I have a confession to make. I suck at this homeschooling thing. I got burnt out and just couldn’t do it anymore. I needed time to think, relax, allow myself the grace to just be mom and not, balance it all homeschool mom. The weather got warm and we ditched it all. No more sensory activities, no more craft projects, no more, reading lists, no more textbooks, no more lesson plans. We shoved it all in a closet. We took a different direction. Unschooling…
Normally summer is packed with activities and lesson plans. We live our days like a summer camp. I spend hours a week planning and time every night late into the night setting up activities. We have been doing it this way for 7 long years. This year I threw in the towel.
Did the kids stop learning? Not for a moment. Instead, they just learned in a new way and I am so glad I did it. How did they learn?
The dirt was their sensory bin. Every night we would hose them down before letting them back in the house but the floors still looked like mud pies.
Processed food for the freezer.
They learned to work and train their new puppies.
They came up with their own craft projects.
We built forts in the backyard.
Started a small garden and built a fire pit.
Painted the house.
They joined me in exploring and learning about plants we found around us. I actually had time for my own interests and to learn myself again. At first, I felt guilty but now I feel free.
Too hot to play outside? Oh, my did we get plenty of days like that this summer. Instead, we completely emptied the livingrooms. All that remained was a TV and a chair and a toy kitchen… We had room again just like when we first moved in and in that room, we would lay on the floor with a stack of FunSchooling Books, Board Games, and other things that interested us and work alongside each other as fans blow over us. On the really hot days we would take it all outside to the front porch even the fans.
Sometimes when the girls go bored they would go dig in an old box of uns used packs from Mother Goose Time. They wouldn’t ask how TO do what they found. They would dive in and figure out what they COULD to with it. They would tote around a book that went with what they where exploring simply by using pictures and I would find myself cuddled up on the floor reading to them.
What was the end result? Well we still have some time left in the summer, The kids had started picking up school stuff more and more despite the cooler weather, the preschoolers have gotten brave enough to venture into the fenced backyard with the dogs in tow while I am cleaning the kitchen instead of sitting outside. We all feel refreshed and rested from years of trying to structure everything.
I thought I would feel guilty but the truth is I don’t not one bit. Beacuse despite my not teaching unless I was answering a question they had the kids have still been learning, they have still been growing as people, and I have enjoyed a season off.
Now I understand. Now I am refreshed. I have had a chance to find myself again, to feel like more than a homeschool mom but a person with interests of my own. Now I can be a good parent again, and now I plan the new school year with a new perspective.