November 30, 2013

I failed before I succeeded.

I failed my first attempt to homeschool.  This takes a lot for me to admit... Many of my friends and family don't even know that I attempted to homeschool preschool for my two oldest girls.  The friends and family that do know either do not realize what a failure it was, or are kind enough not to remind me.  I failed for a couple of reasons.  Keeping this failure in mind, helps me avoid failure in our current home school.
The first reason for the previous failure was my husband wasn't totally on board.  He liked what we were attempting but it was my thing, and gave me something to keep busy with two littles at home.  As long as it didn't cost anything, it was fine for me to play school.  This time, he is not only on board but he is very supportive.  Our decision to home school came from a lot of prayer.  The funny thing is, he brought up the idea of home schooling without knowing that God had been working on me with the same idea. We realized that if this was God's idea, we better take in seriously.  
Another reason for failure the first time was I tried to do too much.  I had found a free online curriculum (letter of the week). The curriculum was great, but so full of great things, I tried to do them all.  Trying to do everything and pushing through even when my kids were not getting it, or not wanting to do it, lead to burnout at about the letter Q.  (To this day, my now 10 year old remembers that we only got to Q).   I didn't give myself and my girls enough grace.  I didn't give them enough credit for what they were learning, I was so worried about what they weren't getting yet.  We were all discouraged, so I just quit!
The final reason for total home school failure was that I tried to do it with little understanding or research.  I really didn't know this was a reason for the failure until I started to look into home schooling my elementary age kids.  This time, I researched extensively, I read books, any one I could get my hands on.  I read blogs, I found help.
I also found out that failure is part of the process.  Of course, I knew in my own mind that we learn through our mistakes... I guess I just forgot.  Now we fail from time to time, but instead of quitting, we adjust.