Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Just Keeping It Real,,, Home School Style

Okay, so who here hasn't felt a twinge of guilt when reading a homeschool blog that looks like everyone has it all pulled together? You know? The blog with the perfect house all completely cleaned and clutter free? The wonderful children all lined up neatly in a row?  The school room that has all the books neatly lined on the shelf and the children intently working in their pristine school room that you wished you had?  

Well, never fear! Today is going to be " Keeping it Real Tuesday".   This day can be dedicated to all homeschoolers who feel like they never measure up( Don't worry, I have days when I feel  that way too) .  

With this said though , let's look at the purpose of those homeschool magazines and homeschooling blogs.  
First ,we'll start with the homeschool magazine.   Have you ever gone to a book store and spot a homeschool magazine? The Old Schoolhouse is one of them. I remember in my early days there was just the magazine. Facebook didn't exist, most people still hadn't quite had their own websites. There , though, on a shelf in a book store  was my saving grace. I opened the magazine up and it was like I had entered into a new world , ready to explore.  There I could read about what other families were doing and glean off of the knowledge of these experienced pioneers. Even today I still do. I know when I see that magazine in my mailbox, I still feel like its Christmas time. 
 Granted though you may find an article that makes you feel slightly inadequate. That's not the purpose of these articles though. The purpose is to inspire.  Magazines are meant to help those who are in the trenches and aren't sure what to do, or where to turn.  I mean, honestly who would want to open up a magazine and read an article that talked about a mother wanting to sign herself into the loony bin for the day? Or the mom who had a yelling screaming match for the umpteenth time with their sixteen year old to PLEASE do their school work for the one gazillionth time. Or how about the 8 year old who sat on her chair today and was mad at her mother because she had an assessment and assumed her mother was going to help her. Oops,,, yeah, that really happened. 

Or heck, how about this one?  The eleven year old who learned she had her yearly physical today and didn't want to go see the doctor.  Reason being  : because going to the  doctors equals shots, and mom couldn't guarantee she wasn't going to get one.  P.S. She did get one. 

                                                  All school work ceased at this point. 
  Don't feel to bad for H though. She is a steel wall when it comes to shots , she never cries, she just doesn't like them. 

So are you getting this already? We know magazines are meant to inspire. The families that send articles are not cookie cutter people. When asked to write ,a magazine company is NOT going to accept an article with the day  I just mentioned here .  They want the basics. No frills, no crazies. Just , what is a typical day. Things that are created to inspire, are not meant to  include negativity.   

Next, we'll talk about blogs. Who of us hasn't checked out a homeschooling blog where we see the perfect home? You know the one that is just so totally spotless?  Let me tell you , a camera can only catch so much. What you may or may not see is the children doing chores to keep that house clean enough to look spotless in the shot . What you may not see is the Room of Doom. They may be standing in a clean kitchen or a clean living room. What you may not see is the room that looks like a built in teenage closet.  For example:                             
                                               Exhibit A 

Check this out. Our school room. It's a small room, but its nice and clean and for the most part organized on our first day of school.   Now lets compare and contrast: 

 See what I'm talking about?The picture above shows a happy school room, a clean school room. One which you could actually sit and learn in.   The  picture above that looks as if Hurricane Katrina hit it and no one, trust me , no one is learning in here right now. All school work is being done in the living room right now. 

How many of us can relate to this one? You are working with your other children and you assume that your fifteen year old is doing her school work in her room. 
            If your thinking that's a look like someone just got caught. Your absolutely right. Oops.

Okay, so this wasn't the type of blog post that showed me turned red as a lobster when my eight year old is throwing a fit because she wants to go play Barbies, rather than do her English worksheet with me.  I sadly don't have pictures of me breathing fire for the millionth time (remember I've been homeschooling for twelve years now , I think I lost count) at my sixteen year old to please, for the last time ,get off her Ipod , and to  please get her work done.  

                 Yeah, see that messy room,and that English book on the floor that is NOT opened?

 No, your not going to see a picture of me yelling at my eleven year old for the tenth time  that, yes, book reports require the actual process of writing.  Your definitely not going to see a picture of me just being frustrated with myself ,because even my own day didn't start off on the right foot. 

What you will see is :  us having fun, enjoying our time together and sharing the things that we love to do when we have good days. What you will see is us enjoying our year because we found a curriculum that works very well for us this year, and even sharing an idea or a craft or two that made learning really fun for us that day. 

We love it when dad jumps in to teach history
We have to throw a craft in there every now and then 
  There are so many blogs that I have gotten wonderful ideas from for my own family , and there are blogs where I wish we could do that ,but its just not for us. All I know is that if I were a new homeschooler and I came onto a blog that posted the pictures I did in the beginning of my post, it wouldn't be very encouraging.  I think if I saw pictures like what was above at the top,   it would discourage me in every fiber of my being to ever want to homeschool my children, EVER. I mean, who wants to think that homeschooling is like that everyday?   

  Homeschooling truly is full of more good days than there are bad days. We just tend to dwell on those bad days more often than we should.  Blogs are meant to inspire and not discourage. They are there to say " Hey, I know you had a rough day, but better days are here to come."  They are there to say " Need help? I'm here."  They are meant to help us ,get up, dust ourselves off , and to start all over again. 

 On a side note. If those pictures I posted at the beginning really inspire you  to continue with homeschooling. I can throw a few in every now and then too. 

1 comment:

Christine Emmick said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I had a REALLY bad day yesterday and this truly inspires!