So I'm not usually one to get all 'ruffled' by the Mompetition neurosis that rampages through our society.  You know, how all the social medias, books, moms groups etc. can create this unrealistic pressure to be the 'everything' Mom, that does every.thing.right. 
The guilt, the insecurities, the nagging doubts... the comparing.
Yeah, I try to avoid those traps as much as I can... but one place I keep faltering:

- how to 'school' our children.-

You guys I am flustered and floundered on this topic!
 I mentioned that we decided to keep our daughter home this year (though she technically would have qualified for junior kindergarten)... but I didn't mention how I also last minute called the Principal of a nearby school and asked if there were any openings!  I was feeling very undecided to say the least...

I see so many pros and cons to both sides of the decision (whether to pursue homeschooling or enrol them in school for the future).  I swing one direction.. and then think of a counter argument/concern and swing the other way.

This is the one place I find myself falling for the trap of 'comparing' with other mothers.  I see homeschooling mamas and think "they're so organised.. and I'm a chaotic mess"!  I don't have the cute charts, magnets and work stations..  I just have a sweet owl bell that we ring for 'class' that lasts about 10 minutes and we're off to something else.
I don't 'feel' like a teacher.. if that makes sense.
Heck, I even tried to tell our daughter that a hexagon had five sides... and then googled it to discover that's a SIX sided shape... doh.
So much for kindergarten being child's play for me.

Hubby Ben is always the voice of reason around here.. and assured me that maybe I was 'making things too complicated' in thinking that I had to measure up to some ideal of what homeschooling this year was to look like.
She's three, almost four.
Keep it simple.

Keep doing what we're doing...
Nature hikes.
Reading together.

I'm thankful life comes one step at a time, these days I really need those small steps!
Here's hoping this year brings me more clarity (instead of competition) about what's best for our children's education.

Did you find the decision this daunting?...

mama Mel ;o)


  1. ell, you just visited my post about Lily being and loving school so i think you no my answer. lol for me it was an easy decision. mostly because Lily was at a stage where she wanted to be around kids her age ALL the time. most of her friends were in daycare or pre-k so it was getting harder and harder for me to set up play dates during the day/week. i am happy with the decision we made. also because it is a great small school (11 kids) and the teachers are super wonderful. Lily is really happy. which makes us really happy. do what feels right for you. xo

  2. Charlotte Mason says (lol) formal schooling shouldn't start till a child is at least 6 years old. Pretty sure A is one of the smartest, most creative 3, almost 4 year olds around because of who her parents are and what they've already taught her (through the "simple" things). And as for "organized homeschooling" ha! You've already got me beat in that you find the time to take a picture of your nice little set-up of salt letters/shapes to cut out. I'm one of those people who buy the calendar with the velcro numbers and weather types and then lose all the velcro pieces. Amazingly enough, my children can still tell me if it's sunny outside. It is amazing what they learn when you're not even trying to teach.
    We definitely went back and forth on the pros and cons, but in the end we decided our family could really benefit from homeschooling. And as we start our first "official year" complete with curriculum (I suppose we were mostly unschooling before, or just reading and playing!) I realized how beneficial it is for me. I am learning to be more organized with my time and supplies. I think we'll all learn something this year . . .at times I do think "Maybe we should put them in school" and then I remember that the public/private schooling requires I get them out the door at a certain time in the morning with a lunch and backpack full of homework and permission slips and that makes me laugh. I don't know how all those other families do it! I like the time and flexibility that homeschooling gives . . .for now :)

  3. Hi Mel. Relax! Don't worry.... They don't even have to technically start school until they are 6! I might suggest to read some John Holt who advocates the concept of 'natural learning'. He talks about how kids learn naturally to talk and walk and eventually they will learn to read because they want to. It's known in the homeschooling community that if you do NOTHING to a boy regarding reading (except facilitate all his interests and have books around the house), he will tend to learn how to read when he's about 12 in a couple of months just because he wants to read comics! And then he won't stop reading. If that's what he's into. If he's not into reading he'll be into something else and you won't have to teach whatever it is that he's into because you 'won't know how'. My son was incredibly passionate about cars and apple computers. We knew nothing about either. We facilitated his interests by helping him get a radio show and taking him to cover the Toronto International Auto Show. He spent his days calling car dealerships and getting them to send him fancy brochures. Now he sells Jaguars in Toronto at the Number 1 dealership in Canada, and drives a Jaguar! We didn't do anything except help out! He did it all and we actually know nothing about the subject. You know Astrid's story. Do I know anything about computers? Nope! She designed and built her blog from scratch and did the photography and design by watching gals like you and Jen and Caren and Des... Now we are predominantly deschoolers. We didn't feel completely comfortable just 'letting them loose' so we had a ritual of daily 'literacy and numeracy' lessons in the morning which were a godsend. They helped to structure the day and make us feel better about everything. One thing for sure (and I realize this more than ever now), homeschooling is a profoundly huge committment of your time. It can be wonderful and when I think back I have so many feelings of utter joy and happiness. The reality is children are resilient. They can handle most things if they have good parents looking out for them. The most important thing I've learned is that YOU are happy with your choice. There needs to be a happy momma on board. If the mama would prefer they go to school they will be just as happy! It's kind of weird because back when we started homeschooling it wasn't so hip. We were the rare ones who felt quite alone and isolated by our choice. There were no blogs with beautiful parents and adorable children doing lovely things all day long. That might have been a little hard to take. So try to overlook all those blogs and focus in on how you feel...Either choice is a good one. And the choice can wait around for a while...Call me up sometime if you ever feel like chatting about it and I can give you my insights from being 'in the field'. My number is 705-657-7039. Good luck! Michele

  4. Yeah, I'd go with what you're doing!!!

    Have fun, splash, run, play, talk, get muddy, sleep in and read together.

