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Have you ever bought THE curriculum? Did you rush out and purchase the best, most amazing, your kids will be singing your praises all year resource? I’ve been there, too. All the blogger are saying it’s the best ever. The Youtube vloggers show their kids dancing ecstatically and begging to diagram sentences. It has 34,862 reviews on Amazon and they are all positive, except for that one, but they probably don’t know what they are talking about. You are on top of the world, because you have just made the purchase of your life. Birds will sing, the sun will shine as a gentle breeze ruffles your perfectly coiffed hair. You will be a homeschool super star like none other…nothing can stop you now.
The Crushing Reality
September comes and your idealistic dreams come crashing down. Instead of celebration dances, you are met with tears. No one is happy. You decide to try harder. Maybe if you do two lessons per day and buy that uber pricey supplement test booklet, then it will all come together. You try and you try, but it doesn’t get better. By Christmas, the mere mention of school has you in tears. Why can’t your children be like your favorite blogger’s. You cower in the corner and fear you may be the worse homeschool mom, ever!
Picking up the Pieces
Doing what everyone else is doing is never the best course of action. Remember your mom asking that if so and so jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge would you follow? Homeschooling elevates the mom guilt because we want so badly to prove that we are adequate and worthy to educate our own children. There are over 2 million homeschoolers in the United States (That doesn’t count students in states that don’t require registration.) So, even if six of your favorite bloggers and 10, 000 reviewers on Amazon are using this curriculum, the vast majority isn’t. It’s time to pick up the pieces of your fractured fairy-tale vision. You did not fail!
Embrace the Freedom
Homeschooling should be a lifestyle of freedom. Even in the most restrictive jurisdictions, there are unschoolers undertaking an education that looks absolutely nothing like school! It is possible to homeschool your way AND meet the requirements. Whats more, if your children are enjoying learning, they will grow into lifelong learners. This is paramount to any other promise curriculum companies make. Lifelong learners are better suited to work, activism, raising family, and being proactive citizens. No one curriculum holds all the answers. Children and families are unique. Homeschooling, if done right, should look completely different from one home to the next, even if they are using the same curriculum.
Stop comparing yourself and your children. Stop following the pack. You are the one in charge. No matter how difficult and painful it may be, admit that what you are doing isn’t working. Box up the supplies and move on. Throw them out the window, sell them online, give them to a friend, it really doesn’t matter what you do, just do something. Your children are with you for such a short time, make the most of it.
Do you have a curriculum choice that you are afraid to change?