For those of you who don’t homeschool, I realize that parts of this post won’t apply to you. Perhaps there’s something else in your life you need to smack down. If so, feel free to insert a different word where I’ve typed “curriculum.” Bathroom scales, perhaps? Daily planner, maybe? You fill in the blank. :)
It’s that time again. I’ve gone over and over your catalog. I’ve purchased many of the books you recommend. I’ve read through loads of your teacher’s manuals.
You are, without a doubt, wonderful, and I am so thankful for you. What would I do without you to guide me along as I teach my four children? Truly, you have been a God send.
What I need you to know, as I plan our upcoming school year, working to provide the best education possible for my children, is that as wonderful as you are, you aren’t perfect. Don’t sweat it. There’s no way you could keep up with knowing what will work best for each family.
Just so you know, what you ask me to do on week three doesn’t at all match what is on our calendar. (Perhaps you’ve heard that soccer season and fall school schedules don’t always get along?) It’s okay though. I’ve decided to slide some of your assignments around so that we can fit them in later, if possible. It’s really cool how you have never sent the Curriculum Schedule Police to my door to spank my hand for shuffling around assignments. You are constantly gracious.
I’m not sure who you think we are, and it could be that all the other families actually have 8th graders who are ready to study for their doctorate. But I felt you should know that while I appreciate all of your suggested literature, if we want our kids to have time to get themselves up out of a chair for any part of their 15 hour awake time each day, we won’t get around to reading every single one of your books or do even half of your writing assignments.
Some of what you assign my kids to do each week, we will only do once per month. That really is plenty for them at this stage. Occasionally, I will substitute one of your recommended books with another one that meets my boys’ needs. And when I look at you each weekend while planning for an upcoming school week, if at any time I feel like throwing you across the room, I’ll refrain, but I reserve the right to stuff your schedules, guidelines, suggestions, and outlines into a bottom drawer far away and pull you out when and if I feel like looking at you again. No worries. Learning will still be going on at our house. It just may not involve keeping up with your recommendations during those particularly hectic days.
Here’s something neat: After eleven years of homeschooling, I don’t look at your outlines and teachers guides and feel less than, guilty, or overwhelmed anymore. My kids are learning loads of information and becoming very well rounded because of and in spite of me (and you). So thank you again for your help, because I truly could not do this without you. I’ll continue to use you as a guide, because you are so very good at that.
But you don’t own me. I own you. Perhaps you remember the exciting day you arrived in a box on my doorstep?
See you in a few weeks. It’s going to be another great school year with our family!
Laura (an ordinary homeschool mom)
P.S. Have you ever wished Shakespeare had spoken a bit more understandably? Maybe I’ll write a letter to him next. In toddler speak. That’ll teach him.