By: Molly Elmer
To know me, is to realize that I am a bit shy at first meeting. I have a hard time functioning in a cluttered space and I may lean towards exhibiting OCD tendencies with my organization. In a nutshell, I am type A. The funny thing is I was blessed with three rambunctious boys who don’t quite fit in my nutshell, not matter how hard I try.
The moment I opened up the topic of homeschooling to my husband, I hit the ground running. I jumped in cannon ball style and researched, researched, researched! That’s my M.O. If I want to know something, buy something or learn something, I hit up my trusty Mac Book Pro and pal around with my friend Google.
I sort of fooled myself into believing I could research everything I needed to know in order to be prepared for our first year of this whirlwind journey. I expected smooth sailing overall, with minor waves and winds here and there. I knew I would need to tweak this and change up that but I didn’t know I would need to give up.
I went to public school, grades k-12 and had the mentality to prove it. I’ll let you take a guess how the first week went down. Go ahead and laugh, I still do.
I had our neat little schedule, typed up, size 14 Font, and proudly displayed it in our schoolroom. We had a calendar, said the pledge and talked about the weather. I went through the motions even though something felt off. I researched all about curriculum but I suppose I never really thought about how I would implement all the subjects. I did realize my boys are each their own individual and learn best in different ways but the gravity of that realization hadn’t hit. The “ah-hah!” light bulb moment that I had the potential to unlock a world of education and learning, tailored fit just for them had not shifted into place.
It wasn't until my five and a half year old, kindergarten aged, never been to public school boy did not want to learn to read. It just didn't click. And that’s when I gave up. I gave up all the beliefs I had about what he needed to learn and by what age and tossed them out the window. I gave up my way of learning and teaching and instead relaxed and focused on what made him tick. And then I waited until he was ready. Such an easy concept, so why is that so hard to do?
I don’t ever ask my friends anymore what their children are learning in school. I don’t compare. My goal with homeschooling never was to follow the timeline of a public education. My goal was and still is to foster an environment that inspires the love of learning and encourages confidence and independence. I want my boys to be more than book smart.
When I gave it all up, I found my passion as to why I’m okay when my house is in a state of chaos and I don’t remember what quiet sounds like. It fuels me through the exhausting days and lights the fire to always be learning right along side them. It was in the giving up that I gained so much more.