Let’s chat how Kara S. Anderson informs my homeschool through her book, “More than Enough: Grow your Confidence, Banish Burn-out, and Love your Homeschool Life.”
So how does Kara’s book fuel me with confidence and joy to keep going?
This is how Kara S. Anderson informs my homeschool…I’m delighted to share how the author of More Than Enough: Grow your Confidence, Banish Burn-Out, and Love your Homeschool Life.
Here’s why: Kara is so dang funny. She knows this homeschool lifestyle like the stand-up comedian alter-ego that she has and that nurturing mama that she’s been to her three kiddos all these years.
Kara S. Anderson informs my homeschool in these 5 ways:
1. She writes, “It’s okay to take what works from a philosophy and hold on to that and leave the rest.”
Kara’s story about tucking her television in the closet in favour of the Waldorf lifestyle is a classic reflection of most homeschools in their earlier days.
We want to recreate whatever perfect, lovely homeschool philosophy we’ve discovered and recreate it in our homeschools.
And make our homeschool the BEST. Homeschool. Ever.
If we fall in love with Charlotte Mason…
…we’re heading to the nature reserve, pulling out the drawing books, bringing the trail guides, and coming home to research leaves, and trees, birds, and scat.
What if we fall in love with Susan Wise Bauer’s approach…
…we find the Latina Christiana curriculum online and have it FedExed to our home to discover we don’t know anything about Latin. And we’ll sprinkle in a few more languages along the way. We’ll do math, of course, but we’ll supplement with a logic course, mental math puzzles, chess games, and a personal finance course. And heck, also an entrepreneurial for homeschool kids, cause every young teenager needs their own business.
If we fall in love with unschooling…
…we won’t buy any curriculum, and we’ll spurn homeschool conversations about curriculum, heck, we won’t even self-identify with the word homeschool. Therefore, we’ll rather borrow anything we need from the library and throw it around our homeschool in hopes that our kids will fall in love with our latest borrow and go deep down their rabbit holes. Dare they ask for a textbook, request an essay writing course, or any routine whatsoever?
We can commit to a homeschool philosophy, but is that commitment serving our kids? If it’s not, it’s time to rethink our choices.
2. Kara S. Anderson informs my homeschool by admonishing, “Please, do not waste your one precious life trying to be someone else.”
One thing I’ve learned from my homeschool years is this: how much I allow myself to be me is how much I allow my kids to be them.
And though we all want our kids to be themselves, we don’t allow them to be themselves when we want them to be more like us.
For so many reasons, we struggle to see ourselves clearly:
- a challenging moment in our childhood colours our perspective,
- we’ve lost a connection with someone important and that interfered with our sense of self,
- or we’ve plummeted into post-partum depression,
- we’ve made a significant move,
- or we’ve separated from our partner,
- we’ve come to the end of a friendship.
So many possible reasons.
But you got one life (assuming reincarnation isn’t a thing), so what are you doing with that one life?
Are you doing your thing?
Are you trying to be someone other than who you are because you like how they show up, how they look, what they do, how they do it, or how much money they have to do it?
3. Kara encourages us, “One of the greatest gifts we can give others is to accept others as they are.”
And if we’re not wasting our one precious life trying to be someone else, we give ourselves space to be who we are.
But do you know who you are?
This homeschool mothering lifestyle can be all-consuming.
We spend so many years addressing other people’s needs and paying attention to everyone else but ourselves, that we get lost when they leave home.
And turns out, they leave home.
To be clear, I’ve only had half my lot leave home.
But girlfriend, that is enough for me to have a hefty reminder that they won’t all be staying.
If we don’t eke out time for ourselves regularly, without the kids, and outside homeschool activities, we might one day walk back into our house after having delivered our last child to their college dorm or their one-bedroom studio apartment and spend weeks sitting in our clean home.
Shoes lined up tightly in the mudroom, no dishes left unwashed in the sink, no fingerprints on the windows, all the cookies still in the box of cookies (well, until you remember that they’re there), and we’ll wonder if we need to walk to the neighbours’ house and ask if their kids need homeschooling.
So, the moral of the story, if you don’t want to homeschool the neighbours’ kids, you better figure out what you need and figure out who you are now.
4. Kara says, “Essentialism is a practice. It’s something we work on each day – we say no to mummifying a chicken because it might help us study ancient Egypt, but we don’t have $10 right now to spend on a chicken that no one can actually eat.”
She also says, “The key is to make decisions that make sense for your family and to realize that because you can’t do it all – you must constantly make trade-offs. A Yes to one thing equals a No to something else. Otherwise, you find yourself doggy paddling in the deep end with no
clear way out of the pool.”
We have to continually prioritize the most important things.
- Sometimes the most important things are to connect at a homeschool co-op and to build community and friendships, even though the homeschool co-op isn’t offering the most interesting electives for our kids.
- Maybe the most important thing is to find a community college class, for our high school homeschool student, to help her transition into a schooled mindset (since she’s afraid to go to a full-fledged college program when she’s spent her child in her unschooled environment).
