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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What Am I doing? Part 2 (nfahm: the lost files)

The Lost Files
Prologue
What a Difference A Year Makes Part 1
Chapter 1: What a Difference A Year Makes Part 2
Chapter 2: Background Influences
Chapter 3: What Am I doing? Part 1
Chapter 3: What Am I doing? Part 2

Am I capable of doing this?

Personal history has shown that lack of patience is my biggest fault. How am I going to react when they do not feel like cooperating? What am I going to say when they have asked one too many questions on any given day? Am I going to be the one to have a tantrum when they do not understand?

My lack of organization would scare away even the very best Professional Organizer. Will I be able to remain organized enough to ensure my kids learn everything they should know. Will I leave big holes in their education because I forgot, or missed something? Will projects started with the best of intentions ever get completed?

My children will be witness to nearly everything I do and say in the course of a day. If I am going to mold them into the people I want them to become, I am going to have to make some serious changes to who I am. Can I do this?

What about my needs?

My business will have to become secondary at best. How could such sacrifices be good for my children? Will I become unhappy, and take my frustrations out on them? How will I handle the loss of private time, and privacy? I have finally gotten to a point in my career as an artist where I am comfortable with my talent and myself. I am enjoying the spare time that being my own boss affords. I have worked so hard for this. Must I really put this off for other 10 or more years?

Am I afraid?

I had better be. I am now completely responsible for my children’s upbringing. I have no one to blame but myself if things go wrong. I have always been completely responsible, but I am now accepting that responsibility. However, my fears all subside the moment the day begins.

My daughter waddles down the stairs calmly, and perches herself at the computer next to mine, and pulls up her lessons website. She starts singing something, usually loudly and off key, and breezes through yet another math, language arts or science lesson. Sometimes she asks me questions, some times, she does not, but she gets the work done. Even though it is done through much noise, wiggling, singing, and even a few short breaks to go to the bathroom pet the cat, or grab a bite to eat. I have to urge her a bit to get her to practice the piano, and I have to urge her even more to get her to go outside and play. That is when I realize she is happy. She is content to just sit and be. Much of her nervous energy is gone she no longer believes she is defective as she had learned in school.

Then there is my son, who, as soon as he gets up, he has to walk the dogs. If he does not, he has to deal with whatever the nasty consequences will be, and it could be nasty... not to mention stinky! He then follows his sister on the computer after playing the piano first. He chooses for him self whatever subject(s) he is in the mood for today. He might decide to do four units of math or he might decide to split his time evenly between math, social studies, science, and language arts, or like today, he may spend the hours working on "brain busters" which encourage problem-solving skills. He has learned to be self sufficient and responsible at a young age.

I know that my worries are no more than just doubts. I am smart enough to go outside of myself for help with patience, organization, and even time with other children. Yet somehow, the panic sets in daily upon my waking. Now when I awake I say to myself, "I am creating people with strong self esteem that will be better able to deal with the real world. I am helping my children grow into productive adults, instead of them learning to act like children, from children. In a world where there is an epidemic of young people not ’making it’ I have chosen to change the odds for my kids - one day at a time." Those words always make me feel better!

There is so much more to homeschooling than that, of course, but my daily mental exercise helps me to experience the difficulties of homeschooling without losing my stride. No, I am not a saint. I am your typical mom, a woman with talents and ambitions who could just as easily be out in the world concentrating on a career and trusting the system to educate my kids. But since I have seen with my own eyes that the system was not working, I figured that though I did not know if I could do any better, I knew I could do it differently at the very least.


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