Homeschool confession time.
I say the F-word in my homeschool. A lot. Like every day-sometimes every hour.
I wasn’t very proud of how or why I got to this point. I mean, do many homeschool moms say this particular word? As a new homeschooler, I thought not.
I thought about saying it but held back. Surely, I would be violating some sort of homeschool code. At the very least, my boys would be drastically affected, right?
And then I got tired. I was overwhelmed. I felt like giving up. This homeschool life just wasn’t for me.
I shiver now when I think of the first time I spoke it. It reminded me of the Muggles whispering, “Voldemort!” I had no idea what type of consequences that one word would have on our homeschool, on my boys, and on myself.
In that exhaustion and frustration, I uttered the F-word. Gasp!
(Have you guessed yet what word I am referring to? Gold star to the first one who comments with it! Bonus points to all others!)
This desperate homeschool mom gathered her courage, looked at her boys, and yelled, “That’s it! We are going to have FUN in our homeschool today!”
Oh yeah! I said it! F-U-N! Fun in our homeschool. Mind-blowing concept, right?
You see, until this point, after poring over many recommended books on the philosophies and approaches, I was pretty uptight. Like, stickler with a schedule. I thought that was how homeschool had to be.
As a public school graduate who reveled in syllabi and studying for exams, I just thought that was the only approach to learning. Thriving on structure, I assumed that my boys had to have the exact experience that I did. I believed that if we did not cover every single lesson and assignment in our box curriculum that I would fail my boys and the would have “gaps” in their education.
In a desperate attempt to do it all, I struggled to do any of it. I flailed around like an octopus on dry land. It was not a pretty sight to behold.
When this homeschool momma could not take it anymore, I threw my hands up in the air and reverted to my natural disposition as a mom. I reached for our craft supplies and turned up the tunes. My boys and I had a dance party like no other (at least for our home!).
We took out the glitter and went to town! The smell of new playdough permeated the air as we popped up those plastic cans open. The boys giggled and hurrahed as I put away the books and sat down for some learning fun.
Why I Say The F-Word In My Homeschool
1. Fun is natural.
Fun is a natural response, at least in our home. I find that I rarely need to reprimand my boys for misbehaving. B.F. (before fun), my boys would instigate each other or goof off during a lesson or time to do work. Now, they are much more willing to appropriately listen and respond.
2. A relaxed atmosphere provides a better learning environment for my boys.
Captain and Professor both went to public school. During their stints, both boys became very anxious. Captain’s nerves were so bad that we had him see a child psychologist for a few months. By trying to replicate the class room, I was applying pressure that was not necessary. Five worksheets to complete in one sitting to prove that a concept is understood is four (or five, depending on the topic!) too many.
I quickly noticed a decrease in anxiety in all boys when I moved to a more relaxed, eclectic homeschool approach.
3. My boys are much more engaged in their lessons.
What child wouldn’t be more interested in a nature study to observe and discuss birds than in reading from a dry textbook? As I learned more about their learning styles, I used that information to customize our homeschool plans with hands-on and interactive lessons.
4. I learned it is okay with support from homeschool friends.
Through the amazing support and friendship of online homeschool friends, I have received validation for using the F-word in my homeschool. I have come to understand that our approach is acceptable-even optimal-for improved comprehension and long-term knowledge.
Are you in need of a supportive and encouraging group of homeschoolers? Come join us over in Rock Your Homeschool Facebook group! We have a ton of fun (oh! there’s that F-word again!) sharing homeschooling advice, tips, resources, and support.
5. I want my boys to learn to love to learn.
We got into this gig to help our boys develop a lifelong love of learning. If I was miserable teaching them boring lessons, they must be have been agony. I still feel a thrill when one of my boys comes up to me at the end of a long homeschool day and says that they learned so much and had fun.
6. I am with my boys 24/7 and would lose my mind if I didn’t!
Homeschool moms, I know you can relate to this one! As much as we love our dear sweet kids, being with them all hours of the day and night can wear you thin. Moms are typically in charge of home management, being chauffeur, and a variety of other non-pleasant tasks.
When you heap homeschooling onto those tedious tasks, your world can feel like it is being visited by a Dementor (another Harry Potter reference! Cha-ching!). I don’t know anyone who likes to go around feeling like their soul has been sucked out of them, do you?
Thanks for hanging in there with me! As I hope you can see, I truly believe to the very core of my being that including the F-word in your homeschool is essential. Don’t let the Dementors or Voldemorts of homeschooling drag you down!
Like the Beastie Boys sang, “You gotta fight-for your right-to party!” (I have absolutely no idea how that fits in here but it sounded really cool, popped in my head, and let’s make this work, people!)
Okay, we can reword that to make it work towards our goal: “You gotta fight-for your right-FOR HOMESCHOOL FUN!”