(P.S. This is a self-flagellation instrument.)
(P.S.S. Don't ever try to look for self-flagellation images on Google. Just don't.)
I don't homeschool because I think I can do a better job than people who have trained for years. I don't operate under the delusion that under my superior tutelage, my son's learning disabilities will magically disappear. I don't think that homeschooling is for everyone. Or that it is a panacea for society's ills. Or that it produces high-achieving super children who will one day rule the world. Or that people who don't homeschool are subpar, half-assed parents.
I homeschool because that's what my child needs.
And (most of the time) it's fun.
And (some of the time) it's satisfying.
I don't think I'm alone in occasionally wondering, Am I really the kind of person I want my kid to be around all day?!
Sometimes the answer is a straight-up NO. I'm moody and sarcastic and tired a lot, and I have an irreverent sense of humor. And I suck at consistency.
This lack of consistency is at the heart of my assertion that I'm not a good homeschool mom.
My son likes my zaniness, my we-don't-need-no-stinkin'-rules approach to life. He's grateful that I don't force him to try to be someone he's not. That I'm more than OK with quirks and goofball antics and controversial statements. That I value humor and creativity. He admires that I stand up for what is right (as long as I don't embarrass him in the process!). He likes having a fun mom.
But does Fun Mom get things done? Does Fun Mom cover all the stuff that her kid is going to need to get into (and stay in) college if he decides to go? Is Fun Mom the ideal homeschooling parent?
The Magic 8 Ball says, "Reply hazy; try again."
The truth is, I don't think I'm the ideal anything. I just don't know that I can be different than I am. I don't think I can be that person who sits at a table for 4 or 6 hours reading through textbooks and going over workbook pages.
My son is not that person either. He needs to be interested in what he's learning. He needs to move around and change course and interrupt. He needs to create and laugh and roam. Sometimes he needs to have his head on the floor and his feet in the chair. None of these traits are conducive to a good classroom experience.
Even though I know this, I still worry. (Oh, the ANXIETY!) I so wish I could be a confident homeschooling mom. I don't know how they do it.
Can an imperfect, moody, inconsistent mom be a good homeschool mom?
If homeschooling was a competition, I certainly don't think I'd win any awards.
I can only hope that I am a good enough homeschool mom. That my imperfect way of teaching and raising my boy is the right way for him. I have to endeavor to be the mom and teacher that he needs--even if it means I don't measure up to the professionals.
I can only trust that God knew what He was doing when He gave us each other.
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