Forget unschooling… All ya’ll school moms are like, “YIPPEE” while we homeschool moms are like, Jesus take the Wheel! It’s almost time to start back up! Homeschooling is by far the most difficult, incredible thing I’ve ever put my hand and heart to. I will confess and be straight up, I am easily discouraged (while I walk around encouraging others. There’s plenty of reason to set aside this nonsense. I’ve got Charlotte Mason, Ambleside online and for goodness sake…I have a brain. And so forget “unschooling”… how about “UNMOMMING”?
There’s a mantra in the homeschool community, “No one is better equipped to be your child’s teacher than you.” (If you’re a teacher and I’ve ruffled feathers… better just jump down to the YouTube video and call it a day.).
AND DARN IT ANGELA… IT’S TRUE.
“Unschooling” is about child-led learning… look, I’m all for following their interests, which is what this post will ultimately be about but can we just talk about me for a second? ‘Cause I’ve got “issues” á la Chris Farley. And so, I’m in the mood this evening for some serious “UNMOMMING” as I face another year of Teacher Momma. (That’s what my kiddos call me during school hours). I’m casting off all doubt and hang-ups and going in for full-on Mom-led schooling. ‘Cause, after all, I know what’s best.
Now, this mental commitment to stop second-guessing myself, to teach them what I want them to know and to stop comparing myself to unknown Pinterest homeschool moms is going to take a serious paradigm shift and so,
Let us commence with a letter to me…
A homeschooling pep talk
You’re a failure. No, but seriously… You and I both know it. You long to teach your kids Latin but can’t read most of the state motto’s, you wish they were little Brontë children, writing their own plays and morphing into literary legends (wait a minute, didn’t the brother totally die of drink?)… you crave the Catechism stamped into their little hearts and minds but dang it… they can’t even come to the table with sharpened pencils… you want to be this strong, homeschool mom, I know you do. People are watching and way beyond that, you feel a responsibility to those gorgeous children.
Get over yourself girlfriend.
She wants you to knock it off. She loves you, OK, probably not. She’s dead. But she wants to remind you that your classroom is not a home-based version of the school down the road. She wants you to be secure that bug catching and being read aloud to IS learning. She wants you to KNOW that your children’s minds CAN absorb the literature you are trying to expose them to. She wants you to keep seeing the beauty in what you are doing. It IS noble and it IS good.
Breathe in. Breathe out. You’ll never get it right and that’s why you’re the teacher rather than someone else. It’s good for your kids to see you try, learn, repent, juggle, teach, overcome… You’ve chosen this path for your family because in your heart and mind there is NO OTHER alternative. Stand firm. Listen to your own advice… Lord knows you blab it all the time…
“Don’t look to the right, or to the left. Put your blinders on and don’t look up until you’ve hit the finish line.”
UnMom yourself. Do you have a subject you want them to learn? TEACH THEM. To hell whether it works into the Ambleside online curriculum. You’re a homeschooler for flexibility, inspiration and the love of learning. No matter how much you love Charlotte… she’d want you to be free.
UnMom yourself. For the love, if you can’t handle looking at the other homeschool moms on Instagram… Unfriend them. I know, you’ve never unfriended someone in your life… but can I quote you again? “It’s not show friends, it’s show business.” And you’ve got a job to do here sister. Getting all insecure because someone’s child can cover fourteen subjects in one day and you can barely get through spelling is stupid. “Don’t look to the right or to the left. Put your blinders on and don’t look up until you’ve hit the finish line.”
UnMom yourself. You CAN do this. Take that drive and discipline for your garden, your oil business, your workouts… and apply to the schoolroom. You HAVE the skill set and don’t let anyone or any podcast make you think otherwise.
Angela, you know your kids. You know how to communicate uniquely with each one. You know their needs, their struggles, there fortés and insecurities. This is the job you were made for. Keep Unmomming. Get ready for the school year.
You got this. Love, Yourself.
