It’s a question I have been asking myself a lot lately. Am I worried? Yes. I’m worried that when Miss 14 and Miss 12 are older they will blame me for them not having a ‘proper’ education. Will they hate me? Yes, most likely – at least that’s what I tell myself on my bad days.
Failing them has been playing on my mind so much lately that I even splashed out and bought them English workbooks that align with the Australian curriculum.
They started using them today and, just as a large part of me expected, they hate them.
I tell my girls that the great thing about being homeschooled is that they can learn about things that interest them. They can learn skills that will set them up for life. (Miss 12 asked me how these books help with that!)
Then my guilt sets in and go and buy workbooks that are similar to those used in mainstream high school. In fact, I overheard Miss 14 telling Miss 12 that they were just like what she used in high school.
So, how do I get myself back on track?
1. I Look At The Positives
-Miss 14 is actually reading!
This is the child who hated reading in primary (elementary) school because she was put in the lower reading group due to her shyness. She wouldn’t answer the teacher’s questions about the text she read so they kept putting her into lower groups. In the end, she hated reading because the books they gave her were so far below her capability. (Even though I repeatedly told the teachers what was going on.)
This morning – after a two-week break from homeschooling (the girls don’t homeschool when their brother is on school holidays), Miss 14 said now she has to read every day! And I saw her reading during the break.
-Although they occasionally complain, they are both doing really well in French.
-On a good day, they both do well in maths.
-Miss 12 enjoys cooking and finding new recipes. Unfortunately, she doesn’t always enjoy the finished product though!
-They both enjoy board games and card games so our collection is continuously growing and it’s educational.
2. I Am Planning New Subjects/Activities
Both girls enjoy making slime and stretching it to see how far it can go. So, at the moment I am researching Science experiments for new and unusual ways to learn.
I am in the process of making an Australian History curriculum for the girls. Not the whitewashed version that gets touched on in mainstream school, but a true History of Australia before and after European settlement.
I have finally found the autobiographies of female soccer player Miss 12 wants – just need to purchase and wait for delivery…
I have also finally found some good books on hairstyles and a mannequin head for Miss 14 to practice and learn new styles – just need to purchase and wait for delivery.
3. I Need To Relax
This is important.
I need to relax and not judge myself so harshly.
The girls are learning. They are having fun. They are relaxing and enjoying each others company as well as the company of their older brother, father, and me. And I love having them home.
The whole idea of homeschooling was so the girls would not be bombarded with an overwhelming amount of homework – none of which would help them once they left the institutionalised learning environment of mainstream school.
The simple fact is, as homeschooling parents we all need to stop judging ourselves so harshly. There will be days, weeks, even months when we feel as though we are not accomplishing anything.
But if we take a step back, list all the amazing things our children are now doing – reading for pleasure, happily using math skills when adding up scores in a game, helping more around the home, cooking a main meal – we can see that what we are doing is working.
Occasionally we will go down the wrong path (and buy English workbooks!) but that’s okay.
Relax, take a break and list all the reasons you love homeschooling and chose to do it in the first place.
Over To You
What do you do when you hit a bump in your homeschooling road?
What resources have you bought and regretted?
Whatever they are, don’t be too hard on yourself and remember…
Enjoy the Journey.
Author: Lara Galea
Lara is a freelance writer, blogger, photographer and homeschooler. When not helping others with their journey, she is either reading, binge-watching Netflix or creating havoc in the kitchen.