Tuesday, January 21, 2014

5 Essentials of Homeschooling: Weebles Wabble, but they don't fall down

 This week I am going to talk to you about the 5 Essentials of Homeschooling. Instead of writing about my favorite brand of #2 pencil and math curriculum, I want to talk to you about what I consider to be truly Heart issues. Of course, these issues are what I have found to be true in my own experience. They might be different for you. My topics for the week are Discipline (the self kind, not the a timeout…though you might need one), Flexibility (and if you can put your leg over your head I don’t want to hear about it), Creativity (you might be able to borrow someone else’s), Teachability (believe it or not…you’re not done learning)  and Grace (I need it daily!). My apologies to those who really wanted to know my thoughts on dry erase boards (I like them) and co-ops (I am slightly afraid of them). Happy Reading!


Flexibility. It can come in many shapes and forms.

Here is a true story. Many moons ago, when I was  a little younger and cuter, I had a nasty car accident. It was so nasty I nearly died. But I didn’t (as you can see). It did leave me with multiple orthopedic issues which include over 20 pins and screws that hold much of my lower half together. I had to learn to walk again and for the first several years, walking was anything but easy. I kind of waddled like a penguin. I still kind of waddle, but that is another story altogether. 

I also fell, a lot. One bright sunny day I made my way out of the church office. I am not sure where I was going, only that I was waiting on my mom to follow. I believe I was going across the street to my husband’s office (he was a youth pastor at the time). All of the sudden…out of nowhere…a small hole sprang up, grabbed me about the ankle and flung me to the ground!

 Okay. So maybe I just tripped. I tripped hard. I found myself sitting in the middle of the church lawn with my feet spread out in front of me. And I couldn’t get up. Not by myself. So I sat. And waited for my mom. Cars drove by. I waved and pretended I was picking yellow dandelions from the grass. My mom must have got caught up on the church phone because I waited a long time. I sat. I gazed at the soft clouds in the sky and contemplated the meaning of life, my grocery list and if I was going to be the topic of conversation down at the Shake Shack (Did you see that woman sitting in the church yard?) When mom finally came out to discover me planted on lawn, she was flabbergasted and very apologetic. 

It was really okay. I had gotten a chance for a little reflection and a nice rest. It was like having a picnic without the picnic basket.  

Not every story in my life ends as peacefully. Sometimes I’ve railed against those who have disappointed me, cried, sent myself to bed, and drowned my sorrows in a bag of Lays potato chips. 

When I lost my first and only pregnancy after 10-years of infertility, I had many bad days. I’m not suggesting that one must take life at it is without emotion or thought of self. 

The truth is, however, that we all have to bend…just a little. 

When we began our homeschooling journey, I had my suspicions that Josiah was dyslexic. He just struggled. We worked through respectable reading programs. I took him to a friend who had taught for 20 years for tutoring. He made some progress, but he couldn’t seem to get past the very early readers. He would forget concepts that he had seemingly mastered the week before. It certainly made my own idea of a perfect homeschool setting difficult. I had to rethink my grand plans. 

Being Flexible doesn’t mean that you throw your plan to the wind. It means that you are able to bend and move within that plan. Homeschooling requires quite a bit of that. 

Being Flexible means that you can take advantage of the wonderful freedom this Homeschooling lifestyle…
1.       Josiah can have a wonderful, daily interaction with his Dad who works 3:30pm to 1:30am 4 days a week.
2.       It means that he can follow his interests and passions like meteorology and detective stories.
3.       Pajamas can be our school uniform (don’t judge me until you’ve rocked a pair of fuzzy pants)
4.       When I’m ill or worn down we can read about the vastness of the solar system or go on adventure with Tom Sawyer all from my bed.
5.       We can spend hours at the library on a Tuesday morning (not that I or anybody I know has ever done that …A-hem)
6.       Our snowdays are spent inside with our school books. When the weather is 75 and sunny we are at the nature center.
7.       Grocery shopping on a Monday morning can also pass for Math class.

So maybe you feel like you’ve fallen in the Flexibility department. Maybe life has dealt you a blow that is hard to swallow. My first suggestion is stop, Breathe and look around you. You are in a wonderful place. You are able to pour into your children in such a significant and lasting way. 

Remember, the miscarriage I spoke of? Just 1 month after that devastating event, we received word of a young girl who was going to have a baby. She wanted to give her baby to a family who needed him. That baby was Josiah. I agonized…oh, how I agonized! What if she changed her mind (that had happened to us)? What if we couldn’t come up with the money? My mom gave me some wonderful advice and I pass it along to you. Truly experiencing the great things in life might mean great sacrifices. I might have to risk my sanity, my heart…just for the joy of becoming a mom. I have to bend. I have to adjust my expectations. I have to take what comes…

Please stay tuned for more of my 5 Essentials of Homeschooling this week. You can find my post on Discipline (If you build it they will come...) here.

This post is part of Blog featuring the Schoolhouse Review Crew.   You can find some of these terrific Bloggers below. They are...

Nicole @ Schooling in the Sun
Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road
Heather @ Thrift Schooling
Joanie @ Simple Living Mama
Lisa @ Home to 4 Kiddos
Amy @ Homeschool Encouragement
Monique @ Living Life and Learning
Jenn @ Fresh Start Academy
Lori @ Special Connection Homeschool

You can find even more bloggers at the Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog all week long!

 5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials 

Come back tomorrow! I will be talking about Creativity.


  1. I most definitely agree that flexibility is a must! I thought about listing it as one of my essentials. :-)

    1. It has helped me through a few crazy days (kind of). At least it has made them a little less crazy :<)

  2. I just wrote about flexibility--but I didn't do it as beautifully as you did! Thank you for sharing this post...

    1. I absolutely loved your post. I can relate! Things never seem to happen the way I've planned it all in my head.


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