Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Another Letter from an Imperfect Homeschooler

Darcy at Life with my 3 Boybarians recently posted this:

Letter from an Imperfect Homeschooler

"It must be that time of year, because I’ve gotten several emails in the last couple of weeks from stressed out, burned out homeschool moms. And what is the question I get over and over?

“How do you do it?”

Simple enough question, right? But let’s look at what that question isn’t saying. It’s implying:

You appear to have it all together. I don’t have anything together.
You appear composed and well-adjusted. I feel frazzled and stressed out.
You know something I don’t know.

The truth is that the blogosphere can be both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing in so many ways. How else could we have a glimpse into what can otherwise be only an intimate family setting? When homeschool bloggers share their lives and their days, it can inspire us, teach us, motivate us and give us ideas to which we would otherwise never see.

But I ask my other homeschool mom colleagues – what are you projecting into the blogosphere?"

... Read more of Darcy's post here.

I agree with Darcy. While I think it's awesome to highlight our accomplishments, remember the fantastic days, and "scrapbook" our experiments, it's also nice to let it all hang out sometimes.If and when you need to.

Yes, my kids do well
and we do enjoy it.

I wouldn't give up homeschooling for anything.

No, it is not always easy or “perfect.”
We get discouraged, frustrated, and tired like everyone else.
We have good days and bad days,
like every other school, student, and teacher.
Sometimes the kids don't "get it" and we have to back track.
Sometimes the teacher loses her cool.

Every person has their own bloggie purpose. There's nothing *wrong* with just showing the good, if that's what your desire is. Bloggie Land can be a good "happy place."

However sometimes I need to just vent and share struggles, and get advice (or at least sympathy.) On those days, I find it sad that we/I feel such a need to “protect our challenges” from the world. Blame falls both places: the world needs to back-off. And we need to stand up and show the awesomeness and challenges of homeschooling, and help the other “real” moms and dads out there who are struggling with the same issues.
I'll enlighten you.
Not all homeschoolers look like this:
Sometimes our house looks like it's been through this:

Right now I'm FlyLady-ing the house to keep my sanity. Must be able to walk through the house, when it's too cold to escape outside!! Soooo, the homestead is staying tidy for these winter days.

We are usually done with school by 1pm, and then we go places, do ART (my happy time, people) and I go through a quick clean-up before the man gets home. Even though the man doesn't much care how the house looks. (bless the man!!) Therefore ART makes it to the top of my priority list more often than dusting. Each to his own. No one can do everything all the time.

The man does notice when I'm dressed up, though, which works out very nicely for me. I do love to dress up. Nope, not all homeschoolers wear jumpers 24/7, buns, glasses, bonnets. Seriously.

No two homeschoolers are alike. Our schedules, kids, methods, philosophies all vary. No homeschool is perfect, just as no public or private school is perfect. And if we can ALL, homeschoolers or not, share openly when we need help, support each others' decisions, give advice (solicited, of course,) then the blogosphere could be much more encouraging.

Another Darcy quote:
"Many of us are trying so hard to prove that homeschool is not only a viable option, but a worthy option, for educating our children that our protective defenses won’t allow us to admit that our homeschools are imperfect. But they are. Don’t mistake imperfection for unworthiness."

Just had to pass the encouragement on for any of you who are screaming inside, "just three school days left before break time!!"

***Okay, WOW, I just read this, and must link back to it. Please check out Heavenly Homemaker's post Will All of the Real Moms Please Stand Up?
It's just fantastic.


sara's art house said...

Awesome post! Love the jumpers :) :)

Ms Debbie said...

Love this post. I am one in my blog that points out the great things but will randomly comment on "poopy days". We all have them- why not admit it. I get a lot of emails where people say they enjoy the "realness" in my blogs. There is not much I am good at but " real " is one of them. I had a nice lady once say I " had a horse and pony show" when I was teaching Sunday School. She doesnt even know how much she hurt me. Every time I see her I think of it. She was wrong but... it is in the past. I appreciate the fact that you are real and you dont wear jumpers... please... dont start wearing jumpers. Our public schools are not perfect , so why would we expect homeschoolers to be. I tell people when they come to my preschool, that we are a family, a real family. We have good days and bad days. One day you will come and I will be suzy homemaker with my ducks in a row and apron on. The next day might be house shoes and I don't even know where my ducks are. Those days are few and far between but they do happen. I love your post. Thanks for sharing.
Chapter 2 - next week. :)

Ms Debbie said...

I am SO perfect . I just noticed that you didnt write this... a friend named Darcy did. :)

Sun-Kissed Scholars said...

Ms. Debbie, you funny lady! Darcy wrote that top part, and I linked back to her full post. I wrote the rest (and included the jumper pictures...heh heh)
No worries; I won't start wearing jumpers. ;-)

Sun-Kissed Scholars said...

And, Debbie, I just can't even imagine someone calling your teaching a "horse-and-pony-show." Unbelievable, wrong, hurtful. You have always been "real" and it's one of the things I love about you.
You are good at what you do, you love "your kids," whether in your SS class, preschool, wherever. And I believe that sometimes when someone is truly talented in an area, it can cause others to feel threatened. They feel like they can't measure up, so they diminish the "threatening person's" abilities.
That right there is why I have trouble sharing my "poo days." Anyone who feels threatened or is looking for something against me, could use a poo day as a weapon. At least that's what I've told myself, as a means of justifying my caution.

Sorry. Next chapter soon. ;-)

Leah said...

This post makes me wish I knew you better in real life. I think we'd have a lot in common :)

Leah said...

This post makes me wish I knew you better in real life. I think we'd have a lot in common :)

Sun-Kissed Scholars said...

Leah, does that mean you are a "real mom," too?

I was convicted a few weeks ago about my blog, when several moms told me that I seemed "perfect." Uh, oh. No one should think that. I've been blogging the experiments, but not showing the messes they leave behind. I show the cookies and crafts, but not the piled laundry and frazzled mommy.
We have good days and bad days like everyone else. I can be a slob when I'm unmotivated.
Anyway, I just want to show the whole picture, and not be deceptive by being selective, you know?
You'll have to come play soon. :-)

Leah said...

Ha! Yes! More real than I'd care to admit these days...