- Sometimes we decide to purchase the pretty nature cards so we can memorize plant families for a Charlotte Mason spring curriculum because mama loves Charlotte Mason.
- Perhaps we need to let go of a curriculum idea because we need to set aside money to purchase soccer cleats for the rising family athlete.
- Sometimes we hear of a local co-op or ski club offering homeschool family entry prices, and though we want our kids to know how to downhill ski, we don’t have the time to drive to the ski hill twice a week.
- And sometimes we want to amuse our extroverted child with every playdate whim, but we don’t have the energy to make friends with every parent of every child that our extroverted child meets on the playground.
We have to decide what’s priority in the moment and what might be priority now might not be priority in three years or even two months, but we have to decide what’s priority right now.
5. “Our job is inherently different than that of a teacher in a traditional school. So, let’s break out of the mental shackles and embrace the freedom that homeschooling offers. Homeschooling is hard work. But we make it harder when we try to measure up to standards that weren’t meant for us to follow.”
Bringing the school into our homes and learning to let go of school in our home is every homeschool mama’s rite of passage.
Give it a year, give it three years, or give it two decades, but eventually, Homeschool Mama learns that her home is not a home school.
I personally don’t care for the word homeschool.
For years, I wrote a blog (you’re reading it) and every time I referred to this homeschool lifestyle, I called it home education.
Because most of the time, we were home-educating.
Now that I come to think of it, we were also community-educating, in homeschool coops, part-time jobs, community college classes, and even using the local public high school.
And since we traveled for seven years off and on, we were also world-educating.
We were also minivan educating, as we drove back and forth between:
- our home and the symphony music school for violin lessons or voice training,
- or to the newspaper route (I used the minivan caused I signed up to do it with a non-walking baby, a preschooler, a 6-year-old, and an 8-year-old),
- if we had a hard day, we jumped into the minivan and played the French weather network as we just drove,
- we drove to piano lessons, soccer practice, theatre practice, curling bonspiels, baseball, tennis lessons, swim lessons, field trips, and chess club,
- naturally, we drove back home between the grocery store, recycling, the mailbox, and the bank over and over and over,
- and all the while, we had a DVD playing: the Story of the World, the geography songs CD, the French CD, or anything Jim Wiess, an audiobook, a podcast, or we discussed current affairs or played debate (debating silly things, for fun).
Come to think of it, why do we say we homeschool? We minivan schooled.
An education is not confined to a school, and as most homeschool mothers discover, bringing a school into the home is a really bad idea.
We simply cannot do everything. With presence, joy, and peace.
As finite beings who have a start date and an end date, we have an opportunity to do a whole bunch of stuff in between those dates, but we only have a certain number of days in a certain number of years to homeschool our kids.
So, what do you want to do in those years?
And what do you hope to ultimately enable for your homeschooled kids?
I want to help my kids discover, why they’re here and why they’re specifically here.
We don’t need to make homeschool harder than it needs to be. We need to tailor the homeschool to each of the members of our homeschool.
I’m grateful for how Kara S. Anderson informs my homeschool as she teaches me not to take myself so seriously, to focus on the most important things, and live my homeschool life on purpose.
Homeschool Mama Self-Care: Nurturing the Nurturer
“My homeschooling journey has included a growing pile of books that I have read, browsed, or barely got past the first chapter. This book is just delightful and a gem! It’s not only helpful and inspiring but also funny. The author is like that no-nonsense brave friend who is looking out for you and your well-being as a homeschooling mama. We all need that friend and I am taking my time as I work my way through the chapters and enjoying it all. I love the section on overcoming overwhelm, grappling with perfectionism, and minding and working through our emotions. This book is worth its weight in gold. Find a quiet place to read, bring a warm cup of tea, and enjoy!”
–Sonia in S. Jersey
Frequently Asked Questions
When will I see the Book Club Zoom link in my email?
You’ll see the zoom link in your email the morning of your Book Club. Make sure your email provider hasn’t thrown it into Junk Mail.
Where can I purchase the book?
You can find all the books from our Book Club in the Capturing the Charmed Life Amazon Book Shop. When you purchase here, you support me!
Does this Book Club cost?
The nominal $5 purchase enables the Zoom group platform. Oh, and time, it costs you time. You’ll have to find a quiet hour and a half away from the kids and responsibilities to spend time on YOU!
How long is the Book Club?
Usually about an hour and a half.
Can I ask questions about the book and its applications to my homeschool?
Absolutely! I’ll share my insights from the book and how they apply to our homeschools, but the best part of this book club? You sharing your thoughts and how it applies to your homeschool. If you have thoughts, insights, or questions, we want to hear them.
People also ask:
- Where do I sign up for the Homeschool Mama Book Club?
- Tell me where to find your Homeschool Mama Reading List.
- You can hear a podcast interview with Kara here.
- How Alison Gopnik informs my Homeschool
- the Homeschool Mama Book Club: So we can Show up on Purpose
- I’m a new homeschooler, are you able to walk alongside and mentor me?