Today I have to say I had an "AHA" moment! I also like to call it a "God appointed" moment. When everything in my brain slows down and I'm able to concentrate and I GET IT!!! That is what happened with me today.
Every Tuesday we have a co-op so to speak of our homeschoolers and they meet with one another and take all sorts of classes. These classes are exceptional. Trey for instance is taking chess, choir and fun with food this semester. Last semester he took chess, choir and first aid. He's taken a history class and he's taken a mushim do class. They are very beneficial and gets him to meet other homeschool kids.
Last year, our group decided that because of some issues that have come up that it would be better for all Mom's to stay on location. It was at this time there was a bit of groaning. I have to agree I groaned a bit myself. The thought of keeping Ellianna happy for three hours was mind blowing (so I got a sitter called GRANDMA!) Anyway, this semester one of the ladies came up with a class where different mothers could give some "advice" so to speak. Today one of the ladies that spoke was speaking on curriculum. She is a very nice lady and I find her to be inspiring but the subject of curriculum was something I wasn't really interested in. We had found the curriculum I was enjoying so to me it didn't really seem to be of importance. BOY WAS I WRONG!
Through the course of her talk she was talking about how that her fondest memories were when she had "read alouds" with her kids and how much that meant to them as they grew older. She then went on to talk about how difficult her days were with some of her children and that now that she sits on the other side of that how that it was worth it. I started tearing up because this is so what I needed to hear. Some people have perfect children and if you do than God Bless You! However, I don't, and I don't think I would have realized some of the things if I did NOT homeschool. For instance, being around someone virtually all day I'm able to see how he reacts in all situations. Some good, most not. Through listening to this very wise woman I was able to gain some hope to keep "keeping on" that all was not lost on this journey. Then she said something that totally struck me and stopped me in my path. She said "Look in the mirror! If our children have lost their zeal for their subjects and so forth is it because we are acting like its such a drudgery?" I had to say that I am GUILTY! I don't always approach homeschooling as a JOY! I wish I did and I will try so very hard to change that but I have to say that I'm very much checking my list off making sure we get done what needs to be done but I'm not doing the "read alouds" so to speak, I'm not stopping to get my children excited about WHATEVER!!!! If our children are drudging through each lesson its possible that they are doing so because they are watching us do the same. I see that this affects all aspects of life not just homeschooling. It's very possible that I have had this problem long before I started homeschooling.
As a homeschool Mom I constantly feel inferior. Any time someone asks my children why we are out and Trey replies "we are homeschooled," we get the "OOOOH" and then they talk slower and look at us to see if we are dressed in Amish attire. It is almost laughable. Most people are positive but I always wonder what they are really thinking. I constantly feel the pull to over achieve so that we can say "See, we are better!" So, totally NOT the point. I homeschool because I felt I was homeschooling anyway every night with my son when he came home with homework. The biggest reason we switched to homeschooling was because I saw some MAJOR serious flaws in my child that had to have some RADICAL change.
Now however, I feel that my mindset must change and I must be IN this with a much more joyful heart NOT so much out to prove something. We will still continue on with our subjects as diligently as we have before but I will try very hard to go into it with a much more joyful heart and next time I start seeing things going downhill as quickly as they had I will take a look in the mirror first and then see how the attitudes change.
As for our home now we are still a work in progress but at least the Mamma Bear has a much better outlook on things. I must find JOY and not concentrate so hard on "filling the bucket." Truly an inspiring lesson and one that I hope to not forget any time soon.