I’ve been trying to teach Bern and Katelin to read. Can I tell you how relieved I am to have two (actually three, but I’m discussing two) children? Each as different as the sun and moon? Can I also admit I have had moments when thoughts of slamming my head into something hard are alluring? I am human and don’t want my naysayers to think I’m giving up or that I think this is the wrong choice for us. But I’m also not for painting a perfect, blissful (and false) picture of endless homeschooling bliss. That would be dishonest and that just ain’t me.
Katelin absorbs information like a sponge. She’s quick, determined and a touch careless. She likes to guess but she’s got good deduction skills to fall back on. She makes me feel like HSing is easy and the only way to maximise her potential. If Katelin were my only child, I would have medals of gold cast monthly for my superior and perfect parenting skills. Downside: She really wants to go to school so she can have more friends.
Bern is the one who makes me so tempted to resort violence. He has poor mental stamina and the retention of a goldfish. While I know it’s ok for 7yo’s to not be able to read (though this would be a disaster in conventional schools) I would also expect decent letter recognition! It’s not like I haven’t been teaching him his letters in various settings etc. He makes me feel panicky and terribly flawed. What mother entertains thoughts of literally beating it into a child? Sigh. Upside: He can improvise and adapt origami planes for hours.
What am I trying to get across? Well, here’s a little list
- Each child is unique and though tempting (and infinitely more convenient), we should never expect them to march to the same tune.
- HS is not easy and it’s not perfect. It’s life: changeable, dynamic and a learning process. Don’t set yourself up for failure by being unrealistic.
- At least half of what HS turns out to be for your family depends on you, the driving force. If you’re flexible and realistic, you’re going to have a lot more fun. And see a lot more of your child’s ability to learn independent of you. If you’re rigid and too demanding, you may face disappointment in yourself and your child.
My family is different from yours and by no means is our way better than your way. We have bad days when I feel the kids have learned nothing and we have good days when they’ve worked at their math, reading and writing. And we have real days when I realise that I should get over myself, for every moment is a learning moment when your a kid (whether your spent it setting up a tea party for the dolls or whether your did a dozen pages of Math Mammoth.)