Thursday, 20 June 2013

The Backstage Pass

Yesterday, my blog stats jumped five folds.  Wow.  That's thanks to Beth from 123 Homeschool 4 Me who has very kindly listed this blog as one of her 13 Homeschool Blogs You Should be Reading!  I feel it to be a great honour to be publicly mentioned in a positive way by anyone, so I want to take this opportunity to thank Beth and everyone who finds what I write here to be useful.

As we approach our end of year (we plan to start our summer at the end of July), I have been reflecting quite a bit on the school year.  To put it very briefly, I don't feel very successful about this past year, and I am working on plans to bring about positive changes in the new academic year.  Therefore, to find this blog on the list in the midst of my internal struggle to find a solution for what I would consider a 'better' year starting in September, compels me to write this post in order to clarify any romantic/idealistic ideas that anyone might have of how life is around here.

Just to set the record straight:
1.  This blog is a record of one narrow aspect of my life, i.e. the more academic aspects of homeschooling my son.  It is a one dimensional view.  I don't set out to present myself, or my family, or my approach to be perfect, and would be disappointed for anyone to read this blog then go away thinking that I have it all together or all figured out.  As it is, I regard homeschooling as equivalent to my full-time day job, and I put my best efforts into it.  I record and share what works for us in terms of academic pursuits.  I work 'behind the scenes', so to speak, to resolve challenges and personal struggles but I don't feel the need to voice my grievances in public because they are essentially private matters to be resolved privately.

2.  I think motherhood is a very challenging job.  Add homeschooling to that, and the pressure to do well instantly doubles.  If you read this blog and it looks like my homeschool runs smoothly and effortlessly all the time, just know that it takes constant, tremendous amount of work to get here and we are not at where we want to be yet.

3.  My son is a very spirited child.  Like everyone else, his personal characteristics can be interpreted either as strengths or weaknesses depending on the situation he is in.  A child who knows his mind is very rarely one who is also readily compliant or eager to please anyone else.  As his mother and his primary teacher, it is my duty and responsibility to assist him to build on his strengths and to overcome his weaknesses.  This aspect of character building is very seldom mentioned on the blog because: (1) I don't have any curriculum to recommend, and (2) it is a constant work-in-progress so I don't feel I can give any advice.

On that note, I want to let you know that I will not be writing for the rest of the Homeschool Help series.  I have been thinking about it alongside with all the points mentioned above, and I don't feel that I can contribute adequately to the rest of the topics.  Nonetheless, I will continue to support the series by reading the insightful posts written by the other contributors.


  1. My heart goes out to you, Hwee. I understand you feel a dis-satisfaction in the school year- I have felt that in the past- but take some time to look back over the posts of this year and you'll be surprised by how much you and Tiger have achieved.
    Also remember there are inevitably peaks and troughs in learning. Sometimes they are easy to see when one day goes well and another goes badly, but I think they can occur in larger chunks of time. That is the wonder of home schooling. There is time- time to explore with out any academics and then a time to apply that learning- but it all occurs according to the natural timetable of the child.
    I'm so pleased you were in Beth's top 13 because maybe you needed that encouragement yesterday.

    Home schooling is a marathon not a sprint and you are jogging along just fine!!

  2. Thank you for your encouragement, Claire. It's much needed and appreciated.

  3. Now I'm trying to remember the other topics in your homeschool helps series that are left. I've very much enjoyed reading your thoughts on this, and know you are a gifted teacher for your son and a wonderful parent.
    I know this because of what you write, you can't write like you do if you didn't care.

  4. What a thoughtful and honest post, Hwee. I think the sentiments you express will resonate with almost all home educating bloggers.
    Like you, I only write about one very narrow aspect of our lives, and I wouldn't want anyone to think things are one perfect unschooling/homeschooling moment after another round here - they are so not! C(9) often comments on how people looking at photos of her brother on the blog must think he's always a smiling happy model student - but then who wants to look at photos of a kid in meltdown? ;-) (not that I'd do that anyway, out of respect to my children!)
    I love reading your posts, you add so much to the homeschool blogging community as well inspiring me personally.
    I tend to find that what feels like a breakdown comes just before a breakTHROUGH, so I'm sure by the end of the summer you'll have the clarity you're looking for about how to take things forward.
    This homeschooling/parenting business certainly keeps us on our toes, doesn't it? ;-)
    BTW I'm so pleased more people now know about your blog - as I said, you're a huge contribution to this community.

  5. Congratulations on the mention and increase in blog hits. Your blog ranks on my top 13 without a doubt. I'm sorry to hear you won't be writing for the homeschool help series. I enjoyed your posts. I'm also sorry your year didn't go as well as you would like.

    What we say in the blogging world is accurate, but only a small fraction of what goes on in our homes. I too write about what works, but agree that it can create a skewed picture of reality. From what I see, it does look like your year was awesome. Regardless, with so many good things to write about, you and your son must have learned a lot.

  6. Thank you so much for all your very supportive and encouraging comments, ladies. Your visits and comnments always mean a lot to me, and they are even more so at this time. :-)


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