Camille from Homeschooling in the D has been sharing with her audience about what homeschooling is to her and her family. She's also taken it a step further and has shared some of what homeschooling is not. Her video series caused me to think about what homeschooling is to me and my family. Here are six adjectives that describe what homeschooling is to us.
Flexible. No matter who I am talking to or what I am talking about, I often tout the fact that being a homeschooling family allows us to live a flexible life. Before we started our homeschooling journey, I had no idea that we could live a life of freedom. We are given freedom from rigidity and expectations of others. The flexibility in homeschooling allows us to create a schedule that works for us, use curriculum that fits my daughters' learning styles and my teaching style, and take breaks when it best fits our family.
Authentic. Doing life with your children without long periods of solitude opens the door for true authenticity. You can't fake being perfect when your children see you at your best and at your worse. My daughters have no shame in telling me that I have been too grouchy or whatever, and they have no shame with sharing this with others either. Choosing to be a homeschool mom allows you to take the veil off and allows those closest to you to love you for who you are and not who you think you should be. I've found embracing my authentic self carries over to relationships outside of my family too.
Restoration. Did you come from a broken family? I did, and it wasn't just my nuclear family either. Homeschooling has allowed us to work through the hurt that has been passed on throughout the generations. As I stated above homeschooling is authentic which means I have to be my true self for this lifestyle to work. I had to work through past pain so that I wouldn't project it onto my daughters. I had to be honest with my own struggles so I could be the mother that they needed. Homeschooling has been a place of restoration for my family. It has provided us with the time and space that was needed to walk through some of the struggles which have been in our families for generations.
Family. The core of our homeschool is family. Curriculum is good. Field trips are fun. But, family tops the list of what makes our homeschool work. We work together to help one another. This doesn't just mean the parents are here for the children, but it goes both ways. Building relationships in our family is a bit easier since we spend such a great amount of time together. We recognize each other's cues such as facial expressions. If one of us is down, we are okay with taking a break from the schoolwork to meet the needs of the person who is sick, tired, or just having a hard day.
Gift. I truly believe you must have a heart to homeschool, but I also believe you can do it even if it wasn't in your plans initially. Homeschooling is a gift that is freely given to those who are willing to take the challenge. When something is given to you, you can do with it what you please, but when you realize that it is an out of this world gift, you tend to cherish it a bit more than the regular gifts. Now, I don't believe that homeschooling should be placed on a pedestal as an idol. I tend to see it through the same lenses as parenting and the gift of motherhood. We were chosen specifically for the task so we should do our best not squander what was given to us.
Challenging. Yes, it is challenging just like parenting. Homeschooling is a way of life, therefore, all of your other decisions will be based upon the fact that you homeschool which can make life different than what you planned. Homeschooling challenges us to be more diligent with our time. Homeschooling challenges patience because everything will not always go as planned. Children may take longer to learn some skills like reading and following directions. Homeschooling challenges me to see myself through a lens that I struggled with for a great part of my life which is I am enough. Homeschooling truly does pull out of you so much more than you expect when you first start the journey and doesn't stop when you have learned the lesson. It only continues to challenge you in many areas from learning how to teach new subjects to helping you put others before yourself.
What is homeschooling to you?
Did you enjoy this post? Read about Why Homeschooling Works for Us!