Friday, January 15, 2010

I hate Homeschooling! & Why is homeschooling so hard?!!

So, occasionally, when I'm having a really emotional moment, I will just "google" the phrase of frustration running through my head. It's really funny what you can find sometimes!

Twice recently, I've googled the phrases "I hate Homeschooling" and "Why is homeschooling so hard?!" just to see if anyone in a desperate moment has felt the same way. I was really shocked to not find much out there. Oh... there are people who hate homeschoolers - they have plenty to say. But as for finding committed homeschoolers just ranting while having a bad day... they seem to be few and far between. That's a good thing, I guess. Nevertheless, I titled my blog today those two phrases so that if I ever google them least I'll find myself. :-)

I did find one blogger who said: "Homeschooling isn't hard. Parenting is."

And when I thought about it, I realized they were right. And I guess I'd add that my own self transformation is the hard part too. Homeschooling is a personal workout for me. I'm having to let go of perfectionism, and yet remain disciplined. I'm having to learn how to have fun. (It doesn't come naturally.) I'd rather be boring and nerdish. I'm having to listen, not just talk. I'm having to be patient. I have to let my kids make messes. I want to be one of those free-spirited moms. But that freaks me out a little bit, too.

Today was a winner of a day. (Not.)

After telling my kids one more time that I needed them to pay attention while I tried to do their science experiment of building a telescope for them, I finally gave up and told them to read it and finish it on their own. (Now some of you experienced moms are thinking I should have made that move from the start!)
After 15 minutes of genuinely trying, I hear a lens fall to the ground and crack.
"Mom, it broke. What do we do now?"
Frustrated, I tell them to go ahead and write their report on their experiment. They are supposed to tell what they learned. I admit, I'd expected this, and feel justified in having them write about it.
My goal of having everyone feel as miserable as me is working.
10 minutes later, Julia brings her report over to me:

What I did: I broke it.

What I learned: A picture of a sad face & tears & the words "I can't do it without Mom. I love you Mom!"

Amazingly, everything is capitalized and punctuated appropriately. For the first time today.

It's the saddest thing I've seen in a long time. This is not a pretty moment for me. I'd like to take this page out, but I think it will need to stay. A little humble pie I'm sure I'll need to snack on again.

But I guess, in the end, we all learned more. We learned we do need each other. And I learned they can do a lot more without me that I realize. I realized I don't want to be in control..and I don't want things to always be neat, if the result is kids who are scared to learn apart from me.. kids who are afraid to make mistakes...

I learned that my kids actually want me to keep doing this. (I tried to tell them that I don't know that I'm cut out to teach them, at which point they both broke into tears. Another winner moment.)

Most of all, I'm again learning to trust God. This whole path is so unfamiliar to me. I don't seem like a good fit for this thing. And yet, here I am, convicted more than ever that it's right. Convicted that it's harder than I ever imagined it would be. Convicted that there will be more days I want to quit.

And convicted that it is all worth it.

My seven year old encouraged me with these words:
"Mom, remember Mrs. Mudroch? She had days like this when she began... but now she's one of the best teachers. Probably every teacher has these days. But you'll get better and better. "

Who needs telescopes, anyway.


Anonymous said...

We aren't to the homeschooling stage yet but there are always days I wonder why God let me be a parent cause I mess it up so often! Thank goodness that He loves working in our weakness because I have a lot for Him to work in! We love you guys and cheer you on for doing the best things even when they are the hardest! Can't wait to see you in March!
Melissa Smith

Raders said...

Keep it up. I'm sure when Leah reads this she'll have more to say, but I know she has had these moments. (She might even have one today)
God bless you and your family.

Timbra Wiist said...

this actually brought a little tear to my eye. . . ah, how raw to be a mother!!! i've had some "unpretty" mothering moments this week too. . . i am a little more free spirited, don't the mind the messes so much, but even at 3, just teaching someone HOW to do something. . . argh! Good luck and bravo for realizing your faults and pressing on, that's the best teaching moments your kids probably had all week!

Lindsay said...

The path is unfamiliar? You don't seem like a good fit for this? Good. That probably means God has you right where He wants you. :-) Because right there in your weakest moments when all you want to do is quit or scream or cry or all of the above, that is where His strength is made perfect. In your inadequacies, He becomes more than adequate. In fact, I know that as you constantly surrender and submit yourself to Him, you will become far better at this homeschooling thing than those to whom it comes naturally. Those who come by it naturally don't feel the need to fully depend on the Father the way He is teaching you to do. So as you learn that dependence, your competence and effectiveness will grow to far surpass those who can manage it on their own.

He wouldn't put you on this roller coaster without a purpose. That's not our God. And because of the severity of this ride you're on, I know that whatever He has in store for you at the end of it is beyond your wildest imagination.

I am so proud of the way you are allowing God to mold you, even when it is painful. You are an amazing child of His, and I am honored to get to walk this road with you. Take courage, my friend: there is a light at the end of the tunnel...His name is Jesus.

I love you.

Mike and Lucy said...

Hi Heather,
I found your blog from facebook. Good to see your faces (I can't believe how big your beautiful children are!) and read about your lives.
Sounds as if you are 'enjoying the ride' in a sense, of homeschooling. My mom has lots of horror stories from how it was with me going through certain years, so I am sure I could encourage you with a few of those if you ever need them! :) But, I loved it. And she'll be the first to admit we were all far from perfect, but it was something she loved.
And Eli sounds so incredibly funny! Oh my goodness. Canaan cracks me up every day (he is 3). I love kids. THey make the days lighter and brighter, even if more challenging at times!
God bless. Peace be with you-

Rebekah said...

I know plenty of mom's who homeschool and struggle. I am not a huge fan of homeschooling for myself and my kids. I finally voiced this to a friend who was homeschooling and she was glad! Someone finally gave her permission to not do it. It wasn't her or her kids, it wasn't really working, but she felt all this pressure to do it to be a "good" Christian. Food for thought.