family life / homeschool

homeschool freedoms: don’t miss the gift in your child

Sometimes we need other people to remind us of our homeschool freedoms.

The title of this post isn’t my title. It’s Carol’s.

I haven’t personally met Carol. She was the keynote speaker at a homeschool conference years ago. Nothing like a homeschool conference to kickstart a renewed joy for homeschooling.

Besides inducing ab-strengthening belly laughs for an hour, Carol encouraged us to see the gift that we have living life right alongside us.

Though most of us start this home educating journey with happy intentions to benefit our children, when we get enough time around our kiddos we quickly become disillusioned with the negative energy…the continuous barrage of “mom, she hit me,” “mom, she took my toy,” “mom, she won’t give it back,” “mom”, “mom”, “mom”….until, like Carol says, we feel we’re watching “The Birds” by Alfred Hitchcock, listening to the frightening chanting of ‘mom, mom, mom, mom’. And similarly, we are frightened, and sometimes feel like we’re losing our minds.

Carol

I can definitely relate to the sensation of losing my mind at times.

How do we lose value in our children? We see them from one perspective, the negative perspective. The one that is their incomplete self. Their imperfect self.

Carol likes to think we have flawed expectations.

What? Flawed?

You mean my five year old can’t be tantrum-free?

What about that teenager that wants to be alone, because she doesn’t want to be around her siblings all day long. She should just suck it up, right?

The funny kid who doesn’t know that there’s a time and a place for funny, and it ain’t at the end of a frustrating day. She should know when to be quiet, right?

The kiddo that hones your arguing skills until you realize that you are in fact arguing with your child. You know, that kid that you’re already saving for law school? Can’t she just be told to be quiet and leave it alone once and for all?

Apparently not.

We home educating moms can grow even more complacent because we’re with our kiddos 24/7. At least schooled moms can have their afternoon “milk and cookie” reunions, do groceries without the kiddos, and exercise without voices.

We can get stuck in maintenance as homeschool mamas.

We are continuously facilitating their education and sometimes teaching; we are continuously connecting, correcting, and training. We are sometimes responding to negative energy regularly.

When we look at it all from a slightly different perspective, we can see that most of our kids try to please us most of the time. They really do want our approval, our acceptance.

But if we have very honed expectations of our kiddos, they quickly disappoint us or frustrate us when they don’t meet those expectations and they know it. And they will eventually feel disappointed that they can’t please us, and they might give up trying.

Sometimes we have lofty hopes of our kids, like writing that family play, in Latin, or winning that online geography or homeschool co-op spelling bee. How about building a family log cabin from scratch?

If our kids see that they aren’t meeting our expectations, then what?

Carol reminded me that we can’t let that pattern continue, because our view of your child is reflected in their eyes. Our kids absorb the negative vibes they’re getting from us.

Carol told us to pitch our “Ozzie & Harriet” family.

I didn’t personally watch that show growing up, but I do recall The Cosby Show.  I don’t recall Clare Huxtabel losing her temper…though she did a little eye rolling and commanding. And in just a half hour, the Huxtabel family problems were solved.

Let go of expectations, for your expectations can become premeditated resentments.

Pitch Dick & Jane while you’re at it. And Little House on the Prairie too. (Not the books, just the perfect family notions).

Don’t keep repeating the same thing if it isn’t working. If you’re trying to correct something and your approach isn’t working, don’t keep doing it. (Easier said than done, right? Repeated practice required).

Instead of seeing the frustration in your kiddo, see how that child might eventually turn that challenge into their charm. Maybe their penchant for shyness will become a tenderhearted listener. Maybe their penchant for arguing will enable them in above average logic skills and not just a healthy income after they pass the bar.

Look all the way to the end, to the completion of who they will become. See them in their completed state. And until they get to the place, treat them like they will.

Teresa Wiedrick

You’re with your kids 24/7, true, but don’t miss the gift in your children.

Thanks Carol!

PS Every morning, I reaffirm my intentions towards my homeschool and my homeschool kids by reading these daily affirmations.

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Teresa Wiedrick
Teresa Wiedrick

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