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September 26, 2010

Home Schooling: Not for the Faint of Heart

Do any of you feel like when you have not posted for a feels like a month?  And if someone else does not post for a week, it feels like forever?  I know I have been missing in action for some time now.  Ever since Hubs lost his job and Cati started school, it has been anything but normal around here.   But we have been hanging in here, amazed at the provisions of God.

For example...for the past 3 years, my hubby has been a football official on a seasonal basis.  He loves being back int he world of football, officiating these cute little munchkins all the way to high school age.  We have always done it for some extra cash but this year, combined with a bit of unemployment, we have been able to make ends meet.  God amazes me with providing us with just our portion.  Not too much.  But not too little. But at the same time it puts a strain on things.  And I am about to get real so sit down. Already sitting?  Then prepare yourself.

Ready?  Because this will seem a little mean for me to say.  So I will whisper it...hubby is kinda getting on my nerves being here all the time.

OK. I got it out without a piano falling on my head or something.  But the good news is that I have already discussed this with him.  Why?  Because we are open like that.  A long time ago we decided to keep things real between us.  The good.  The bad.  The ugly.  And how could two people NOT run into some issues when faced with being around each other all day, every day?  But what is so amazing about our marriage is we can talk about fears, annoying habits, and joys and still remain best friends and strong in our marriage. 

And we laugh about it too. But I am careful to remember that this sweet man still needs a job to feel of value and purposeful.  He did have an interview about 10 days ago and he wants this job. A LOT. Kind of a dream job for him.

But we wait. 

With our feet still in this spacious place. 

And learning how to live together for more hours of the day then we ever thought we would. But I am proud of my man.  He job searches every day and sends his resume to more positions than I can count. God is up to something and I know it will be for His highest good. And our highest good.  Maybe not what we want but His highest good is what I want most. Even if I don't know what that is.

But let me share with you this new journey of mine as a teacher.  Now know this.  My whole life I have been told I need to be a teacher.  That I am good with kids.   I believe this is because 90% of the time I behave like one.  I am known to leap from room to room if the mood strikes. I like to actually play on the playground.  I dance and sing publicly.  And I am not opposed to hiding my husbands pillow when he gets up to use the bathroom.  But perhaps that should be called IMMATURITY. But I think teaching your own child should come with an informational packet with an exhaustive list of do's and don'ts. I am much better leading bible studies or teaching adults.  That is where I thrive. But this home schooling thing...this is new.

I have discovered some not so wonderful traits of mine as I home school my child. Well, discovered might be kind of like saying I just realized I'm a girl.  No, discovered is...well...a lie.  I think the phrase I am looking for is homeschooling may be TRIGGERING some not so wonderful traits of mine.  Here is a short list...

Anal Retentiveness that may require medication
A lack of grace
False expectations
And my very favorite...Illusions of grandeur that my child is a prodigy

Are any of you victim to your own expectations?  High expectations?  Because this has been a lifelong, self inflicted plague of my existence.

I, Jessica, am an idealist.  I create imaginary places of perfection, pack my bags, and then go live there only to find out this place does not even exist and I can't find my way.  This is the way it has been home schooling my child.  Which I do...


Now really, I really think this kind of drama and woe should be reserved for the moms who are veterans, the gals who sacrifice it all to home school not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4 but 5 days a week. And they are probably so good that they don't need to do it 5 days a week.

But keeping her attention is hard.  We take breaks.  I get creative.  But this is harder then I thought.  Probably because within this idealist is also a perfectionist.  So I am on a learning curve.  I am learning what I should let go.  Where I need to persevere.  But I am so proud of her.  I love how she thinks.  I love one on one time with her.  And I love that I am partnering with a school that wants to instill godly character in her as well as a love of learning.

I took some pics of our homeschooling...
Cati cutting her "E" words.
Look at Ella coloring like a sweet girl...3 1/2 minutes I think she colored.  She wants to be like her sister. 
And look at that chaos on the table!  I am not exactly neat when it comes to papers an books.  But I get the job done!
 Math time with teddy bear counters!
Someone may have received an anal retentive trait from her mommy.  Her line is color coordinated.

It has been fun and it is teaching me about myself too.  But I feel like I need help.  
Can any of you recommend some blogs or websites that will give me tools and tips?  
I would really appreciate some encouragement and I want to make this work. I hated school as a kid.  Things did not come easy for me so I developed bad habits that last through college.  I don't want that for my girls and I want to do what I can to encourage but not push.  To make things fun but also to instill a DESIRE to learn.

Thanks friends!
I promise not to be so quiet.


  1. Hi Jessica! You are doing great! It's a big adjustment at first, but you will get through it! I posses most of your bad qualities as well and here we are in our 8th year homeschooling. My thinking is this; when you are having a bad day (meaning with the homeschooling)take a break for the day, the world will not end! Homeschooling allows you that flexibility. :) The only support groups I know of are here in TX, it is free, maybe they'll let you join in because it is a great source of information and encouragement. Hang in there, you will find your rhythm and what works for your family.

  2. I'm trying to come up with something helpful for you but my head is full of snot (sorry...gross...but it is...) and all I can think to tell you is to sing. Spelling, a new concept, letter sounds, math concepts, etc. use an old tune and put new words to it. But that really may not be the kind of thing you're having an issue with, so it could be a really unhelpful comment...

  3. ok, you just showed me that maybe I am NOT cut out for homeschooling. That pile of chaos on your table, looks like alot of work! Did Cati have to do that all in one day??? I'm sure if I homeschooled, (which I have always wanted to), we would take numerous breaks and it would veer into "unschooling". I would think, ah heck I never needed science, kids are you gonna be a scientist?? Nah didn't think so, no more science this year!
    oh and I completely understand about hubby, if hubby takes two days off in a row, it drives me insane! his days off are thurs. and sun. So it just does not work for those days to be together!
    Praying he gets that job soon!

  4. Ok, I thought I would have just a load of options for you, but I apparently only have a few. Check out (she does Montessori stuff at home with her son), (a sewing blog, but she was a Montessori teacher for a long time and blogged quite a bit about it in the past:, (not home-schooling per se, but lots of ideas for projects that you could integrate into your schooling to make things more interesting), (artist I like who I just discovered homeschools too . . . haven't checked into it much personally yet, so I'm not sure if it's awesome or not, but thought I'd toss it in just in case.)

    If I come across any more, I'll let you know. :)

  5. Hey Jessica,
    I have a few blogs and sites for you so get ready:
    I'm thinking about doing CC next year. Here is the link:
    I think this homeschooling mom lives in Tampa:
    This is a neat blog.
    You definitely need to check this out:
    This next one kind of overwhelmed me, but there is a lot going on:
    And once I get more into homeschooling next year I'm sure it will show up on my blog. By that point you will probably have tons of resources for me.
    You're doing great.

  6. Girlfriend, the more I read, the more we "talk" through email, the more I am convinced we are clones. Poor you!

    We really need to have coffee and talk.

    Love you, Jess!


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