When you thought you failed at homeschooling
The past three years in our homeschooling has been particularly onerous for our kids, especially for our teenager, but not in ways that you think. I tend to set the tone in our homeschooling since I’m the one doing most of the reading, researching and studying about it, but while not all the paths I’ve chosen for our brood are mistakes, it doesn’t mean I’ve made all the right decisions either.
By the end of the school year 2020, I was feeling like I failed the kids and we had wasted a whole year; but when we were jotting down all the resources they used, and all the topics the kids have taken up, I was surprised to see how much material they’ve actually covered.
To top it all off, the kids remember details of what they’ve learned – from the life of the Jews under the Nazi regime, the history of Philippine money, Children’s rights, to growing a vegetable garden in our balcony, to the books they’ve read and the shows we’ve seen.
Turns out, the year wasn’t wasted at all! I was just so anxious that the kids weren’t completing “requirements as planned” that made me miss what was actually happening before me.
And I think that if we set aside traditional standards, my kids have produced output I’ve never even thought was possible considering the amount of pressure I placed on their shoulders and despite the lockdown and all the restrictions that came with it.
Seeing our list, a wave of relief washed over me. We weren’t doing so bad, after all, we’re just…well…different, as we have always been.
And after all that’s been said and done, the truth is, we like our brand of homeschool. We like being the kids’ support system in the things they want to learn and how they want to learn them. We love hearing the excitement in their voices and how their eyes light up when they talk about the things they feel strongly about, and we love that they’re pursuing what interests them and how there’s so much room to teach them and guide them, and bless them. There’s no question about whether we’re called to homeschool our kids, it’s one of the few things we’re actually certain of.
We tried to conform, but we can only conform so much.
You see, that’s the thing – I keep slapping my kids with one thing after another because I was feeling pressured to have something somewhat to show for what we do, especially when Pablo turned 13. And after two years of yelling here and there, I realised I’m being unfair to them.
We can teach them the Word and guide them on applying it in their lives; we can tell them what we think, correct them when they need correction, cheer them on and give them the boost where it’s needed, and provide the tools that will help them make a go for their dreams and establish their plans.
But we cannot decide on their future. That is not up to us.
So we stepped on the brakes. We want to give our children time to pray and think things through, and be part of the decision-making, after all, it’s their future we’re talking about.
We’ve laid down the cards; they know their options (and, for lack of a better term, the consequences thereof) and yes, college degrees are still in the deck.
I won’t even sneak-tease with a “how hard can it be?” haha! Difficult doesn’t mean unachievable, correct?
I guess we’re now at that bridge and we just need to cross it.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” Romans 15:13.