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Welcome to the blog section of Room613.
Here we'll be sharing some thoughts about Jewish homeschooling,
out of our unique experiences and perspectives. Kids are welcome to blog too!
We look forward to an open exchange of ideas.

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Yael Resnick
Group Co-Administrator


Ups and downs in the life of an imperfect homeschooling mom

January 2012 Posts


A Learning Experience
Blog Entry

Occasionally Amazing

Thursday, January 19th 2012 @ 9:09 PM

The other day I was browsing through the thousands of photos I've taken of things we've done as a homeschooling family—special events and trips, as well as ordinary moments around the house. It occurred to me that even though I have extensively documented so much of our family life, even making a conscious effort to include the mundane, my photo collection still offers only an edited perspective—basically, the good stuff.

Have I documented in photographs the piles of laundry that often go unfolded? The leaning stacks of paper on desks and bookshelves? Children fighting or slamming doors? Middle-of-the-night frustrations with a toddler who will not sleep? No, I have not.

And similarly, I have not documented the many hours during which my children are not learning or otherwise creatively or productively occupied, but instead are being grouchy or tired or lazy, or wasting precious time, or resisting any suggestion that they do something.

What I do have pictures of is my family taking field trips, preparing for Yomim Tovim, celebrating birthdays, doing actual (messy) art or science activities, taking nature walks, baking cookies (the kind that you can cut with cookie cutters or make into interesting shapes), and planning and re-enacting a historically accurate tea party exactly as Laura Ingalls Wilder would have done it. 

And besides being the kinds of activities that get photographed, those are the things that get written about in blogs, too…

But how often do these kinds of activities happen? Occasionally to rarely. Historical tea party re-enactments? Once ever. And it wasn't even my idea.

When you start to notice (with a bit of envy or a feeling of inadequacy) the amazing things other homeschoolers are doing, remember that for all of us, most days are notable only for their ordinariness. But someone looking in from the outside (comparing notes, reading blogs, looking at photos) might feel like they're not doing enough impressive homeschooling things.

What I've come to realize, though, is that we don't need to be amazing every day, or even every week. Most days can be plain-jane days of learning and hanging around—with a little trip to the library or the playground or just to the backyard for a little fresh air.

Of course, kids need special things to do and special places to go. Once in a while. Once in a blue moon works, too. And it helps if the kids have some planned activities in their week to look forward to—things that you're not directly involved with, preferably, so they'll happen even if you wouldn't get around to it if it were all up to you. A class or two of some kind, a playdate, or time with grandparents, perhaps.

If the kids are happy (more often than not) and learning (some days more, some days less), then we can all relax and just be occasionally amazing. And when our kids look back at the photos we've taken along the way, they'll see the highlights and appreciate all the happy moments, both the amazing and the ordinary. Really, it's all good!

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