Help! I’m not too good at this! I am not very organized, and I am not doing everything in homeschool that my children need and it worries me. Should I wait until next year when I can get more prepared and organized to homeschool? I’m afraid that my kids will suffer because I’m not perfect at homeschooling yet.
I don’t want you to wait until you are organized or good at homeschooling to begin. If we waited for that day in our lives, our children would be grown by the time we started homeschooling! There are always inconveniences, interruptions. There is no perfection in this business of raising kids. We just do the very best we can everyday and that counts. That is enough.
Day by day, we get better at it and pick up a few more things that we should be doing and it works. The children get the education they need, and they learn to keep at something, day by day, even if things aren’t all as neatly laid out and prepared as we’d hope they would be. I think my kids have learned the very most when conditions are not ideal. They learn that education is important enough for mom to homeschool while she is laying on the couch with morning sickness. They learn that they are very important people in the eyes of their mom, and that being together with them is a priority. They also learn how adults should act under imperfect conditions–with dignity, trying their best.
I have a friend who had a large family of children. When her children were all at home, she lived in a small house and felt cramped for space. She had been educated to be a school teacher and now that she was an at-home mom, her wonderful brain wanted her homeschool “just so”. Of course, under the conditions of being pregnant often and living in small living quarters with not enough money for the resources she wanted, she felt frustrated. Every time I talked to her, she expressed a sincere desire to homeschool “as soon as she got organized”. She spent a great deal of her time organizing what she did have, looking for books she wanted at yard sales or library sales, making lesson plans. I admired her determination to get ready. You can probably guess the end of the story. She never was ready enough to begin. Since perfection couldn’t be reached, she never did homeschool fully. She took her children out of public school some years, but spent the days “preparing”. Her children attended public school off and on over the years. They didn’t really turn out as well as she hoped, and certainly not as educated as need be.
I jumped into homeschooling with both feet, feeling unprepared (as we often do for most of the important events of our lives: college, leaving home, marriage, our first baby, death of loved ones. . .) and struggled through learning how to do it. But trying is what matters, and just like roller skating, every time you do it, you get better at it. Just the act of beginning has some power in it! There is no better day to start something than today!
When I had many little ones in my homeschool, I would carry around a spiral notebook and a pen as I rotated from child to child to help them with their schoolwork, and I would date each page and jot notes down by each child’s name:
Louisa–work on “p”, “d”, “b” reversals
Ammon–not being exacting enough on math problems, too many little mistakes, needs math facts practice
Emily–misspelling “because”, “enough”–add them to her spelling list
Julianna–needs more challenging English program
Then at the end of the day, when I had a few moments to myself, I would look over it and think a bit about what I could do the next day to help with some of those problems. Even if I couldn’t do something that day or week, I had it recorded and eventually got to it. Just having my notebook helped me know I was making progress and that I would get there eventually.
If you love your children, you have the essential qualification. You are prepared. All else can be learned as you go along!
May I recommend: