Homeschooling mom, I’m thinking about you. I know what you’re going through. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably busy planning out your curriculum for next year. You’re reading blogs, researching topics for study, and searching for ideas.
As I’ve been looking for ideas for a few of our unit studies, I’ve stumbled upon many bloggers passionate about certain methodologies and activities that I can’t imagine doing. And while I know that those particular methods of homeschooling wouldn’t be a good fit for me, I can’t help but wonder if I’m missing something….or doing something wrong….or messing something up. Everyone else loves it….so why don’t I?
You must figure out what works for YOU. The single most-effective teaching tool will be a confident, comfortable, and happy teacher. If you are stressed and angry – your kids won’t thrive. If you are teaching from a place of comparison, your homeschool won’t be as successful as it could be.
Think of it this way –
My husband wears size 13 shoes. On occasion I’ll slip on his shoes to go get the mail or take out the trash. Is it possible? Of course. I am able to walk in his shoes, but it’s labored, clumsy, and inefficient. (And yes, I look silly.) But, when I wear my OWN shoes, life is so much easier. I walk freely, unencumbered with the burden of trying to fill someone else’s shoes.
Once you decide to homeschool, you’re going to encounter many different methods, assignments, activities, curriculums, and methodologies. Homeschooling parents are often extremely passionate about what they have chosen, and their posts and ideas can be so alluring. You may see someone post about their huge collection of living books, their latest lapbook, or the way a classical education is impacting their kids. It looks great. But here’s the thing – it looks great because it is what works for THEM.
Could it work for you? Sure. Does it have to? No! You may never be comfortable in the shoes of a Charlotte Mason homeschooler. You might “slip on” the shoes of a workbox homeschooler and find your perfect fit – or you may find they hurt!
You may need to “try on” a few different homeschooling methods until you find the one that is just right for you. Can you imagine clunking along for a whole school year in a pair of shoes that were 4-5 sizes too big or small for you? It would be almost unbearable! You must find the method of homeschooling that works for you. Whatever you choose has to be a good fit for you.
Just as certain styles and types of shoes may look adorable and appealing on the rack, you might find that when slipped on, they just don’t work for you. I have friends that can rock adorable high heels, but for me – I’ll stick with my sparkly Bobs. It’s the same way with curriculum. While I read so many posts from bloggers who are crazy for lapbooks and notebooking, I know that that method just doesn’t work for me. It’s not a fit. Those are “high heels” to me. They look great “on” and work for lots of other women, but just aren’t a “fit” for me. I won’t ever be comfortable in high heels and I won’t ever be comfortable teaching primarily through lapbooks, unschooling, boxed curriculum sets, etc. Those things aren’t bad, wrong, or better – they just aren’t for ME.
A comfortable and passionate mom (or dad/caregiver!) is going to make the best teacher. If you know in your heart you’d never be comfortable designing your own curriculum -don’t! If you know that workbooks aren’t for you, don’t use them. If you can’t see yourself getting behind online education, don’t go there. Find the perfect fit for YOU. Find your fit.
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