Did you ever read one of those home school articles that make it seem like all home school students are geniuses? You know the ones that present all home schooled children as multi-lingual, classical music loving, spelling bee winning, perfectly well-behaved angels? And all home school mothers as organized, patient, supermoms who bake home made bread, sew their own clothes, and grow gardens with fresh vegetables to serve their families for dinner every night. I hate those kind of articles. Instead of inspiring me to do better they always leave me feeling incredibly insecure and inadequate. The reality of my home school experience is nothing like that. The only foreign language I have attempted to teach is Latin and my kids and I have started our Latin program four years in a row and have yet to get all the way through one year of it. We listen to classical music once in a while but usually prefer the Christian station or country music. My sons spell okay but my girls’ spelling is atrocious. And, if you’ve read my blog before you know, their behavior is not quite perfect... yet. As for me, I am completely unorganized most days, I struggle to be patient but find myself taking a lot of deep breaths and even needing time outs at times (for me, not necessarily the kids). I actually do like baking bread from scratch but have never sewn my own clothes, and cannot keep a plant alive to save my life. I just don’t measure up to those perfect home school articles. I never have.
After receiving an unexpected free copy of a home school magazine over the weekend, I excitedly flipped through hoping for some practical advice or inspiration. It had a few of those articles in it though. Instead of being inspired, I was left feeling like I’ll never do enough because I could be, should be, doing so much more. I was discouraged about the whole thing and went to my computer looking for a pick-me-up. I searched for “home schooling- not feeling like I do enough” thinking there must be others out there like me, imperfect, unorganized but still trying to do the best I can with my kids. As it turns out, there are. I found this blog post over at “Guilt-free Homeschooling” with a quiz that addresses my very concerns. Am I doing enough? Are my kids learning enough? Are they well adjusted, properly educated, socialized? I loved the quiz. It made sense. It wasn’t about whether or not we have finished our Latin program, or whether or not the kids know all about the circulatory system. It was about whether or not they are learning to learn. And, as it turns out, I am doing fine. They are doing fine. If you, like me, home school your children and find yourself questioning yourself. Check it out. Take the quiz. Even if the results are not exactly what you hoped for at least it should give you a reference point to start from. And rest assured, you are not alone in your worries, many, many days I am right there with you.