Learning to love to learn again

We are only as sick as our secrets. I’m going to let you in on why I have been writing from a detached state of mind. Why I have gone weeks without writing when it used to be every other day. Why I have let my blog go a little. And then I want to share with you why I hope to start writing like my old self again soon.

I got run down and sick, physically. My body was getting hit with one procedure and treatment after another and I felt sick and tired all the time. Only leaving the house for library trips and kid’s classes, I avoided social situations as well. My self-confidence sank lower each month. And instead of being a mother who loves to live and experience and learn and read… and then write about all of that, it was all I could do to get by. And there goes the person, the woman, good-bye Jackie. I let go of my individuality. I let go of the part of myself that connects to a Spirit and exists without my husband and kids and I became what I needed to be. I did wife and mom stuff. I cleaned and cooked and homeschooled the bare minimum, but I wasn’t living anymore. I stopped putting on make up (which was only minimal organic mineral make-up to begin with) and I stopped caring about my hair. My WEN sat untouched as did my neglected roots and tips. I used garbage product on my hair which doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I went to cosmetology school a while back so I am serious about caring for my locks. My go-to wardrobe? Sweats. And lots of them. Big, dreary sweatshirt hoodies. This was more than homeschool burn out. More than motherhood burn out. I was burned out on life. And I am still making my way out from under that statement.

So as I looked for encouragement in other blogs I found my usual favorites. The ones that have free printables and digitally scrapbooked lay-outs and Homeschool 101 e-books. But nowhere to be found was the nitty-gritty truth of what I was looking for. I wanted to know that others “out there” had felt this way too. My job as a homeschool mom is to make sure my kids are well educated (shh, another secret, it’s the job of all moms to come alongside their child in his or her education, not just homeschoolers; that’s why kids have tons of homework and need to be read to at home), however I am a full-time educator. And because I was simply trying to survive, there was nothing to write about.

For almost a decade I have been reading and writing about mentored education. Natural learning. Homeschooling. Mentored education is done differently than classroom education because it is 100% tailored to the kid. There’s no learning a little bit about everything, every year. It’s more in-depth, just like math tutoring is more in-depth than a math class. I wanted to be the best I could be; to become an expert in my field, in mentored education. I studied and earned the title “Certified Educational Consultant” with a fancy little diploma to hang above my desk. With it I could have gone into schools and worked with librarians and teachers to develop reading programs and incentives, but I didn’t want to do that. I don’t want to sell myself and try to change a system that little ol’ me couldn’t change anyway. I reached the goal simply because I loved to learn about learning. And when I learn about topics that inspire me, I am better equipped to inspire my children. I reached the goal of learning to educate because it is what I LOVE to do. When I got physically weak, my creativity followed and I stopped learning and blogging. Sure, I wrote here and there, but I kinda’ gave up on the blog because I wasn’t learning anything new. What was there to write about? I was empty and going through the motions. And it started to go on for a long time. That’s why I haven’t written a good homeschool blog in almost a year. I thought it was the death of my love for educating children.

Then we discovered notebooking as a way of keeping a portfolio and more importantly, as a way of life. And in order to begin I had to do a bit of research on the in’s and out’s and how’s and why’s and it sparked a little flame inside of me. I started to feel creative again. And it led to an entire revelation, which led to this post, which will hopefully lead to blogging the way I used to write. I am going to continue to grow as a home-educator and mentor, then express that passion on here.

I am teaching my kids to be life-long learners, but stopped allowing myself that same privilege. I stopped doing what I’m fighting so hard to protect for my children. To wrap things up before this gets too long, here is what I am championing for my children, THAT I AM MAKING SURE TO ALSO GIVE MYSELF:

~The right to follow my own path creatively as an individual (living by Christ’s life), yet as a person with value other than mothering and wife-ing.

~Remember to follow my interests and take responsibility for learning new skills and information. To make mistakes and try again. To stay interested in something, anything, even when I don’t feel well.

~To live and model in my own life what I would like to see in my children as far as education goes. We already try to do that spiritually and all that jazz. Academically, I want them to see that learning is not memorizing. Learning is so much fun that mommy has a hard time being torn away from studying in order to have a movie night. That’s how awesome it is to have passion.

~To set goals and work towards them. I used to write and get ‘picked up’ for this and that and I took to so much pride in putting together a portfolio of what I’ve learned and written about in homeschooling. Standing on the shoulders of our pioneering homeschool moms, I have so much to be thankful for. Such a beautiful terrain ahead of me!

I am more likely to help the boys and guide them to achieve whatever they want, if I live it and model it in my own life.

Thank you for reading my humble little blog. No free printables. No perfect homeschooling here with lot’s of “how-to” articles… we have enough of those. They are needed, but so are the blaringly, brutally honest, what-life-is-really-like-each-day type posts. I am that kind of blogger. I have many homeschool bloggers on my blogroll… all amazing. Most of them are the ones who blog commercially for newbies or those who need a refresher, others are like me. We are all pretty awesome. Read them if you get a minute.

Anyway, as I am setting new goals for myself and working towards them I shall keep the posts coming. I hope. I really do love writing about all of the wonderful lessons and revelations and hot topics that keep us homeschool moms at the tip top of our game.

Have a good Thursday Friends!

Love,

Jackie

p.s. I really want to post this now, but don’t have time to edit so I will fix my grammar errors later tonight. Unless I intentionally left them in because I write “that” way. I like starting sentences with and because that’s how I talk. I don’t teach my kids to write that way though. From them I expect perfection. 🙂 j/k

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2 thoughts on “Learning to love to learn again

  1. “We are only as sick as our secrets.” Do you mind if I quote this in my personal blog? (http://wiccanmommy.wordpress.com) I’m in a mentally/emotionally, verbally abusive marriage with a narcissist…together 15 years this year and still unable to leave. That one sentence sure hit home. That being said, the feeling of just surviving is something I know all too well.
    I hope you can find your way soon. Homeschooling, unschooling, all of it is not based on just education, but parenting, fun, games, and of course bonding with your child/ren. You’re not just surviving, you’re working a miracle!

    • Please use it! Although I can’t take credit for thinking of it myself… I heard it a long time ago somewhere and it has stuck with me. I completely (really, truly) understand your marriage struggles. I no longer have that particular struggle in my life, but know it all too well. You are in my thoughts… good luck and stay encouraged… and safe. Thanks lady… it’s amazing what a kind word from someone I’ve never met in person can do to my heart. Have a beautiful day!

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