I've been considering joining the Co-op since last fall but haven't committed obviously.
I started schooling my 4 children this school year but fear I am not making the right progress or keeping up! I get scared that I'm going to mess them up or they're going to get behind, then I remind myself of all the wasted time and lack of real learning they were used to at APS. I guess I'm still trying to figure out what's going to work for us and how. I am currently using a mix of curricula.
Hi there. I worry about the same thing as well. I am always checking our progress to make sure we are doing well. My son is 8 and in 3rd grade. We use Abeka and thankfully it is designed to help keep me on track.
Boy oh boy, I now the feeling of getting your "sea legs" w/homeschooling . . . this is so very normal, though. The thing that makes me doubt myself faster than anything is when my kids "act up", seem lazy or resistant, etc. . . . basically, when I don't dig their behavior. Other days, it seems we're soaring . . . really on a roll.
This is such hands-on parenting . . . and for those of us who weren't homeschooled by our parents (me included), it feels kinda foreign! I mean, we're with them ALL the time. It's so easy to get overwhelmed or to overanalyze ourselves, our family, our kids if we don't take moments to step back, relax, and see things from the big picture.
Then, the question becomes: "Are they in a better emotional, social, spiritual, academic environment here w/me (as parent) or would they be better off @ school?" If it were another school district, it might be a true question. But with APS, it just seems like a given . . . school is very difficult on most APS kids . . . there are few thriving in their environment. Still, it's tempting on those days/weeks/months when things aren't going quite right to enroll them so that they'll be around more kids their age; but, when even their peers are unhappy, everyone is brought down by the system (all-be-it together). Sure, there may be classrooms in APS that are truly exceptions . . . but it feels like a game of russian roulette to hope for this.
Just running through my own thoughts alongside you . . . and I wish us all lots of wisdom as we walk on our homeschooling paths. It seems like facing doubts is just a totally inevitable part of homeschooling for a while . . . until something sways a parent in one direction or the other.
btw, I also feel like a slacker sometimes . . . I think it's part of the myth!
There's this very prevalent misconception that homeschooling parents have all their ducks in a row all the time. Luckily, this is just plain BS. (who can live up to that?!) We ARE however, very brave, very consciencious, very in-love with our kids (enough to focus on them this much), and family-centric. But we sure aren't PERFECT superhumans, are we?!
Of course, I must admit that the myth comes in very handy when you're out-in-public sometimes or talking to acquaintances. Sometimes it helps us avoid anti-homeschool conversations because the myth makes us a bit . . . intimidating.
But we know the truth: we are normal people with an extra-large helping of parental ownership . . . we really want to take responsibility for raising our kids
Is it possible you're not really a slacker but just being hard on yourself? Either way, you're not alone!
Good questions: if you were your kid(s), would you rather your mom be tightly-wound or easy-going? if you were your kid(s), would you rather your parent allow you to learn on your own schedule, or have a more structured academic agenda? OR, would you prefer a blend of these approaches depending on the subject? if you were your kid(s), what would help you fall in love with the process of learning? what would attract you to learning?
Every kid is different, so I don't know what the answer to these questions are. Some kids really do thrive in highly-structured environments and some thrive in a loosely-structured environment. And both are equally good!
I too started homeschooling this year and had some similar fears. The first thing i did was intentionaly to not do any type of formal schooling for a few months. I just wanted to give them some time to get used to the idea of homeschooling and to allow them some space to find what they enjoyed again.I think one of the most awesome things for me as a mom was seeing how much happier they became.So...even if your approach is trial and error, and you think that everyone else is probably doing a better job than you (at least i think that way ...your kids will forgive you because they know that they are cared for. By the way...the group is great, i dont think i would have been as comfortable with everything if i hadn't met others in the same boat...good luck with everything
Come! Let us dance like children of the night! Co-op member Co-op Member!!!
Location: Blissful blissfullness
I often feel like a slacker mom (When it comes to schooling at least ) Just know you are not alone! I think we all feel like that every so often, who of us can always live up to our own high expectations? Hang in there!
Karen Wife to Al, Mom to Jack, Lana, Frank, and Rick David
"What are legends anyway but stories about ordinary people doing extraordinary things?" Julius (Laurence Olivier) A Little Romance
Thank you all so much for the warm welcome and encouragement. It makes me feel a little better to know that I'm not alone in my insecurities. I think I might have to go to one of the park days and see what your co-op is all about and see if it would be a good fit for us. At least I wouldn't be a complete stranger since I've peeked in here!
I figure the main public service unschoolers provide is support for slacker-moms who feel guilty about it. We don't "do school" and the kids still learn stuff.
Besides which, you'd have to work really hard to mess them up more than APS! Not fair, really, but when you're beating yourself up you usually aren't being fair, either. When you were in school, do you remember ever getting through the whole textbook? No, none of us did--so don't stress about not "finishing" by a certain date now. Do you love 'em? Do they know it? Do you provide them with opportunities to learn about a variety of things? Then you're doing OK!
Hello, Welcome to the world of homeschooling! I have yet to meet a homeschooler who is not worried that they are off track or slacking at varios points throughout the year. I think this is something all teachers worry about! I taught in public schools for several years before we began homeschooling four years ago, and most of my coworkers worried that they were "slacking" with their classes as well. I think it is just something that goes along with teaching. When you learn about child development and study varios curricula and standards, it's easy to become overwhelmed with all that there is to learn and know. Since you are homeschooling, your kiddos do not have to deal with a classroom full of 25-30 students, all with different learning needs and capabilities, several of whom may speak little or no English. Since you do not work for APS, you do not have to fill out a vast amount of paperwork each year while dishing out one standardized test after another. Surely, your kids have an advantage homeschooling. During my first year homeschooling, I confided in my friend who taught elementary school that I felt that we spent most of our time on reading and math. She assured me that in elementary schools throughout APS students only have a science class once per weeek! Social studies is often taught in units at varios times throughout the year but not necessarily daily. (I taught middle school and high school--so this was news to me.) I am sure you are doing great, and I think all homeschooling parents are awesome because they are willing to actually raise and spend time with their own children.
We have definitely had our share or ruts, but homeschooling has been such a rewarding experience for our entire family, and I hope we will be able to continue with it.
Best wishes, Renee AKA slacker mom PS I suppose I should mention that my kids are watching SPONGE BOB!!!! Hey, it's spring break, really! Is it really so wrong to be a slacker once in a while?