I love meeting new bloggers. I especially love it when I find homeschooling bloggers who keep it real. I met today’s featured blogger through Facebook and after one visit to her blog, I just knew I had to invite her over for homeschool mom confessions. Meet, Amy! Homeschooling mom of 7 years, author, and blogger at thehmmmschoolingmom.com.
I think it’s great that you’re a homeschooler. It’s fabulous! It’s swell! But let’s get something out of the way, shall we?
Here it is: I don’t care about your family.
Now don’t take that the wrong way. It’s actually a good thing, and it’s going to help us get along better.
Why don’t I care about your family? Because, honestly, it would be silly for me to think I should.
See, you’re the only person who really lives inside your house, to know the personalities and quirks and idiosyncrasies that live within the place you call home. You know your family’s needs, not me. You know your schedule, the way your family works into it, and how to work around it when things come up. You know what issues you’re dealing with inside your extended family. You know what you can handle, not me. You know the changes you’ve lived through and what ones could be on the horizon. You’re the one who will have to deal with the changes you’re not going to see coming, not me.
You’re the one who knows your family best. And though it seems obvious, there’s a super-sized chunk of the homeschooling community that forgets this. Most people operate with the “I know what’s best for my family…and I probably know what’s best for yours, too.”
I’ve been at this gig since 2007. I know that at some times our family has been completely unstructured and free as a bird. Other times we’ve looked awfully scheduled. We’re totally nutty…except for when we’re not. Sometimes the kids have requested more or less of this and that, so throughout most of our journey, we’ve spent a lot of time in the giant IN BETWEEN. We’ve found things we like to use…and scrapped them when they no longer fit our purposes. Other things we’ve kept, struggled through, and come out alive on the other side.
So, dear homeschooling friend, that’s why I’m here to assure you that I don’t care about your family. I really like your family, and I’ll support your family’s journey as much as I can. But there is no way I can care about your family in the way that you do. Should I care how you carry out your homeschooling day? You know your family best, and I trust you can make those decisions for your family without my meddling or unsolicited advice.
You want to do school-at-home? Unschool? Radically unschool? If it works for your family, it’s fine by me. You want to unschool for everything but math? You want to spend a whole year doing nothing but writing a novel together? You want to travel the country in an RV? Doing what your kids want to do but afraid of what that looks like to others? You want to start a family business? You want to buy desks and set up the back bedroom like a school room? You want to do nothing but unit studies? You think workbooks are evil?
You’re a Pagan? Buddhist? Atheist? A Christian in a conservative Christian community? A Christian but consider yourself to be a secular homeschooler?
Do it the way you want. The way that works for today without any worry about what I’ll be saying behind your back. I’m not going to tell you you’re not doing it right. How would I know what is right for you? You are hereby granted the space and freedom to be the awesome homeschooling mom that you are, knowing that we’re all just trying to do the best we can with what we’re given in the situation we’re in.
See, I don’t care about your family…because I know you’ve got that part covered.
Amy Dingmann has homeschooled her two sons since 2007. She is the founder of The Hmmmschooling Mom and posts there often about things randomly associated with a very eclectic (and possibly undefinable) homeschooling life. Amy is the author of the Homeschool Highway series (available at Amazon) and enjoys speaking at homeschooling, unschooling, and parenting conferences. You can connect with Amy on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, her blog, or via email.
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