After a 2 year break from blogging (both homeschool related and just life related) I’ve decided to start up again. Although I needed the break – you know, like gets crazy and busy and something has to go – I do wish I had all our fun activities and projects and adventures documented. We have learned so much – academically and more – and it is always fun to take a moment and look back at how much progress one has made. Two years ago I had a 1st grader, a preschooler, a toddler, and a baby. Now I’ve got a 3rd grader, a 1st grader, a preschooler, a toddler, and a baby. We may not be the most quiet little “school” around (which is unfortunate during math timed tests!) but we are still thriving.
My purpose in starting a blog again is to share what homeschooling really looks like (at least for us). I occasionally peruse other homeschooling blogs to get ideas for certain subjects and whatnot and I find a lot of great info. The other moms have genius kids who are so absorbed in learning and they go above and beyond in almost every endeavor. It is overwhelming and looks unrealistic. But sometimes I wonder about those who are starting to homeschool (sort of like me, I’m not a 20 year veteran or anything) and don’t know what it really looks like and what sort of expectations they should really have.
The most common advice I have received on beginning to homeschool my own children (besides to make sure they get enough to for socialization – which advice obviously comes from people who don’t homeschool) is not to worry about doing things like everybody else because all families are different and all homeschools are different. That is the joy! You can make it look however you want! But I felt that was like telling someone to draw an elephant when the only thing they knew about elephants was that they were big, grey, four-legged animals. “It’s ok! You can make it look however you like. That’s the beauty of it!” Come on, we all need some sort of yard stick to measure ourselves against, or a basic pattern to follow, even for just a little while. The wonderful thing I have learned through my experience is that having that yardstick was essential to help me get going, but now I can throw it away and adapt and better tailor my children’s education to our family’s own personal strengths and my own convictions of what education should include and emphasize.
The Honest Homeschool isn’t about being a “perfect” homeschool. It is about being a real homeschool. Not everything works out well. Sometimes no matter how quickly I feel the math assignment should be finished, it still. takes. forever. Some subjects are so interesting to me and my kids just don’t feel the same way. And sometimes I wish I had time and energy and resources to do all those amazing things I see on other people’s blogs and I just don’t. We’ve studied Magellan, Columbus, Vespucci, (and others) and most recently Captain Cook (so fun!) but you know what? My kids have no idea how to use a quadrant, astrolabe, OR a sextant and neither do I. We haven’t perfected our rope making skills, I can barely tie a square not, and I don’t know how to make hard tak or salted beef- and guess what, I don’t even care. (But if that is what you did in your homeschool, more power to you!)
The purpose of this blog is to document our homeschool, the good and bad, the pretty and ugly, the successful but NOT the unsuccessful, because truly we are always moving forward and that is success to me. It’s not always A+s, gold stars, and recess. But it is truly amazing and wonderful and life changing. And hopefully it is helpful to others in the same boat, navigating the strange and uncharted waters of your own homeschool. No astrolabes or sextants required. 🙂