They Said What? {A week of homeschooling}

Don't you want your children to know how to function in the real world?

Do you worry about them being un-socialized?

She's still not reading?!?

Aren't they missing out?

What makes you qualified?

 

If you're already homeschooling, you've probably heard a few of these. When you first begin homeschooling these comments can cut through your confidence (and heart) like a knife. Rewind a few years my friends….. remember these ones?

 

He's still nursing?

The baby sleeps where?

If you hold him too much you'll spoil him.

Just let her cry. 

 

Well meaning folks have a lot of advice. 14 years ago as a very young mama with a wee nursling in my arms, I flat out lied to anyone who asked where he slept. I carried him too much. Fed him too much. My heart told me I was doing it right, but so many folks questioned my parenting. (not my parents, you guys rocked!) It was rough. Fast forward a few years and here I sit in a very similar spot. A little older, a little wiser, a little bolder. 

We could spend weeks debating the benefits of public education vs homeschooling vs private education, the broken school system, the importance of recess, the problem with gold stars and defining what socialization really is. And in the end, no well meaning person would be right. For me, I know my kids are learning. I know my kids are well socialized. I know that along with missing out on some fun stuff, they also get to miss out on a lot of bad. I know they feel free, and I love that.

It really, truly, all boils down to this. In your heart, you know your child better than anyone. You know by the sound of their footsteps which one of them is walking down the hall. You know the sound of their breath as they fall asleep and just the right moment to finally slip your arm out from underneath that fuzzy head. You know their sneeze, their smile, their laugh and even perhaps how many eyelashes they have. You do. None of this goes away as they get it older, it just changes.

That makes you enough. More than enough. Better than enough. Your intuition makes you your child's best teacher. Whatever educational path you choose, do it with your whole heart. Advocate for your child. Trust your gut. No matter what other's think, do what you know is right. Your journey is your own to have and authenticity will always lead to a well traveled path. Not necessarily an easy one, but certainly a good one. 

To all of you, a sincere, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for traveling along with me. Your comments and thoughts this week have been inspiring and heartfelt.

To know that so many caring folks are bringing up the next generation is a very beautiful thought.

 

*here is you link to the other parts of this series : day 1day 2, & day 3

26 thoughts on “They Said What? {A week of homeschooling}

  1. Thank you for this post. My husband and I are just entering into serious discussions on schooling (our oldest son is 4) and much of what I read is so polarizing. It feels like you will be missing out on something no matter what you chose and that makes the decision so difficult. Sometimes I wish I could convince my self that there is a RIGHT way to do it, but I don’t think there is necessarily and appreciate that you acknowledge this and are encouraging either way. Thanks.

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  2. Your words are beautiful and inspiring. Will have to go back and read your previous posts. I’ve been busy (away from the computer) do just that–following my gut with my kids.
    It’s very comforting to know that there are other parents pouring all the good things into their children. It offers so much hope for the next generations!!

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  3. Oh goodness, it took me awhile too. I always encourage young mamas because of those rough early days… I always have felt that a band of women is a powerful thing, we should stand togethether even through our differences 🙂

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  4. Oh I quite agree, in moments where I feel like a loner in my current setting, I am so grateful to come to this “community” and know that so many of us out there are walking a different path, happily, and forever changing the future. It’s awesome!

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  5. We’re approaching a schooling quandary…my husband and I both work in the “system” (me as a teacher, him as an assistant); our livelihood depends on us doing this work. Our son is in my class, kindergarten, but we’re already dreading the transition to full days in grade 1, as we feel that he’ll not “fit” that system (sitting in a desk, lots of printing/fine motor, not as much “play” and outside time)…what to do? I would love to homeschool but financially could only swing it if we sold our farm and moved to a smaller place. Sigh.
    trusting that the answer will arrive peacefully…

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  6. I so feel your pain. Is job sharing an option?
    While schooling has been a very “us in full control” part of life for our family, we have given up other things. My husband’s job requires us to move every 2-4 years…. and until he retires we can’t have anything like your beautiful homestead, no chickens, stuck in suburbia with neighbors on all four sides. A sacrifice we’ve chosen to make because of a pension plan & good medical coverage. I suppose life is all about compromise…. if moving to the city would kill your spirit… it wouldn’t be worth it, you know? And while not at school your kids have this amazing freedom! Plus I can all ready tell that you are the type of mama that will be very involved with your kids teachers & classes, which makes ALL the difference in the world. And I’m sure you are the kind of teacher the system needs, and my own self? My dream is to head off to work for the system once my kids have flown the coop. Underpaid and under appreciated but certainly making the difference in the life of a child is well worth it.
    Wishing you peace on your journey……

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  7. Hi Stephinie. I love this post. Actually I’ve just read the whole series and what a great amount of knowledge and support you give.
    When I started listening to my inner mothering voice I felt all of the pressure go away. I didn’t have to do anything that didn’t feel right to me. As I look back now on my parenting experience I have to tell you that is has worked out so just fine. I wish you had been just around the corner when I was having doubts. There is so much strength in numbers. Thanks so much for this great series.

