Another school year has started and the ease of summer already feels like a lifetime away. Maybe it’s your 15th year of homeschooling and you’re full of joy and anticipation, or maybe it’s your first year and you’ve reluctantly started this journey because you were unhappy with your child’s education in the past. Either way, here we are. We’re all on this journey together. Our paths might look drastically different, but I think we’re all walking toward the same destination.
It’s hard to journey onward without directions. Let the answer to this question serve as your compass:
Why do you homeschool?
If you haven’t really thought through your “why” I suggest you take a coffee break with yourself (you deserve some quiet!) and really seek out the answer. The answer to that question will be your guiding light when the days feel too long and you feel flat worn out.
Did you make this decision to go against the grain and leave the path most traveled because of fear? I hope not. Fear is never a great motivator. Fear will not comfort you when you feel like you don’t have what it takes. Fear will not calm you when you literally can’t explain long division one more time. Taking a journey out of fear will only leave you, well… scared. And exhausted. Fear might have brought you here, but it can’t be your long term motivation.
Did you choose homeschooling so your kid can be the very best at all of the things? Best in sports! Best in academics! Best at life! Best best best! I’d say no. The pressure to always be the best, smartest, brightest, coolest kid in the world is an unbearable burden for our children to carry. How easy it is to buy the lie that we have to produce prodigies on this homeschooling path. “Oh, you’re HOMESCHOOLED? You must be EXTRA SMART!”, says the cashier at the grocery store. The kids smile and give me a knowing look. I grin and say “we are all as smart as we make up our minds to be” and kindly walk away.
Did you choose this journey because it’s easy? Ha! I just spit out my coffee. Did you?
I can’t answer your “whys” for you, but I can share with you some of mine. I homeschool for the sake of love and wonder. I homeschool because I know that even though there will be gaps in my teaching (I am only ONE person, after all!), I know my children better than anyone in the world and I will stop at nothing to nurture their hearts. I homeschool because I want my children to love learning, not just pass tests. I homeschool so that I can build a strong connection with my children that will last long after the school years are over. I homeschool because I believe in nurturing the interests of each child in my house. I homeschool because I want to travel the world with my kids and I truly believe that living is learning.
Knowing those WHYS carries me on the long days. Knowing those WHYS gives me the permission to invest in RELATIONSHIP over CURRICULUM. Knowing those WHYS affords me the ability to truly enjoy my children as individuals and breathes joy and delight into our days together.