It's been almost a year to the day that I made our little announcement that we were going to homeschool the girls. And now, here we are, just a few short weeks away from the end of our first homeschool year and I'm making another little announcement: that our first homeschool year will be our last.
I know there will be those of you that saw this coming; those that thought to yourself, that's great that you are doing it, but I could never homeschool my kids. Those who said you don't have the flexibility / patience / dedication / organization / whatever to pull it off. Those who said your kids are too social / hyper / unmotivated/ whatever to be homeschooled. Those who said you would miss your personal free time. Those who said the kids would be bored or they would hate it. Those who said you can't afford it. Those who said it's just too hard.
You were all right.
Homeschooling is damn hard.
It requires enormous amounts of flexibility, patience, dedication and organization. Both on the part of the teacher AND the student. You can be the most organized and motivated person on the planet (and believe me, I'm Type A+ to the max), but if your kids aren't skilled in patience and flexibility, you can plan your heart out, but sometimes life (God?) has other plans.
A friend of mine took her kids to Disney World a few years ago and while they were there her husband posted on Facebook that he had never seen so many parents yelling and kids screaming and crying and getting their butts whooped as right there at the Happiest Place on Earth.
That's pretty much how homeschooling went for us.
It is the Magic Kingdom.
You plan the dream vacation from traditional schooling, complete with engaging curriculum, fancy new classroom and field trips/adventures to motivate and encourage learning like nothing you've ever experienced. And when you get there, the kids hate it. They miss their friends, their daily routine and the structure and predictability of public school. They enjoy the field trips and free days, but they miss their backpacks, gym class and social network. They like their teacher, but they miss their mom.
I just finished reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown and I can't quit thinking about the Theodore Roosevelt quote at the beginning of the book:
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds;...who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly..."
At least we failed while daring greatly.