Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Truth About Homeschooling Is...

Most people I run into lately have the very same first question for me...  "how's the homeschool thing going?" I generally respond with a mumble of something about it being mostly good, but me being exhausted.  That's true most days, of course there are also bad days (and I'm *really* exhausted on those days!), and super great days (where we all end up exhausted! Okay, maybe not KMan, but, you know...). The other night though, I sat & really thought about the question, and what the deep-down truth is.

You want to hear it?

Homeschool is going fantastically! Sure, it's frustrating to juggle a 7 year old with zero ability to focus & a 2 year old who wants to trash the room & be as loud as possible, all while trying to read some silly poem about caterpillars, *BUT*!!, it's also amazing.  KMan is thriving.  His anxiety is almost non-existent most days and his stress level is so much lower!!  He's still learning plenty, but he's learning it in his way & it's things he wants to know, not just things he "has" to know.

I spend my days watching my children learn about the world around them.
I spend my days getting to really know who my children are.
I spend my days amazed that these children grew inside me not that long ago.

KMan & Sweetie Pie Sparkles are building a relationship with each other that they wouldn't have been able to build without homeschooling.
KMan & Sweetie Pie Sparkles are making memories with me (and for me, because one day they actually will be grown & leave me - or so I hear) that they wouldn't have had the opportunity to make if not for homeschooling.

I am learning new things & meeting new people.
I am looking forward to future trips to places I've always wanted to see - and now I'll get to experience them with my children!

I could list the hard things about homeschooling.  I could tell you all the reasons my life would be "easier" if I could ship my kiddos off to school for the day & just have some me time.  I could tell you the enormous sacrifices we're making to have KMan at home instead of school... that wouldn't do justice to the awesomeness of homeschooling though.  It's hard, and it's certainly not for every one (not for every parent, not for every child - we all need different things in life!), but it's certainly worth it!
I will encourage those of you who have said "I wish I could, but..." or "I want to but I'm scared because..." or whatever other line you've said to me, to really stop & consider taking the leap.  I was scared. SO scared.  I'm actually still scared some days, when I ponder if this is what KMan will do "forever" & if we'll also do it "forever" with Sweetie Pie Sparkles...  but fear shouldn't hold you back from trying out all the options you have in life.  Take the plunge!  If it doesn't work, it doesn't work.  If it does though... It does!

On that same note, those of you who say "I could NEVER!", that's fine too.  I mean, you actually could if you had to, trust me!, but it's fine if you don't.  Whether you don't want to, or your child is in the best place for them, or you don't have the financial or emotional support to do it, or whatever the reason is, don't feel like what you are doing for your child isn't best.  It is.  Whatever works for YOUR CHILD and YOUR FAMILY is what's best.  Just because the best thing for MY CHILD is to not be in a typical school setting doesn't mean that it's not the best place for plenty of other kids. Don't ever think I feel differently!  I think there are some serious problems in our schools today & I absolutely hate that teachers have so little control over what to teach now, and that classes are so large that it's hard to teach each child in the way that's best for them, but the school system works for a lot of kids.  It's just that the kids (or families) that is doesn't work for, it really doesn't work for. I really think it's no different than deciding to breastfeed or formula feed; to work outside the home or be a stay at home mom/dad; to only feed your family organic foods or to feed them the cheapest, yummiest food you can afford... it's all about personal preference & environmental factors that we sometimes can't control as mush as we'd like to.  We are all doing the best we can with what we have. I wish more people would be open to the idea of homeschooling, but I don't wish that because it's the best option for all, only because it's such a FREEING option.

So, there. That's how homeschool is going.

I may feel differently tomorrow (for real), but there's my answer today.  KMan is doing wonderfully & that means homeschool is a success!

On a related note, KMan has switched meds ((again!!)), but the latest combo seems to be pretty amazing so far! I'm beyond thrilled for him (and us), and I'm hopeful about so much now.  He is also doing play therapy which seems like it will be super beneficial in the long run, and I think his therapist is great, so I'm hoping he forms a really great bond with her. He's also making new friends, playing (too much) on his tablet, spending lots of time outdoors, learning even when he doesn't realize it, and just growing up so much! There's this amazing guy hiding behind the cover his ADHD/ODD has created & he's starting to come out, ever so slowly.  I can't wait to see what the months ahead bring out in him. I can't wait to watch him grow into the guy I knew he was supposed to be.