There is Such a Thing as TOO Much Reading

“Wow, really?” I can hear you asking now, “After you told us yesterday to read more fiction? Confusing much, Christine?”

I know, I know, there are times I send mixed messages. However, let us not revisit the past (oh that painful past of just last week), but move forward instead! [fake it ’till you make it, people, fake it till you make it]

I am the first one to head for the library (or log into the library website) when I have a problem and need a ‘fix’. In my world, there is very little a book (or a visit to Wikipedia or a Google search) can’t fix. The answers are out there, in spades, waiting for you to dig them up.

And that’s the problem, sometimes. The spades part of it, that is.

Sometimes there is TOO much information. How do you choose which one to listen to?

Let’s say you want to learn how to make your own vanilla extract (I was doing this exact thing the other day for TDN.) and you do a search for ‘make your own vanilla extract’ on Google (I prefer Dogpile, but hey, whatever works for you, right?). And what do you come up with? Dozens of results? And when you click on the links, one insists you infuse the vanilla beans in bourbon, another specifies vodka, and a third absolutely swears by rum. And then there is the matter of the number of vanilla beans per milliliter of alcohol, right? Seven beans, no, five beans, oh, wait, this one says six and specifies a different amount of alcohol.

Which do you choose?

Eeny, meanie, miny mo…

Now take guides to “how to homeschool your child” or even worse (at least for me) “How to Choose the Curriculum that Will Ensure YOUR Homeschooled Child is Accepted With a Full-Ride Scholarship to Cambridge University.”

Okay, yeah, that’s really not a book title. But you get the point. There are so many ways, choices, ideas, instructions and more out there, that’s its hard to just commit to one or the other.

Every once in a while I will pick up a book that is focused on homeschooling or on a facet of homeschooling. Most recently that was Clark Aldrich’s Unschooling Rules.

Which is, by the way, a easy and quick read. After you have read a few of these types of books, however, they tend to fall into two categories – ones you agree with or fit you and your family – and ones that DON’T.

For me, due to my love of books and in the long-standing levels of trust I have placed in books (not so much in people, but I’m working on that, I really am) I find that I’m often lost in a book, making lists, reading about theory, when instead what I really need to do is practice parenting and homeschooling more. There comes a point when you need to put the book down, put yourself out there, and just DO IT.

For many of you, this post may seem simple, an “of course, Christine, isn’t that obvious?” But for those who are perhaps just starting out, feeling lost and very intimidated at the thought of homeschooling your kiddo, I suggest this, put the book down. Trust in yourself to spend the time with your child(ren) and see how they learn, what their interests are, and feed the flames of curiosity. Don’t get so caught up in the stated goals for a particular year that you ignore what your child needs most from you. Second only to them, you are the best expert on what drives your child, what motivates and interests them each day.

I re-learn this lesson every darned day. And for someone who is hardwired to pick up a book rather than talk to another human being, this is a difficult change in personality and daily goals. Somehow, though, I trust that I’m not the only one who feels this way.

I hear the same refrain from so many new homeschooling moms – “To think it is all on me, to somehow raise them up and teach them everything they have to know…”

You don’t…they will do that for themselves…especially when given time, patience, attention and love. You made it this far without ‘screwing up’ – believe in your own capabilities…and theirs.


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