Mar 7, 2014
By Tracy Klicka
I never wanted to have a perfect home school. I’ve never wanted to be perfect at anything actually. It’s not that I don’t work hard or don’t set high standards. I do confess, regular exercise has never come easy to me, and my home has probably never been spotless (how do we EVER do that when we and our children live in our home 24/7 anyway?!)
I have spent countless hours, however, organizing our home, divvying up chores among my children, and then planning our curriculum out in each summer for the next entire school year. Our days were always full—busy with training, follow-through, teaching, spending time reading to my kids and teaching them life skills.
Each school day we had time for independent reading, time for creativity, time to develop personal interests, and time to play outdoors and get exercise. We started our school day doing devotions—reading the Bible and often a character story, singing hymns, and praying together.
With seven children, I covered all the basic school subjects and some extra ones too. I love living books, hands-on math, and fun field trips that cement concepts we’re learning in school. Surely, though not perfect, I should have felt confident that I was doing enough, right?
The fact is I always wondered if my kids were missing something. Oh, not in the area of academics, however, nor in the area of life skills. No, I wondered often if I was giving them enough of myself. I’ve spent almost 24/7 with my kids when most moms send their kids off to school for several hours a day.
I’ve always enjoyed running my household of nine, even though it took a lot of this mama’s time trying to keep up with the constant daily needs—don’t we feel often like we get done making one meal and it it’s time to start the next one? And then there’s laundry…mountains of laundry!
Then there’s the cleaning, fixing and replacing the stuff of our home life. That TO DO list never got completely checked off! That’s all beside our school time…several hours each weekday. My head would hit the pillow each night, and after my husband’s prayer and a kiss I’d be out like a light, only to repeat it all again the next day.
Some years into our homeschooling, my husband Chris was diagnosed with progressive MS. That changed everything and added a huge dimension of responsibility and care I thought my plate was already too full for. I realized, more than ever before, that our home school experience would never be what I had hoped and dreamed it would be. I stared directly at my finiteness in the mirror every day.
Before my feet ever touched the ground getting out of bed each morning, I knew I was at the end of my rope! Find out how Tracy kept going and why she can say “Enjoy the journey…there’s no place like home” here…
From the Smiths:
Updated 2 February 2013: One year on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here
Needing help for your home schooling journey:
Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:
Information on getting started: http://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/
Information on getting an exemption: http://hef.org.nz/exemptions/
This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/
Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/