March 9, 2008

Homeschool Mommy Freak Out

I know that all homeschool moms have that day where they just freak. You know the one that I am talking about. It is the day that you think that you are doing more harm than good. You wonder if your child is keeping up with the schools or if they are just doing enough to get by.
That was the case for me last week when I decided that it would be a great idea to do the kids' progress reports(we are required to do them) and use worldbook's curriculum outlines. Well I freaked. I was crying, I was upset. I locked myself in my room with books all spread out on my bed. I was trying to figure out where I went wrong. Not enough school? Not challenging enough?
Then I called my mom. I told her that I was trying to get the reports done and she started asking questions. I found myself defending my decision to homeschool my children and our decision NOT to test the kids. This is something that my mother was adamant about. She wanted her grand kids tested. There was no if and or buts about it. She believes that we are doing a disservice to our children by NOT testing them. That they need that test to build their self confidence. That they need to be able to compare their progress with those around the country. I found myself remembering WHY I was homeschooling. It was because I didn't want that.
My mom did make one valid point. She asked if I am homeschooling the kids because I don't like the way my public schools are run, then why am I using their guidelines to homeschool. I should be doing above and beyond what was required. She was meaning that I should be testing my kids even though my state doesn't require it. I took it as I should make sure that I do more academically than is required.
After getting off the phone, I took another look at the things spread out across the bed. I realized that my kids really aren't doing as bad as I thought. They are way ahead in some areas and some areas they are struggling with. But that is the joy of homeschooling. I can work on those areas that they are struggling with.
I am going to be spending the day planning out our next unit. I am going to also plan out this week. While I plan I am going to remember that my kids could never have a teacher that loved them more.


Theresa said...

You are right, we all have those days/weeks/seasons when we look at what we are doing and think,"Yikes! I am messing up my kids!!!" So don't take it too hard.It tends to happen most when we start comparing our children to others-other bloggers' kids, other families we know IRL, or even some arbitrarily set standards from a book.
You say your kids are ahead in some areas and behind in others. In other words, they are normal kids.One of the benefits of homeschooling is that you KNOW these areas of strength and weakness for your kids very well, and you can teach to their strengths while supporting them in areas where they need your support. How nice they are not being made to feel inferior by being subjected to standardized testing to show them quite plainly where they don't measure up. The only thing accomplished by standardized testing is standardized kids. I don't want that for my children and I get the feeling you don't either. Stick to your guns. It will all smooth out in the end, and in the meantime just enjoy the wonderful ride.

Frankie said...

I have those days, too. I'm having that day (week, month?) right now, after taking four weeks off school unexpectedly.

In my state it is mandatory that we test yearly. I actually like the test because Thomas really works hard at it and I have a guideline of where he is. However, if I lived in a state that didn't require it, I don't know if I would do it or not -- definitely not yearly. Perhaps in the older grades for practice for the big guns tests.

I think the best rule of thumb is follow your heart.