Monday, September 3, 2012

Starting again. Letting go.

First day of school, round two, is slated for tomorrow morning. I say round two, because about a month ago I attempted to begin our school year and for a variety of reasons, but decided to wait and start in September.

So here we are again, once more on the eve of a new homeschooling year. For reals this time. I have all these great ideas, wonderful books, projects and supplies. And I know tomorrow won't go the way I planned.

It just won't. Tomorrow I will get everyone breakfast, we'll do our morning chores and I'll tell them we're starting our day with morning basket. My five year old will protest and not want to participate. My three year old will want to climb up onto my back as I sit at our table. The boys will argue over who goes first. My seven year old will only want to do art projects. My excitement over our new curricula, our new subjects and all the great things we are going to learn this year won't exactly be shared my the little people I'm supposed to be teaching. It probably won't be smooth, we probably won't get as much done as I would want and things won't go the way I envision.

That's OK.

I am learning that part of homeschooling is letting go. I have to let go of my lofty expectations; let go of the notion that they are as excited as I am for what I've planned. I have to let go of the idea that our days will always be smooth and full of beautiful moments of learning. We'll have those days; we'll have days when I gush about how great homeschooling is for us and how amazing my kids are. And then we'll have days where it feels like herding cats just to get the kids to go upstairs or come out from under their pile of Lego creations.

This year I need to remember to find balance; balance my expectations with reality, my plans with flexibility, my desire for order with what is doable with three little kids. I need to remember that we have many years of learning ahead of us and while we do take a fairly organized and somewhat structured approach to school, there are numerous opportunities for learning throughout our days, throughout the year, and we'll all benefit from that. I need to remember that one of the most important things I can do as a homeschooling mom is nurture my relationships with my children and their relationships with each other. I do want them to get a robust education. And they are still little; we have time.

So tomorrow we begin again; another year in this crazy adventure I find myself in, called homeschooling. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - this isn't the life I once imagined, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.

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