Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What Would You Do Differently?

I recently read a collection of answers to that question from a variety of homeschooling moms.

"If you could do it again ...."

So. Now that I have ten years of homeschooling under my belt, what would I change?

I would ....

Humph. I've been staring at this page for ten minutes.

Is there nothing I can think of that I'd change? Is our homeschool so ethereally perfect that we needn't tweak a thing?

Ummm, no.

I can round up some of the usual suspects for homeschooling change:

More or less curriculum (depending on the year), more or less glitter (depending on the day), more time outside (always),  more penmanship (nah, scratch that. Long ago, a friend told me that he feared for my life because my new boyfriend Atticus had the handwriting of an axe murderer; I think my kids just inherited their father's hand rather than my careful script.)

But, all of those things are somewhat incidental because, as helpful as "What would you do differently?" surveys are (because I do think they can help us identify weaknesses when we're in the midst of battle), generally speaking, we can't change who we are and where we are on the road.

I can tell a new mom to relax about her baby, but she's still going to fret.

I can tell the mom of a three-year-old that "they all get potty-trained eventually," but she'll still be worried.

I can tell a new homeschooler that she needn't create an Einstein in Kindergarten or first grade, but she'll still be overflowing with enthusiasm and might do too much.

Beginners make beginners' mistakes. I did. I'm still making them, because I'm still a beginner,  just in new and different stages of life. Expect mistakes. Expect tweaking. Expect overhauls.

But, here's the best homeschooling and parenting advice I can dish out:

Identify your biggest fear. Then, hand it right over to Jesus. Every. Single. Morning.  Ask Him to help you face that fear, just for today. Go to bed at night thanking Him for the chance to face the fear and ask Him for forgiveness for your mistakes and sins and ask Him to help you through the next day.

Wake up the next day and repeat.

What would I do differently?

I would never forget my own advice.

(Photo from ImageChef.com)


Roxane B. Salonen said...

Karen, I like what you said about how our advice doesn't necessarily help someone who actually needs to move through the same trials we did at those similar stages. I think the perspective of those who have "been there done that" can be valuable, but only to a point. We are each called to experience life in order to traverse it. Good to know your regrets are pretty small, and your faith, even larger. :)

Robin Sampson said...

AMEN! That is what is all about. Remember more is caught than taught.

AprilS said...

Woulda, shoulda, coulda. Can't live like that. You just gotta go out there and do the best you can.

The beauty of home schooling is that you can always change things as needed. The real skill is being able to recognize that everything is working well and leaving it alone.

And I love Robin's quote in the comments. So good!

nutmeg said...

Love. This.

Thank you!