It’s that angsty time of year . . .

As we head to the end of our tenth year of homeschooling, I find myself once again feeling angst-y and stressed. The older boys are ‘old’ now and what they are doing ‘counts.’ Being the glass-half-empty kind of person I am, I find myself daily wondering what I’ve missed, how have I failed them, why is no one crying->we must not be doing enough (yes, this thought crosses my mind all too often!).

To ease my mind, I wrote out on our handy-dandy white board (How I long to replace that white board with a very cool painting someday.) what each kid is doing each day. I feel mildly reassured. I think. Wahhhhhh! I look at the lists and think how much more they could be doing if only I was willing to give up sleeping and become a vegetarian. But, I’m selfish and I’m not giving up sleep or my carnivorous habits just yet.

The big thing on our to-do list is to get Ian and Tim ready for the PSAT. Dan has taken the SAT and done very well, though he wants to take it again — don’t know where he gets that. But, I abhor the thought of teaching a test. Yet, I’m going to do it because that’s how the game is played. And, because I do very little in moderation, in fact, nothing but laundry pops into my head when thinking about moderation. Someone talk me out of wallpapering the kids’ bathroom and bedrooms with vocabulary words, essay hints and strategic math skills. Really. Tell me not to do it.

I don’t think I have ever described homeschooling as easy here – fun, yes, but not easy. I am, however, finding it difficult and scary as the boys get older. Very scary, in fact. What if I’ve ruined them? Socially, they’re just fine – they’re all black belts and could knock anyone out for lunch money at any time. But, what if I’ve focused too much on one thing? What if they had too much history and Latin and not enough elective kind of stuff? What if they goof and call Pluto a planet, or not a planet – what exactly IS the status of Pluto lately?

And then, “If if’s and but’s were candy and nuts we’d all have a good Christmas, right?” I think I have to go with that for now – for the sake of sanity.

4 thoughts on “It’s that angsty time of year . . .

  1. I'm right there with you! DD took the PSAT for practice last Oct. and we need to work on math. Homeschooling in high school has a whole different set of challenges.

  2. I know you will be fine! Your kids will be fine. Heck, they will probably take care of you when you are old. If it makes you feel any better, 'teaching to the test' happens. I am learning what tests do and do not measure going through all my education courses. While you may feel you are losing something in teaching to the test, the kids will not lose the rest of what you've taught them and unfortunately, there is a lot more to that skill in this world.

    I passed my big national teacher test. I studied the study guide. That test shows only particular content knowledge and problem solving. It has no way of knowing if I would turn in or keep a wallet I find on the street full of hundred dollar bills. It doesn't know if I would yell at a child for being 'wrong' or embrace them and help them get it right. It doesn't know if I manage time, money , or resources well. It can't measure my humanity, my essence, or my self-efficacy.

    So as important as the SATs are… they aren't. Are you more successful at the body of work your children have produced?

  3. I am right there with you! Congrats to Dan on his SAT! We have been waiting ACT results here. They finally are up this morning. I am happy–Braden thinks he may take it one more time. We do know there is NO more SAT in our future so I've got some prep books if you want them.

    Have you considered the ACT at all? Mine both did better on it–shorter too! And some colleges will take the ACT in lieu of SAT2s for homeschoolers.

  4. Nice to know I'm not alone, anyways. And, as always, things look better in the light of day!

    Lisa, you make a lot of very good points and I'm so proud of you for what you've accomplished these last couple of years!!!!!

    Kate, I'd love anything you guys are done using. We have to find a flu-free time to get together soon. (Emphasis on SOON – my word verification is “oldly” LOLOL)

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