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  8. Thank you thank you for taking us on this journey with you, Stephinie. I am doubting myself in so many ways right now. I have been thinking about schooling a lot as you know and I do think, for right now, we are in the right spot. Is it wrong to ask my 6 year old her thoughts on the matter? I don’t and she likes where she is. But I am researching and preparing myself for IF, and that bit of control over her schooling is so important to me. Now, I just need to work on making our days work a little better for us with the path we have chosen. So wise to listen to yourself and trust yourself. It didn’t come instantly for me, I still fight myself sometimes, and I appreciate your honesty here because it reminds me it is never too late.
    Nicola

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  9. Stephanie,
    I’ve loved your homeschooling series. Even though, technically my little one has gone to school (with me) since she was barely 6 months, it was our (L and I’s) and now my own goal to have our space as homelike as can be. And right now, I don’t think of “schooling” her in any way. We just live and experience, but it will be interesting to see how my perspective/feelings change as she becomes older and “schooling” becomes a more vivid point on our radar.
    Ideally, I think I’d like to continue the path we are on now. A few days in a small group setting and a few days at home. And then I am reminded that these little ones do grow beyond the preschool years and that what is appropriate now will not always be (gasp)! 🙂
    Like you, though, I do know what I don’t want for her. And I think that’s the biggest hurdle to jump.
    Have fun! And thanks so much for sharing your experience! I really enjoyed the reading.

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  10. One thing I love about this online community is the strength in numbers… to feel connected to other mamas on this journey is just amazing. I have always felt passionate about banding together as mamas, despite differences. Mothers, sisters, friends… women are a powerful bunch 🙂

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  11. I think it’s refreshing to know that everyone is stumbling down the path of parenthood with good intentions…. we’re all in this together, wether neighbors or blog friends. Being your own authentic self lets you “do” as you go… change when necessary….. follow your heart. That little voice inside is always the right one…. and all of us that are in love with our sweet babes will always have at least a twinge of doubt…. but hopefully through great friends we can *mostly* know we are doing things right.
    ~hugs~

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  12. Ideally all of mine would be involved with a cooperative education group some days and free to roam on others….. I am intrigued to think of the path you will choose for little “B”. You strike me as a strong woman and you’ll roll with what’s right in your heart as you approach the decisions.
    I’m glad you enjoyed all those wordy posts, Wow! I’m so used to blogging primarily through photos…. it was lovely to “see” so many passionate women come together and comment on these the last few days. It’s left me a bit awestruck!

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  13. What an honest post! I tend to read a lot of blogs with kids that are toddlers or younger. It is nice to have found one with older kids. Mine are tweens and there is certainly a feeling of change occuring. We have traditionally homeschooled and now cyber school which is a nice balance of school room dynamics and home based education. That is really what it is all about…balance. AND Intuition…you are so right about that. Thanks for reminding us 🙂
    Great Blog….It’s a keeper!

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  14. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We have already chosen to homeschool. My son is turning 4yrs-old and my daughter is turning 2 yrs-old in a few more months and I am so glad to have run across your series. The hardest part for us is meeting people. The winter is always the hardest to reach out because sickness (whether it is our kids or others). It was nice to hear about your diverse co-op group and how you worked through different beliefs and still had an amazing group.

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  15. I can’t help but comment…I have been a hs mama for 6 years and it makes me sad to hear women say they worry about what their children are MISSING by not sending them off on the big yellow bus everyday. Sweet mamas, you need to focus on what you are GIVING them by home educating!! They will definately not “get everything” at public school, and that is really not the standard (for us, anyhow). Pray, follow your heart, your family’s passions, and your child’s interests…then relax and have fun! Oh, yeah, and pray some more! 🙂

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  16. I totally agree with your comment. It takes awhile to feel strong enough as a homeschooler to know you are doing things right, at least for some of us mamas. I so wish I had read these words when we just started out, nearly 4 years ago. Thanks for stopping by 🙂 

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  17. Thank you so much for this reminder, This first year of homeschool really is so much like those baby years. From the doubt and insecurities I feel to the questions and comments from strangers, friends and family. I really needed this reassurance today. I’ve been questioning myself and our choice a lot these last few weeks (lots of fun stuff happening at schools) and this has helped so much. Thank you for the confidence boost.

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