See, I’m going to apply UnMomming to my school year. I’m peaceful about it. I know it’s going to be difficult, wonderful, challenging and rewarding. I AM a failure but GOD fills in all the gaps with His Mercies, I am called to homeschool my children, I will continue to “UnMom” so it’s more and more about them and what I want them to know and less and less about me and my constantly wondering if I’m doing it right.
Darn it, these kids are amazing. Look at the crazy video they wanted to make with me about their love for raising Monarchs! They ARE amazing. We’ve had an incredible summer, there’s still a few weeks left and we are going to have an incredible school year. Unmomming along the way.
Seriously, you must submit this video to be considered for Best Short Documentary! Well done, kids!
We must plant some milkweed, we have 3 kinds of swallotails all over our big butterfly bushes and other stuff but only one monarch visited one day.
My kids are all grown with kids of their own but your letter to yourself made me excited about all the possibilities ahead in my own day. Nobody knows your family better than you do, Angie, and I have complete faith in the extraordinary job you and your kids will accomplish this year, all according to your own plan, not those of someone else.
Now to write a letter to myself!
Yes! You go Angela. Love this!! Love you and your family! Handle with prayer❤️
Well I suppose we all see things differently and I can understand moments of self-doubt but really, your children exhibit an engaged curious attitude that I just don’t see these days. Maybe yours are not boilerplate homeschooled kids, whatever that looks like, but from where I stand they are way beyond the dullness I see everyday with cute faces planted in an iPad or Smartphone and it’s everywhere, in grocery stores, restaurants etc. The lack of interaction with other humans and with their surroundings is alarming. Yet your children are polar opposite of that manifestation. And for that simple fact I commend you. Open a bottle of wine, grab a baguette, some cheese and give a toast to yourself. You’ve earned it. The day I figured out my son could have skipped every class in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade (except for Algebra I) and it would not have made a difference in his intellectual growth is the day I figured out this racket called public school education.
I don’t think we see things differently at all. This post was more about MY hang ups about teaching them. In fact, you nailed it. My hubs and I talk all the time, wondering if we are CRAZY…but do so many other kids just look like they are FLATLINING??? We’ve felt that way since Aidan was three. Heaven forgive me, but I see these kids and they just have this DUGH look on their face. I don’t get it. In my pride I trace it back to TV, Sugar and vaccines. But that’s a whole, offensive can of worms. Lol.
Thank you SO much for your kind, encouraging words. I do appreciate it.
Thank you, Angela!! I took my son out of a school before his 2nd grade year and have been homeschooling for 8 years now (and a younger child too). I literally, today, bombarded myself with a lot of doubt of being able to school my new 9th grader. The fear set in. I had always dreamed of having my kids grow up on a small farm or at least where they had a big yard to run and experience “more’. Have not been able to give that to them but at least they are not sitting in a classroom 8 hrs a day, 5 days a week, with having to do most of their work on an iPad and not learning to write in script among many other things. Seeing this post today was a gift from God!
Thank you, again, and blessings!
Please teach your children that it is “you’re” for “you are,” not “your”!
“Grace” as your name implies could have found a tactful way of telling me I had a typo. Even my children understand courtesy.
Hi Angela I am a new reader from the UK via Shaye Elliotts blog. I used to be an early years teacher and worried myself to death about my failings. I realised, and our British Education System of testing and inspecting, made the focus always on me. How was I doing, record keeping, planning etc and less about the kids and what they needed. Half the time, the kids I taught needed someone to talk to them, not at them, feed them, take an interest in them . Follow your instinct. Anyone who home schools is awesome in my eyes. God Bless you and your family.
Thank you so much for your kind words. I am glad you are enjoying the blog and took the time to comment.
I wish I could talk my daughter into doing this. If she gets disgusted enough by the gay sex talk from K-6th, maybe she will take him out of school. I pray so.
I hope this is not the kind of blog I just signed up for. Kindness and compassion for all who love, right?
Hi there! Not quite sure what you’re referencing. This is a blog post about homeschooling.
Sorry, was referencing the comment from Nita Hiltner. I don’t believe that casting aspersions on others is the loving intent of homeschooling. Just one Canadian gal’s opinion! Have a great wknd!