I have a confession to make, some days I just want to throw in the towel. This of course isn’t an uncommon phenomenon in homeschooling. When our neighbors pieced together that T.B.M. were homeschooled I heard the usual “you must be very organized and patient”. I had to silently chuckle and give my standard smile, shrug, and dismissive “meh...I’m a bit Type A”. Am I more organized and patient than parents who send their kids to public or private school, I highly doubt it. There are days when my precious darlings voices sound more like nails on a chalkboard than sweet singing angels.
Our last couple of weeks have been nails on a chalkboard weeks, where every fight I have to referee, every complaint and question I have to field,and every unfinished assignment is another notch in the “you shouldn’t do this” belt. These past few weeks as I’ve looked at my never ending to-do list, the chaos of my home that is still in PCS purgatory a year later, and the sound of nails on the chalkboard screeched my name I mentally snapped. I was done. Screw it. Never fucking again. I was going to toss General Disarray and Professor Chaos into public school and hunt down a preschool for Stormaggedon. Then I could reclaim my sanity-and hang a picture without having to investigate another crash!-, because I had clearly failed at this whole homeschooling- stay at home mom thing.
Then Tuesday morning General Disarray got up, quietly did his chores, inquired about breakfast, and then disappeared for a bit. When he reemerged it was to show me a series of drawings he had done, they were plans for mods he wanted to make for Minecraft. He was thrilled to show them to me, but he was disappointed too. “I want to make these, but I have to wait until I’m adult before I can make a mod” he insisted. He was convinced this was only a skill an adult could acquire, because us adults possess the ability to do things that kids can’t -ha!-.
I assured him that he didn’t need to be an adult to create a mod for Minecraft he simply needed to learn to program, and even that could be learned at his age. After a bit of Googling we discovered Scratch and made him an account. He spent the rest of the day exploring and learning. On Wednesday, after he plowed through his regularly scheduled lessons with gusto, he went back to work on the various projects he had started the day before. His dinner conversation that evening was lively, he was so excited to share with us what he had done and what he plans to do. In the chaos of unorganized books, piles of unfiled paperwork, screams, complaints, and general life insanity a fire had been lit. I did nothing more than let him know he was capable of something and then gave him the tools to do it, but then again that’s what I believe education should be. To equip an individual with the skills and tools needed to fulfil their dreams. It’s easy to forget why we do this day in and day out when we’re in the middle of the chaos that comes with homeschooling. So today I’m remember why I do this, because tomorrow will be chaos, everyday is to some extent, but in the chaos are victories-both large and small-.
Will T.B.M. still be homeschooled this upcoming school year, yes. Will I still have moments of feeling as if I’m failing and days when I add to the strands of white hair that have started appearing on my head? Of course. I’ll take solace in those precious moments when the why behind what we do becomes very clear, I’ll push forward knowing that more victories await us, and I’ll keep quality wine and chocolate on hand for the chaos.
“Take your victories, whatever they may be, cherish them, use them, but don't settle for them.”
Copyright(c) 2014 Rayven Holmes