About this time last year I began seriously contemplating homeschooling. The idea had been rolling around in my head for months and even years before that, but a year ago I started looking into exactly how homeschooling works and if this was something we wanted to try. Like many of you (and like many of you may be doing now), I spent last winter reading books, googling like crazy, and peeking in on blogs to see whether or not I could really pull this off. Now, a year later, we’re halfway through our first year, and I can honestly say that we are without a doubt pulling it off!
Is life perfect? Certainly not. Is homeschooling hard? Yes, but the stress, anxiety, and endless homework battles we experienced before this were harder. Are our lives fuller, happier, and more peaceful than they were a year ago? Absolutely!
I do realize we are still in the middle of a process. Even though we’re nowhere near where I’d like us to be (you know, in that idealistic version of what I think homeschooling could look like for us), but we’re so far from where we were at the beginning of this journey as homeschoolers, as a family, and as individuals.
Over the holiday break, I took a step back and examined what we’ve been doing and what changes I’d like to make for the second half of our year. I read and researched and dove right in, just like I did when we were first considering this new challenge. In the end, I decided to change a lot. Our homeschooling now looks nothing like it did back in August. We’re much more relaxed, and our mornings include more songs, more stories, more art, and more fun. Of course, we’re still learning math and reading and writing every day, but we use fewer drill sheets, memorization lists, and copywork pages. In short, we released the idea of what school should look like in our house and embraced activities that make learning enjoyable and meaningful for us.
Not everything has changed, and we are still on track to reach the goals I set for us last summer. The following are a few of the goals we have already accomplished this year:
- built a compost bin, researched how composting works, filled it with goodies, and started planning a spring garden
- began establishing daily and weekly rhythms, including fun activities with other local homeschoolers
- remained flexible with our plans and expectations
- developed better relationships with each other and grew as individuals
While I was filled with hesitancy and doubt last winter, I am confident now that we made the best decision possible for our family. I am amazed by how much growth we’ve achieved in half a school year, and I can’t imagine where we might be in another few months. More importantly, I can’t wait to find out!
Michelle is a wife, mother, writer, and Cajun who prefers everything extra spicy. Follow along at Lagniappe Academy, as she and her two girls move and groove through the second half of their school year.