The boxes of books have arrived. School bins from last year are emptied, sorted and ready to be filled. The kids are curiously peaking into their new textbooks, some with anticipation, and others with a looming dread that summer is now drawing to a close. Meanwhile, I have mixed emotions—I’ve loved my summer off, but at the
same time, I crave the routine and the joy of a new school year.
It just seems like yesterday that I embarked on this homeschooling journey. It was a “try it for a year” kind of deal. I remember my first homeschool meeting, my first trip to the school resource center and those joyful, excitement filled first few weeks of homeschooling—until the novelty wore off and reality set in. No one warned me about those days when my kids would glare up at me and announce that I couldn’t tell them what to do—I wasn’t their teacher. Or what around those mornings where I could barely keep my eyes open long enough to give a spelling test? I also recall that dreaded visit from the teacher where she looked me in the eye and told me that my child wasn’t ready to move on to the next grade (however, she eased the blow by gently reminding me that this is the flexibility that we have in homeschooling and it would all be okay in the end). Nothing prepared me for the backlash from family and friends when we decided to buckle down and homeschool longer than the first 3 years. But, here I am, now preparing for my eighth year of homeschooling.
There has been a shift in the last couple of years for me. With the arrival of two more little ones, I am now anticipating “round two” of homeschooling. I am frantically trying to recall all things I said I would do differently if I had another chance to homeschoolJ. This time around, I am more relaxed and confident about the elementary years . . . as for Jr High and High School . . . well, ask me in June of 2014, when my oldest graduates.
I am seeing the need to keep connected with other homeschooling moms more than ever. There is nothing more reassuring than talking to another mom who has walked through what you are going through and can remind you that you are not alone. As coordinator for CHESN, I will endeavour to provide opportunities for homeschooling parents and families to connect on a regular basis. So, for moms who have many years under their belt and for families who are still working through the logistics of getting started, I welcome you and wish you all the best in this coming school year.