    Keep your ear on their hearts, together with God you will know how to direct their "schooling".

    We started off homeschooling, now we're unschooling, and most importantly we are loving each other and encouraging growth with God as our guide...am I stuffing my kids around for their future?... Not sure, right now, at this point, they're all smiles, muddy and can be a handful. But this moment... its ours, one day the world will have them and I pray that their LIGHTS will shine.

    My thoughts.

    Love and Light my Friend

    "If only we try to live sincerely, it will go well with us, even though we are certain to experience real sorrow, and great disappointments, and also will probably commit great faults and do wrong things, but it certainly is true, that it is better to be high-spirited, even though one makes more mistakes, than to be narrow-minded and all too prudent. It is goodto love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love, is well done."

    My Favorite quote from Vincent van Gogh's letters to his brother.

  5. Yes your journey is quite a joy to watch, thanks for the sweet words here too... I definitely want to trust God with their future paths, and never make a choice (to school or homeschool) simply based on FEAR that He couldn't protect them or such.. I think you're planting the seeds for a great future for them there. xx

  6. Exciting times for him eh?! I know you guys will still parent/teach for sure instead of assuming the schools will focus on heart matters.. I think you and I have the same brain so that's why we both figure we'd be horrible teachers.. lol!! xx

  7. Yes you guys have quite the 'trophy' kids of proving the merits of homeschooling Michele - thanks for sharing your story! I agree with you about the heart of the mama translating to the heart/attitude of the kids.. and that's really a key part I need to attend to in these decisions, thanks again for taking the time to encourage. xx

  8. tee hee.. truth be told I've found myself thinking "well, if Heather can do this.. maybe I can do it!" lol... that's meant to be a compliment - since I think we both hang out on the more 'sloppy fun' side of parenting... granted ben and I are fairly OCD about being punctual! lol I love watching your family grow! xx

  9. Happy you're all happy there - and I can totally see Lily rocking school for sure!! That's another big issue for me with Azi - she craves 'visiting' and seeing people every. day.. so school would seem ideal for her to be in that environment. I just felt her emotional levels weren't quite ready to be tested this year (i.e... her drama queen side needs a bit of tending to before unleashing her to the world I think.. lol!). xx

  10. KISS... keep it simple silly.

    You know we didn't send our 4 to JK and you know something if we had encountered full time SK we wouldn't have been there everyday either! We didn't do preschool, we didn't do organized playgroups... nada (shock gasp). Guess what? That is ok. Kids are doing fine academically (and I didn't sit there with them at home through that missed JK year teaching and teaching... they learned through life... counting when we were cooking or making patterns with the socks before folding...reading books together, playing... everyday stuff). I found that if they knew all the letters (upper and lower) and the sounds they make, how to write their name, plus numbers to 20 (100 is amazeballs) they are really ready to rock the start of SK. Even in grade 1 (our youngest is here now) kids are all over the map... some read some are just starting to figure that out. Eventually with practice they all begin to fall into knowing the basics. There really is no correct or perfect answer... the right path is what your heart is telling you. See simple right? lol.

    No matter how old your children are you will continually second guess your choices for them... maybe a little less with practice (HA), but you still do. You will make mistakes (I sure have) but you are learning too... this is your oldest so everything is a first... brand new choices to make. Feel comfort in knowing your decisions are coming from the heart full of love. Other parents (Moms especially) can be our worst enemies imagined or not and I don't understand that really... shouldn't we fill each others' buckets instead of trying to dump them on the ground? Trust you and Ben. Put blinders on and ignore the rest of the pack (who really cares what they do anyway), look straight ahead take a deep breath and don't look back. Promise whatever decision you make will be ok.

    I truly believe they are only little once. And little goes quick. Really darn quick! Celebrate it, live it and enjoy it without guilt or worry. Its all good.

    Hope you are feeling more yourself these days. :-)


  11. P.S. Like after that huge post I would have more to say. lol. Even in SK we did many a home day because the children needed them. So be it. Even to this day I will excuse the kids out of school just because. Life is too short.

    P.S.S. If you do choose public or other type of schooling rest assured you will still be teaching a fair bit. lol. There are many holes to fill in what they learn at school and what they need to know to pass (shocking really). For this alone I have wondered about homeschooling... less time learning compared to a public school day but quality thoughtful learning!

  12. Oh, sweet sweet Danielle - I've missed your fun kind words! I think I should print this out and nail it to my forehead! ;o) Thanks for taking the time to reassure and remind.. KISS'es right back.. lol! Hope you crew has had a fun full summer there!

  13. P.S.. sounds genius to me... I would love a hybrid version actually - school/homeschool! ;)

  14. haha. I think the same thing. If I can do this, Mel totally can! You already are. I realize homeschooling will take a lot of hard work, time and sacrifice (at least that's what I keep hearing) but right now, I just think it's a lot of fun! As do the kiddos!

  15. I'm sure she is learning loads from everything you are doing. It sounds like you are showing her the world, and that is one of the best educations she can receive. Don't be too hard on yourself.



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