Monday, August 8, 2011

No More Guilt



GUILT!!!!!!!!!

I have it.  You have it.  It must be some sort of invasive thing that enters our body when we have children.  I just can’t remember feeling it so often BC (before children)!  Not enough fruit.  Not enough baths.  Not enough sleep.  Not enough awake time.  Not enough reading.  Not enough fractions.  There is just no end to it!

At the same time, I see guilt as one of the least productive of all emotions.  Guilt grinds us to a halt.  It weighs us down until we can barely lift our primate knuckles off of the ground and it makes us long for hibernation.  The thing it doesn’t do, however, is inspire us to do better!
So, in order to make a dent in the homeschool parents’ overload of guilt, I have created a list of rules.  Strike that.  Suggestions!  Evaluate them and decide for yourself if they make sense for you!

Never, EVER, when feeling particularly down in the dumps read a “How to Homeschool” type of book.  Most of them can bring me down from the pinnacle of a homeschooling buzz!  They effect me even worse if I am doubting my ability to explain exponential notation properly.  These books can offer some truly wonderful and inspired ideas and guidelines.  But that is what they are.  Ideas and guidelines.  Not rules.
There.  Are.  No.  Rules.  Your.  Way.  Is.  Correct.

If your child were in school, he or she would have at least FIVE different adults offering instruction or supervision during a single day.  Of course you can’t to all of that!

You can do better.  You can be a single, consistent adult, who truly sees and cares.  That always trumps the numbers.

Knowing HOW to learn is more important than knowing everything.  I have NEVER memorized the state capitols and I will never know how to speak Spanish or French.  But, I DO know where to find all of this information (AND MORE) and that is even more important.  At any given moment as an adult, none of us know it all.  But, happily, we know our resources and we use them.

You didn’t even know what an iPod was three years ago.  You won’t know everything that there is to know about homeschooling…well, ever!  But you can do your very best today with that you know today.

And that phrase that I remember hearing so often when I was a kid, that phrase that means so much to me now:  Tomorrow is another day

I honestly have to remind myself of that.  Do you?

We don’t have to do it all today!  There will always be a tomorrow for us to learn more, do more, or even use for relaxation.  Art, music, biographies, creative writing.  Let’s plan on doing some of that stuff tomorrow.  And if tomorrow never comes, well, I have to say, I only read about three true pieces of literature throughout my entire high school years.  Most of my literary reading came as an adult and by choice.  You really don’t have to do it all.  Sometimes it is enough to say, ‘Hey, there are some cool things over there…wanna go have a look?  Well, maybe another day.”

Your family is a team.  YOU are not the work horse and PLEASE don’t think that you can be or should be a super mother.  Every member of the family can help plan and carryout a meal.  And, if your children are like mine, some of them will happily cooperate and feel proud for doing so while some of them will feel like it isn’t fair and life stinks!  That’s normal.

If at all possible, take mental health vacations.  You alone or the whole family.  Go to the park and just lie in the grass.  Stay up late and look at stars.  Sit by a creek and collect insects.  These activities are perspective-givers.  Sometimes we all need a reminder…

Peace.

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