I hear you. I see you. I’m on this journey too.
And I hope that all that I have been through raising 15 vastly unique children, each with gifts and problems all their own, and dreams so diverse it’s enough to make you crazy. And somehow, after about 16 years of doing this Homeschooling Mom thing, I quit.
I quit dipping my toes in the shallow water while my children called to me from the deep end where they knew best what made them sink or float, and I learned to trust.
I had tried a little bit of so many different things and nothing added up. It was all too hard, too much, too soon, and I tried. I thought I had failed and yet they thrived because everything that I thought would never be enough added up to so much more than I could ever understand. And they were brave, and they were curious, and they were hungry to learn about this planet we call home, and I never thought I could ever give enough. All I have is all God gave me…and it’s plenty!
But what about the mess, the stress, the fears, the changes that I struggled with in the dark, while my children were playing in the light? I was trying so hard to do it all, and so many voices from the outside spat out worries, saying I’m not enough. But I was enough.
These are the children entrusted to me, and this is the place we are in, and these are the tools, the ideas and the passions we share. And my children will not be like any others, they are not even a bit like each other, but they are the ones that I have been given to love.
So after 16 years of struggle, of reading mountains of books on dyslexia, Unschooling, Charlotte Mason, Classical Education, Autism, Delight-Directed learning, Montessori, Free Schools, conventional education, one room school house models, entrepreneur-based learning, passion-driven learning, element, flow, talent and disability… I tried to put it all together, and glean the best of every world, and customize every child’s education based on their learning style, love language, career goals and special needs. And I wore myself out. Until I gave up trying to do it all, and created the first Do-it-Yourself Homeschooling Journal, just in time for the birth of my 10th baby.
I created the journal from a place of pain, discouragement, need, and hope. I had given up the idea that I could custom design each child’s curriculum and decided to find a way to set them free to “Do-it-Yourself” within the boundaries of all the wisdom I had embraced over the years. When I created the first DIY Fun-Schooling Journal I thought I was cheating my kids, because my whole plan was to make a curriculum that set ME FREE from having to homeschool! I was going to put my entire philosophy of how children learn into a journal that would keep them busy learning for 4 hours a day for 60 days… So I could take a break for 6 weeks with my new baby. It worked.
They used my system to study their passions and cover all the basics while I took care of my baby and enjoyed her to the fullest. The DIY system worked so well I was able to focus more and more on being mommy and less on stressing over homeschooling. So when the 6 weeks were over, we didn’t stop Fun-Schooling. My children wanted more DIY Homeschooling Journals, but they wanted to help design them, and so we did.
And now we are overwhelming YOU, with so many options for homeschooling that maybe you are smiling through your tears cause you have no clue what to do, and you want to dive in deep but it’s still scary. So you wonder how to start, and you haven’t read the 200 books I read that inspired me to design this system of learning, and you wonder if you should trust and try it, or keep experimenting. Something in you says go all the way, and other voices say it isn’t safe, so what are you gonna do?
Is there a way to homeschool without fear? No. I don’t think so. It’s the fear that motivates us to be brave. It’s not the kind of fear that hurts us and binds up and traps us. It’s a feeling of greatness, wonder, power and depth that makes each of us feel so small…
Let that kind of fear stir up courage to do what you need to do, to be who you need to be, to dive in completely, and trust. It’s more fun in the deep end anyway. Just ask your kids.
For questions, come and join the Fun-Schooling with Thinking Tree Books Mom’s Support Group on Facebook!