Monday, October 17, 2011

A Bit of Honesty

The following post was inspired by another blog post called The Good,The Bad and The Ugly. If you have the time, please drop by and read it.

UPDATE: I happened upon another great post I think you should check out The Uncomplicated Homeschooler

Recently, when we were out and about, someone commented proudly on how much I do with my kids and how great it all is, according to my blog. I should have been affirmed by this, but was instead bothered- I guess I just felt so exposed. I had no reason or desire to dress it up for them so I thanked them and smiled but it got me thinkin'. So, when I read that post it was in line with what I was mulling over.

I think people have this perfect idea of what it is that those of us who homeschool or blog about homeschooling do all day but I assure you, it's anything but perfect. 

I remember being given that impression by other homeschoolers when I first came into the fold. It took some prying and lots of time to get the honest admissions that I grudgingly managed to eek out of them. They have no idea to this day how these tiny admissions gave me such a sense of relief and made me feel so human, not less-than. 

Especially for the weeks or days we don't get everything done because the printer ran out of ink and payday is still a few days away. Or because some construction project is going on in the new house and I have to closely supervise the work or give input. Or when we've worked so hard a few days in a row that we finally "skip" school to give ourselves a break, get some sunshine and  fresh air, and go hang out with our friends.

Homeschooling is a great option for many of us who choose to do it, and how does it get any better than a tailor-made education for our kids? But, we have to keep it real- our schools are not perfect because nothing on this earth is. If you think about it, that's what makes homeschooling such a beautiful thing, though. We are unknowingly teaching our kids to be flexible and resilient- not rigid, to realize when it's best just to go with the flow, and how to prioritize but understand that sometimes those priorities have to get shifted around so that life stays balanced. We are teaching them not live up to others' expectations of what they should be and to know their limits, or "know when to fold 'em". There's such a great strength in that.

I also think we all feel the need to defend it because we're constantly under attack. In doing so, we've hurt ourselves and others who haven't yet accepted or learned that in everything, especially homeschooling, life happens. We owe it to ourselves and new homeschoolers to admit that YES, we have to face days that lesson plans will have to be re-worked sometimes or totally scrapped in favor of some good, quality on-the-fly learning. That YES, there are times we don't get anything done or don't sit and do this for hours on end every day because we know there's more to life and learning than books. 

We are by definition non-traditional. So give yourself room to breathe and work toward loving what you're doing, not burning yourself out because of it. If there's one thing life has taught me, it's that when you're certain of something and you know it's right, it needs no defense. There's no reason to feel inadequate or insecure when the nay-sayers (who greatly outnumber us) start nay-saying. 

My challenge to you and to myself: work on getting to a point where you can stand behind your homeschool with pride- this includes the good days AND the bad and remember that even on their best days, nobody can do it like you.


  1. Love your post and love that it was inspired by mine. I think we all need to break away from the perfection that seems to be going around the homeschool blogging community and be real. Some days are great, some days are good, some days are so so and some days are just down right UGLY. But like is like that, no matter where you choose for your child to be educated.

  2. Loved it. Teaching our kids to be flexible is the real truth. My kids are probably so flexible, living with me as their mama, that they can bend over backwards twice!


  3. Very true. Life happens. Scedules have to be rescheduled and there's always left over work- nothing perfect. We're only human, do our best and let the kids (and ourselves) breathe. Thanks for the post.

  4. Thanks for sharing Kim. Teaching our children is hard work, whether we send them out to school or teach them at home. Keep up the good work!


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