our homeschooling journey (part 1)

Nothing — and I mean NOTHING — ever really goes according to our master plan. And our homeschooling journey is no different.

When my youngest was still very little, before he ever reached kindergarten age, I had already made up my mind that we were going to homeschool. I took it upon myself to read through catalogs and homeschool blogs, and I began to plan out our homeschooling journey.

As my child began to knock at the door of kindergarten age, I enthusiastically made the final decision on which curriculum we were going to use, and I set out to purchase the books and materials we were going to need. At first it was pretty good, I had that honeymoon feeling of bliss, the few things that bothered me about the curriculum I was able to brush aside as minor inconveniences. But slowly reality crept in, the honeymoon phase morphed into this-is-my-life-and-I’m-not-sure-I-signed-up-for-this era of uncomfortableness and irritability. But we stuck it out.

Then my second kiddo began to follow in big brother’s footsteps, and I had to, again, purchase workbooks and materials (now double the amount), and the looks I got from my husband about the cost of said things began to take their toll on me, our finances, and my dream of homeschooling. The minor inconveniences now glared their ugly head at me every time we sat down to do school. Eventually I realized that this wasn’t any fun.

Years prior, I had read about how most homeschooling families spend the first few years fumbling through curriculum, testing the waters and trying to figure out what works for their specific family, budget and the individual teaching and learning styles of those involved. In a vacuum, before I had the chance to even do ONE lesson, the thought of trying things out seemed overwhelming to me. I wanted a quick, easy fix. And I wanted someone to choose something for me. The amount of choices out there as far as what to teach, when, how, or even the choice of un-schooling is enormous. And it all made my head spin.

But that’s when we need to give ourselves some grace. No, a lot of grace.

Things like choosing one curriculum over another, or setting a schedule, or figuring out what age a child should be when he or she starts a specific grade, all of these things are trivial. So very trivial. The point of homeschooling is not having everything lined out with a syllabus at the beginning of kindergarten and jumping on that gravy train until college. Nope. The point — and joy, and blessing — of homeschooling is the journey you will find yourself in. Nothing, not a danged thing, is EVER set in stone. And although that may sound terrifying for some, it brings with it a surreal sense of freedom and peace.

Our homeshooling journey has been rocky at times and blissful at other times. But after six, seven years or so, I think the Merrill Clan has finally found its groove. I hope to inspire those of you considering homeschooling or come alongside those of you who already do. This is the first part in a series of posts I’ll be doing on our homeschooling journey, where I will write about the trivial things such as our curriculum choice(s), our schedules, how we keep track of records, grade and attendance, and all that jazz.

And I will touch on the not-so-trivial stuff like, “Two red squirrels were gathering many nuts.” [By the way, I had never been taught the art of how to diagram a sentence before I homeschooled.]

So this is our journey.
If you want to take a gander at a post I wrote about
our homeschooling journey two years ago, click here.



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