The Homeschooler’s New Groove

Two sisters having fun

Pacha: What happened?
Old Man: Well, I threw off the Emperor’s groove.
Pacha: What?
Old Man: His groove! The rhythm in which he lives his life. His pattern of behavior. I threw it off. And the Emperor had me thrown out the window!
(The Emperor’s New Groove, 2000)

Many of you have begun your homeschool year this week. An industrious few have probably already been at it for several weeks. Some of us are still working on the schedule for our year while enjoying the last days of nice weather. What we all have in common is our dreams for the perfect homeschool experience. Whether you are new to homeschooling, or are a decade-plus veteran, we all seem to have starry-eyed hopes and aspirations for the best year ever.

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The Insanity of Cookie Cutter Homeschooling

Gingerbread Men

My best friend growing up was an orange tiger-striped tom cat named Kitty. (The name seemed marvelously fitting to my three-year-old mind.) Kitty was a lover and, bless his furry little heart, was mentally challenged as well. He had a curious habit that never failed to make me chuckle.

In his desire to find a warm lap to snuggle on, Kitty would leap up on the first available person. If rejected, he would try the next lap. Like a persistent door-to-door salesman, he would make his attempt on literally every lap in the room. When rejection met him at every turn, he would do a strange thing.

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The Homeschooler’s Holy Grail

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Now that most of us have been toiling away at a brand new year of homeschooling for a few weeks, I’d like to ask you: How’s it going?

If you are anything like me, you diligently waded through the avalanche of homeschooling catalogs last spring. You painstakingly chose your curriculum. You had visions of your home being a haven of academic and domestic bliss. A place where the learning is joyous and teacher is compassionate, wise, creative, and fun.

Am I the only one who consistently harbors these delusional fantasies? Year after year, the impossible dream of finally achieving homeschool Nirvana is firmly fixed in my mind. And year after year, my dreams are shattered into a million tiny shards of colorful hopes that are blown to the winds as reality settles in. This usually occurs within the first month of a new year. Heck, it’s been known to happen within days! Are you there yet? Can any of you relate?

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