blah. It means nurturing their natural love of learning, presenting things according to their personal learning style while they are younger (then teaching them how to glean from other's TEACHING styles so they can be more successful), allowing them to passionately pursue their own pursuits (while slipping learning in like veggies in muffins!)
Hang in there! You don't suck, at least not all the time. :) Everyone has these days (and now I have a Hannah Montana song stuck in my head to go with your Justin Beiber!)
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