Ok so a couple weeks ago I know I jumped on here and I made this big post about how I was going to get back to blogging and learn to be more consistent, and…insert all the empty promises here. Have we figured out that as much as I want to be that person I’m just not? I really do WANT to be a consistent writer sharing amazing content that will encourage, inspire, and challenge..but well…I also want to sit and binge watch through whatever has struck my fancy today. So here we are, however, that is not the point of my ramblings for today.
My point for sharing my thoughts today is that I have developed a new…umm…frustration. Yeah, frustration. That is a good word.
So a bit of back story. It is not a secret that we are a big homeschooling family. None of my kids have ever sat in a traditional classroom setting. The closest any of them are getting right now is that my middle kiddo is taking choir at a local Christian school. But even that takes place once a week during the students attending the school’s lunch recess.
ANYWAY…one of the things that we do is school in what is more or less a “year round” fashion. This means we begin our newest program in September (usually right after Labor Day) and we work for a handful of weeks, then we take a couple week break, then we work for a handful of weeks, then we take a holiday break that is a bit longer than most traditional school settings. This tends to mean we are still working through our curriculum even into the summer months while everyone else is on “summer vacation”. There are benefits and bummers to this model but again…not really what I’m here for today.
Getting into the purpose of today’s discussion..one of the things I as the homeschool mom will do once we get back into the thick of things after taking our month long “summer break” is get back to listening to my homeschool mom podcasts and reading what I call my “professional development” books. These are things I use to gain insight, understanding, ideas, and encouragement. The problem is that this year I have gotten more of a frustration with things than I have the other more positive things.
So here are some of my frustrations:
Pretentiousness of Homeschoolers
Yep, I said it. I don’t know if its because we are still in the middle of a pandemic and people are all just still trying to figure it all out but I have just felt like several of the homeschool podcasters I have been listening to are coming across with a “better than” attitude simply because we were already “homeschooling” before it became a forced situation.
It is almost as if we have all been part of this elite club and these newer parents who realized that maybe homeschooling “for real” is possible after spending a year and a half having no choice but to make it work are some sort of interlopers. As I listen to some of the episodes all I hear is one variation of “we told you so” after another and let me tell you..that is not helpful at all. Why can we not just give advice and encouragement and care without all that upity attitude to go with it?
The Idea That All Reading Has to Be “Educational”
Ok, this one is one that is really getting my frustrations up. I have kiddos who have struggled to become readers. There have been years of frustrations on both my part and theirs as they have worked to learn to read. It has been one of my vary favorite days when the lightbulb just “clicks” on and suddenly reading makes sense. If I were to continue to listen to the “homeschool experts” (you know those who have written books or host podcasts” and forced their reading to be educational all the time then I am sure I would still be struggling in this area. However, by me allowing them to choose the books they WANT to read during our “reading time” for school they are learning to LOVE reading.
The one thing that helped reading just click with my son was the use of comic books and graphic novels. I will allow the kids to read these types of books from now until the cows come home because guess what..THEY ARE READING. Do I encourage and require that they choose other types of books that also challenge their reading skills? Yes, yes I do. But under no circumstance will I tell them that they can’t read graphic novels any longer to count for their school reading time.
Traditional Schooling Should Be Completely Done Away With
So there is one podcaster I listened to recently that made the statement that “Today’s educational model is obsolete and should be done away with completely. Homeschooling is really the only right way to school.” I just about jumped out of my skin when I heard her say that. Now don’t get me wrong. I do believe that the traditional public school model of education is currently not doing any student any real favors in terms of preparing them for life in the “real world”. I do believe that there should be some type of serious reform to fit the current cultural context. But that is going to take time.
What I don’t believe is that homeschooling is realistic for everyone. Do I believe that they system has fed a lot of people a false narrative that they aren’t capable or qualified to educate their own children? Yes, I do. I think anyone who wants to home educate can do so as long as they are willing to do the hard work that it will take. But that is the key, it will take work and for some, that is just not realistic along with all the other things they have on their plates.
So there it is. Those are the the homeschool frustrations I am currently experiencing. I’m not sure what I am going to do about them other than to know that I took a few minutes of my time to brain dump my thoughts on the matter. I will probably continue to listen to the podcasts and read the books because at the very least I am learning to develop my own personal philosophy around the subject of homeschooling. And who knows, maybe it will help others craft theirs as well.
So until next time, whenever that may be, thanks for reading!
Leave your thoughts in the comments. What are some of your homeschool (or school in general) pet peeves?