You have a predisposition about homeschooled children I know, I did too. They are the social mishaps, the “weird” ones, the large Christian families. However, that is not the case and honestly, the thought process needs to get kicked to the curb!
I homeschool my children, and they are the farthest thing from socially akward, sheltered, closed minded, or uneducated children you will ever meet!
I went to the same school my whole life, with the same kids in a small farm town in the midwest. I was very fortunate to have the education I did and it allowed me to have all the things we have been taught to do/have. I had that Friday night light football game fun, the lip syncs and the spirit days. I had debate team, speech team, math teams, honors classes, art, field trips, summer camps, theater, music, all of these amazing opportunities from 4-H, key club, state of the art tech centers and even a fully function automotive shop! I really had a first class education! So, why would I homeschool?
My connections were minimal, honestly so sheltered. I had no cultural exposure, no actually community sense to help others in need because almost everyone in my town at that time was well above middle class. I had no idea about what a humanitarian effort was outside of picking garbage up on the side of the road on a Saturday just so I could put it down on a college application. We didn’t do most things out of the goodness of our hearts-we did it for self purpose. We were in a well oiled business machine covered in a giant government blanket. I remember every year when graduation came it was noted next to the graduate where they were going-4 year institution, community college, military, or undecided. Those undecideds-those were the kids going nowhere. Those were the kids that were “lost” and socially akward.
When it came time to really evaluate the school system today- I thought long and hard about it, I did pray on it – WHAT A TASK to take on! The future of the next generation in MY hands. To make them able bodied, society functioning individuals!? The pressure was so real, and then factor in the noise from everyone who has a “degree” in your personal life… The pressure was almost to much. Even today after 2 years I still get into conversations with friends and family who still can’t believe I am doing this. They still say that I need to return them to public school so they can be “brilliant” as if they wont be because they are inside my 4 walls.
So, how do you block all that out? How do you keep your heart in the right area and your head clear? These are a few things that have worked for me:
- Get to know your kids again. Don’t stick them IMMEDIATELY on a curriculum! It is OK they will NOT fail. God BLESSED YOU with these babies, NO ONE ELSE. If you pray with an intentional heart, you will be guided, I promise. If you are praying for the best for your children and not for the recognition of saying you can do it all, I promise you, you will be guided.
- What do you envision for you family? What is your goal? What do you want for your kids? What do your kids want for themselves?
- What is your Circumstance? Can you afford to stay home and school 5 days a week? Can you afford private school? Can you afford a co-op and the time commitment? Stay realistic in your means- you will save yourself so much guilt. If you can’t do it RIGHT NOW, set a goal so you can and achieve it.
- What is your ability? I do not just mean your educational ability. What is your ability to meet the individual needs of your child or even if you have more than 1-all of their individual needs? What is your ability to learn and grow and work with change as it comes? What is your ability to accept that you will falter and you will not be your best each day and that is ok? What is your ability to not be your own worst critic. Plan this-work on this- this is a giant part of your foundation.
- Be honest with your self. You will need self care. What does your self care look like in your vision? Put it in your plan-no one can take it away from you!
- Remember- success is different for every person. Success to some is paying 40,000+ a year for their kid to go to a 4 year institution right out of high school. Success to some is going to a trade school for 1 year and making a living right away. Success to some is their kids making art and music and living off the grid out of high school. Success to some is following the foot steps of generation after generation of military men and women out of high school. NO ONE defines your child’s success except for your child. You just guide them, love them, and use the best tools given TO YOU to teach them.
I hope where ever you are in your journey, you remember God gave this journey to you. Speak to him with intention, with grace and hold onto that faith. He will provide, even if we don’t like the answers. When things are messy and out of control-he wants your attention, he is speaking to you. Sit down, open your heart and you will see what needs to be fixed with his grace one step at a time! If you are not a religious person, that is OK! speak to the universe, or whom ever is your spiritual guide through life and just get OUT of your EGO, I promise you….answers will come 🙂
-Just keep mommin