Homeschool: getting started
I find myself Googling how to homeschool because I feel at such a loss. It's all overwhelming and heavy. I am a teacher; I know how to teach. I know how to educate hoards of kids. But yet, I find myself not knowing what to do.
Google provides me with an infinite number of resources. It is massive the amount of options and support a parent can find. It’s nice to know there is something for everyone but it’s also hard to figure out what is right for us.
To get us going, I chose some very simple and traditional math work books. (Something not my style but necessary to use at this point.)
And nothing else yet.
Instead, we’ve been going with the flow. Every day we either get outside or go to the Y. We also make time to read. My boys don’t always like this but I know how important reading is. I read with each of them. Other than that, we are trying to leave the house as needed and just be together. Live. Do life.
We have gone to the library, bowling, swimming, ice skating, grocery shopping and grandmas’ houses.
I know this doesn’t need to be complicated. I know this can be just this.
But I have a nagging feeling I need to be doing more.
More academics, more cleaning, more math, more science, more more more.
Where does this feeling come from? The feeling I am not doing enough, I am not good enough.
Does it come from school itself?
I think about what it might have done to me.
I was motivated by external factors of grades, awards, and recognition. I wanted to prove I was the best. This left others behind me. It pitted me against others. I totally bought into it all.
I believed if I got the best grades and did the best, I would be happy. This would all equal success and success equals happiness. Every time I got a good grade, I felt happy. But, there was another grade to get. There was another hoop to jump through. After I graduated high school, there was another level to accomplish: college. After college, I was able to prove myself even more by obtaining a master’s degree.
Then I can make others jump the same hoops as me by being a teacher! Now I am the one setting the bar and not having to jump it.
The levels keep coming and I keep jumping. Higher and higher. Either I need to be in control of it or be in control of myself to get through it. Control myself, control others.
So when does it stop?
Only when I become aware enough to jump off and out.
But even when I’m out, it’s hard to leave the feelings behind of not doing enough. Trying to find the next bar or next hoop.
But now that I’m aware and awake to this system and my mistakes, I am still feeling…unsure. Empty.
It’s a tough place to be. To come to the realization I put a lot of belief in a system that was all a game, a lie. Because I bought into hook line and sinker. No one needed to force me to believe getting good grades was the path to success or going to college again and again wasn’t a good idea.
Don’t get me wrong. I still love learning. I love deep discussions with people and researching a topic, reading history stories and just adding to my own knowledge and skills. But none of this has to be done in school; but it can be done in school. It can also be just done in life.
I want to find deep meaning in the people in my life and not the accomplishments.
I want to heal myself and find what life really has to offer.
How do I slow down and believe whatever I do is enough? There is not some external judgment waiting for me or a bar I am trying to reach.
I tell myself to be patient with myself. I cannot shed old beliefs overnight.
These are external human things that have been placed upon me for over thirty years
So while I work to seek freedom within myself, freeing myself from a system that still has a hold on me, I will be patient.
I will continue to try and be in the moment. Tell myself that is enough. I am enough. We do not have to do anything. We only must do what we deem as important; not what school says is important.
Right now we are just shedding. Shedding all the beliefs and expectations of others. We must find what is important to us.
This is hard work.
Inner work that there is no product for. Just ourselves.
I always told my students they were the product, not the grades. I truly believe this. But it’s so much harder to live it out. Because now I have to figure out what it actually means to live without products other than our own knowledge or growth.
For now, we will start with less is more. Keeping it simple isn’t done enough in the world and the resources I truly want will come. Little by little, I will continue to feel the freedom that lies before us each day. There is an endless expanse of time that lies before us to learn, live, and do it all together.