Sunday, September 16, 2018

Yes, you can!

This started out as a FB post and got a little out of control, so I copied/pasted it over here onto my little used blog page.

For those new to homeschooling and those that are not so new. 

When looking at a curriculum or even a co-op/homeschool group, if you are being told that there is only one way to homeschool your child (there are lots of options and they are all good, viable options!) - walk away. 

If someone says, if you don't use a certain curriculum/method , then your children won't get a good education (or won't be successful, won't get into college, won't be well-rounded, whatever) - walk away. 

Or, if you don't come to that group's events, do all the paid classes (or free ones, for that matter), then you are failing your children, your family, the neighbor's cat, or some other such nonsense - walk away. 

Y'all, a Charlotte Mason education is the best fit for my family. I joke around that it is the best method out there, but it really is joking (mostly..well, it's the best of the best....hahahahaa - if you know me, you know I am being silly here, heehee!).

Charlotte Mason said that children are born persons, not little buckets to be filled, sponges to sop things up with (sponges are for messes, not my children's brains), clay to be molded, whatever. Therefore, things will vary with each child, family, month.

Ultimately, what works for your family or even specifically for one child is the very best method for YOUR family. And you know what - you might change methods, curriculum, groups, clothing sizes, favorite coffee, etc. a few of times during your homeschooling career. It is okay. Your homeschool is YOUR homeschool. Your homeschool doesn't have to look like the public school, not like the Lepoziskingiski's (fake name, sorry if that is your cousin's name, haha), not like mine (Hills Academy - not made up, totally real), not like that really popular blogger lady's (she is some kind of pioneer), you don't have to have expensive classes (you can if you want, but not a requirement and your children will be fabulous without them! Mine have done well thus far. Oh, and you can't count those group hours towards your 875 in WI), you don't have to have a co-op with someone else teaching things to your children for your child to have a good education - I promise that you CAN teach them those things, but I totally get that it is FUN to do things with others sometimes - all those things are extras and you don't have to do them. Well, maybe square dancing - you need a group for square dancing. Otherwise, it just looks strange. 

Don't feel roped into a curriculum because bread-baking-Betty uses it and her family seems fabulous (they imploded last Tuesday because the yeast was dead and they tried lots of baking soda). If you buy something or join a group/enrichment/community/horse-betting class (statistics?) and it isn't working well for you and your children - drop it. Walk away from the group. Sell the curriculum (yeah, you are going to take a loss - look up the sunk cost fallacy - you will feel better). Find something else. Go to the library. Email me or call me. I will hold your hand. I might even meet you for coffee or at the park if you are close enough and I have access to the car! 

Moms and Dads - you ARE amazing. You are not stupid. You don't need a teaching degree or someone with one for your children to have a fantastic education. It is nice to back into when you hit a wall, but certainly not a requirement (and I have a dear friend who has a passion for a subject that she did NOT go to college for, but I would likely pit her against  degree'd people in that field because she has a passion for the subject, so she has "majored" in it outside of the uni classroom.

Another dear friend of mine has heard from many people that "well, we are academically minded, so we could *never* do homeschooling like you." She took that to mean that they think she is stupid and uneducated. Well, you know what? I have seen what she does in her homeschool. She doesn't do school in a box (she walked away from that after she figured out that she AND her children hated it about 10 years ago). She puts in the extra effort and has customized it to her children's abilities, desires, what she wants them to learn. I am over half way through this homeschooling life and here I am, learning from a fellow veteran. It gave ME the courage to do what I needed to do for one of my children. He needed a different path. We are still following the principles of CM, but I am doing the curriculum my, HIS way. Meeting my child's needs, wants, desires, but while still providing him an amazing, well-rounded, education (while being budget friendly at the same time, haha). 

Don't let anyone make you think you cannot do this thing called homeschooling. YOU can and I am here to cheer you on, hold your hand, drink your coffee, & if you would like, provide some positive peer pressure, haha!

If you feel you need to change, do it now. Don't wait. In just a few years, they are off to college, becoming managers at work, getting engaged (ahhhh - I can't even believe I am going to be a MIL!)... Time marches on. Yes, you CAN homeschool and it doesn't have to look like anything else out there.