Now, I will admit that a part of it is my own fault. The boy and I struggle because he is VERY independent and likes to do his own thing (and, a lot of the time, his thing and my thing are two very different things). And, I confess that I haven't been getting up in the mornings like I had originally planned, and that the days haven't been as structured as I had foreseen as well. We don't follow a strict schedule. We both like to do what is fun and we both seem to enjoy having a block schedule of doing math and science (and whatever) on one day, then doing reading, writing, and spelling on another. This is actually working out quite a bit (and I HAVE started to get up earlier, by the way).
But where I get stressed out is that no one else seems to agree with the fact that we don't follow a schedule or that there aren't hours upon hours of him sitting at a desk doing his work. I get a lot of flak that there are days when we spend 4 hours getting through school stuff, and there are days when we are lucky to get 2. I hear comments about how I'm not strict enough, or that he isn't disciplined enough, or how I should just put him back into public school and be done with it all. This is not what I need. I don't need critics. I need support.
I've been reading several articles about harried homeschooling moms and a lot of what I've been seeing is how, due to lack of support, most moms DO give up on their endeavor, especially within the first year or two. But, I've also been seeing where veteran homeschooling moms are saying, NO. DO NOT GIVE UP! And, I don't want to. I decided to give up my career (something that I loved doing) so that I can spend more time with my son, so that I could take him away from the country's current trend of creating test-taking robots and create an environment where he feels loved, accepted, and can learn and express himself at his own pace. And I haven't been doing that. I have been allowing OTHER to dictate whether or not I am being successful in his learning. I've allowed myself to get caught up with what other people think homeschooling should look like (which, according to them, should be The Monk sitting at his desk doing hours and hours of work, just like he would be in a regular classroom - which is why we pulled him out in the first freaking place!).
Now, I'm not saying that we should just be watching TV or playing video games all day. I think that we should be practicing spelling, and math, and reading, and writing...but that, for us, it needs to be more organic (although, I know that there should be some structure in there). And I also know that I need to prepare him for the real world, where there is routine and a set schedule...but he's 7! I can start doing that as he gets older and is in middle and high school! Why would I want to do that now? Again, that is not the premise of why I wanted to homeschool in the first place.
I need more support. I need people to be on my team so that I don't feel as though I am all alone in this. And what frightens me the most is that I am not going to get it. And if that is the case, then I need to find the strength within myself to do what I want, how I want, and focus on the love and time that I am giving to my son. Because, in all honesty, that is what it truly all boils down to.