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Friday, October 24, 2014

Keeping Our Homeschool Real

If you are like me, you have this vision of the ideal homeschool in your head.  I dunno, maybe some people actually achieve their ideal. 

But I’m coming to think that those who do that are the exception, not the rule.

I think most of us are muddling through the best that we know how.  We might read books about homeschooling and blogs with picture perfect plans and ideas, but the reality is that our reality doesn’t fit the dream that we had.

Our real lives don’t live up to our visions of what home education would (should) be like.  Period.

Keeping Our Homeschool Real @Homeschooling Hearts & MindsThere is a tendency to gloss over that in the homeschool world.   Maybe it’s seen as too negative or discouraging. 

And personally, for me anyway, there is resistance to accepting that the dream is just that…a dream. 

It’s hard to give up your dreams and aspirations, to accept that this thing, this magnificent thing that you were hoping for? 

It’s not going to happen.

Of course, something equally magnificent (or even more so) that you never could have dreamed up, could still happen.

But us human beings are not so good at seeing the good through the murk, especially when it’s not what we had in mind---it’s easier to find something that you’re looking for.  Things that aren’t on your radar tend to not register as clearly.

Some day I will look back and see a clearer picture of my days educating my children.  I hope it will be a beautiful picture.

But in the thick of things, it’s very hard to see the bigger picture.

It’s very easy to focus on this or that thing that went wrong or that doesn’t fit into my ideal vision.  It’s very easy to grieve over what I thought was best not happening. 

It’s easy to miss the good things that are happening. 

And it’s hard to see how they fit into the bigger picture that keeps changing right before my eyes.  Some day I’ll get it, but I don’t right now.

It’s hard to let go of the vision.  Hey, it’s what I’ve got. 

We humans like to have an idea of what to expect.  Letting go is an act of Faith, it’s about letting God lead us where we need to be, even when I don’t know what to expect.

It’s also about accepting that maybe my vision was flawed in ways I couldn’t see.  Maybe my vision is not really the ideal for my kids or even for me.  I think sometimes we aspire to be something we are not.

It hurts to admit that you can’t do that thing you want to do.

Every year, I try to knit something.  And every year I have to  put it aside fairly quickly. 

I used to knit all the time, but now it physically hurts too much.  I can’t do it.  I have the know how and the skill, but my body won’t allow me to do this thing that I really, really want to do.

It’s a closed door that I keep trying to reopen, but every time I do, there’s a brick wall on the other side.

So earlier this year, I gave most of my knitting supplies to my daughter.  She knows some of the basics and I can teach her the rest.  But as for me---I have to lock the door on that opportunity and accept that it’s not for me.

I’m having to let go of my ideal homeschool because it’s not workable for me or for my children.

There’s a lot of tension between what I want, what they each want, what they need, what they are capable of, what our temperaments will allow…you can’t have it all. 

Perfection doesn’t exist in this life.

But I keep trying to claw my way back to it.  I’m so stubborn, you see.  I don’t like to give up.

So, I have been quiet here on the ole blog.  It’s not that I don’t want to share my struggle with you, it’s that I want to be helpful---and I’m just beginning to see how I can be helpful about this.  I haven’t been hiding, just brooding a bit.

Homeschooling Hearts & Minds has always been about real home education.

Sometimes real life isn’t very pinnable.  Maybe I should make that my new tagline.


  1. I love this. Thank you! I know what I would love our homeschool to look like but reality is nowhere near that. Even choices I made a couple months ago are being changed now. I thought I *knew* what would work. But, nope. Should have listened to my heart more and prayed more first.
    Thank you for sharing. I am glad I found your blog.

    1. I'm so glad that you found this helpful, Nicole. As a parent, it seems that I need to continually adjust my expectations, and as a homeschooling parent I do that even more. It's so easy to get caught up in that idea of what would be perfect and forget that we're teaching these little individuals here who so frequently "thwart" our plans---and often a good way. ;)

      One of the beauties of homeschooling is that my kids do not need to be beholden to 'the plan" whatever it happens to be. But, that's also one of the difficulties of being a homeschool parent. I can roll with things as they come, but I also NEED to roll with things as they come. It is a hard path to follow. Rewarding, but hard.

      Thank you for reading. :)


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