Three years as a homeschooling mom, an occupation I swore I would never have.
And yet here I am.
It’s been quite a four-fold learning experience as teacher, counselor, principal, and cafeteria chef to my two daughters, grades 4th and 6th. My son, Tristan, is a sophomore (I’m still trying to figure how I have a 15-year-old?), but he’s in an autistic unit at a public school he loves. Homeschooling him would take me over the edge and I know my limitations.
Small business experts have told me the same thing as veteran homeschooling parents—if you can get through the third year in your venture, you’re home free. As a two-time successful entrepreneur, I get that. As a homeschooler, I can see it just over the horizon.
My first year of homeschooling felt kinda like the jeans you put on right out of the dryer where you have to lay on your bed to get the zipper up. Yeah, like that.
The second year was how those jeans feel after you’ve worn them about 3 hours—a little stretched, a tad more comfortable. You can actually breathe. A bit.
The third year is how the jeans feel at the end of the day—they hang off your hips a little and you can kneel down without splitting a seam.
I look forward to year four when homeschooling become the jeans I could do yoga in.
“Free At Last”
The problem is that in every area of my life—business, personal, and homeschooling—I have a compulsive need to cross every “t” and dot every “i”. What is so remarkably different about homeschooling is that I don’t have my kids’ teachers glaring over my shoulder (my perception, not theirs) or grading me on the science project I…er…my daughters spent a month working on.
“Freedom for the prisoners!” Isaiah cries (61:2). He could have been talking about co-dependent homeschooling moms like me.
For Tirzah, my new middle schooler, I decided to do something radical—we’re doing public, virtual, and homeschooling all at the same time: Two classes at her assigned middle school—orchestra and P.E; two virtual classes via internet—6th grade math (I hate math) and keyboarding (typing); and Language Arts at home with one massive year-long project—we’re going to make a movie.
Since my entrepreneurial 10-year-old has set her sights on being a money-making YouTube partner by December, and since she already has her own channel with over 180 videos to her credit, this was a no-brainer.
Harry Potter, Sorta
To wit, we are collaborating to produce the Third Season of her on-going series. It’s a story about two wolf warriors who must overcome their differences, rescue their pack from betrayal within and attacks from without, and eventually realize they love each other. It’s like Harry Potter in the woods without the wands…or magic…or people. Well, maybe it’s not like Harry Potter, but it is adolescent lit that grown-ups can enjoy.
My daughter is still clueless that she actually went to summer school since we spent the last three months developing the series’ outline where she learned all the basic elements of story building—plot, conflict, characterization, theme, rising action, narration, exposition, and more.
Our plan is to write the script and storyboard the whole movie by Halloween, then start filming and editing with a goal of uploading one 7-minute video every 14 days. That’s a feature film.
And the Oscar goes to…
Next year I think we’ll convert the script into a novel and sell it as a self-published eBook. What other kid gets to produce their own feature film as a school project then write, market, and sell the novel adaptation? What other mom gets to go along for the ride? I don’t know which of us is more excited about it.
Well, that’s the plan anyway.
The point is we can do this. We can do anything. I can dot the “t’s” and cross the “i’s” if I want to because I’m finally embracing my freedom as an educating parent, Tirzah will remember this school year for the rest of her life.
And so will I.
In what areas of your life are you discovering freedom?
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