When I asked friends what they would be interested in reading about on a homeschool blog a couple of people commented about being “real” and sharing our “struggles and triumphs”. When I think about being "real", it scares me a little bit. I tend to be a little defensive about homeschooling sometimes, wanting everyone to know that homeschooling is awesome and we are having so much fun, and we are not ruining our children by homeschooling them. But the fact is, it is not always easy or fun and sometimes even I wonder if I am doing the right thing.
When I say that I wonder if I am doing the right thing, it's not that I doubt that God wants our family to homeschool, but sometimes I wonder if I am doing a good enough job. Actually, I worry about that an awful lot. Sometimes people make nasty comments about our choices that don’t help either.
When I was trying to teach our oldest to read, I was getting pretty worried for awhile. She was learning, but not as fast as I would have liked, and worst of all, she hated it. We have read books by Raymond and Dorothy Moore that talk about the importance of waiting until children are ready to learn and that pushing them too early will actually impede their progress. They said that most children are pushed to read much too soon, but if we are willing to wait until they are ready, they will pick it up and surpass their peers who were ahead of them in the beginning. I don’t know how many times I reminded myself of that, yet there was still a little voice in the back of my mind that kept asking me, “Are you sure you can do this?”
Now I can finally say that our oldest is definitely reading, and best of all, she told me that she loves to read now! I am so thankful that we did not push her! We worked with her and encouraged her to read by getting books that I knew she would find interesting and tried to find fun ways for her to read (like in the bath tub). Over the summer I even offered her rewards for reading. At first, I hated the idea of “bribing” her to read, but she got so excited about earning her rewards that she flew through more books then I would have ever imagined she would! As a result, her reading fluency improved in leaps and bounds!
Homeschooling can be hard sometimes, especially when the doubts try to crowd out my excitement. Yet, I still know without a doubt that homeschooling is the best thing for our family! If you are a homeschool mom and are struggling with doubts about your ability to teach your children, take heart. You are most likely doing better than you think you are! If you are considering homeschooling but are not sure if you can really do it, trust me, if I can do it, you can too! Give it a go, just remember that it may not always be easy or fun, but it is definitely worth it!
What are some of the struggles and triumphs you have experienced in your homeschool? I would love to hear your stories!