Today I was pretty much asked by a non-homeschooler...can I really be successful at homeschooling, all things considered? Apparently, they knew others that had given homeschooling a shot and given up. They seemed to think that was pattern amongst we overachiever type parents. Taking on too much and then throwing in the towel when the going gets tough. Surely homeschooling is an impossible task for any parent, right? I abhor that attitude. Parenting is not a competitive sport! When you compare your lifestyle to another you are doing a huge disservice to them and yourself.
Is it really something you can be successful at? My answer is a resounding YES! Like anything you are committed to and want to be successful at it takes a great deal of your time, resources, and all your blood, sweat, and tears. It is not a choice made lightly or a commitment made without sacrifice. Some people don't make it out of the gate. Some parents find it's not for one or more kids. And still others excel and thrive at homeschooling.
Homeschooling is a choice, just like, choosing a pediatrician or where to send your child for piano lessons. You as a parent have a -I believe- a God given right to choose how your child is educated. I think it is tremendous sad that we have let so called experts and leaders tell us that we don't know what we are doing. We have allowed them to second guess us to a point that we doubt ourselves and other parents abilities. They have convinced us that they know so much better and that we could not possibly know how to teach our child. Fortunately we live in an amazing county where not all our rights have been stripped away (yet) and YOU the parent get to choose how you want your child to be educated. We have many, many options these days. Education is no longer a 'One Size Fits All' world. There are private schools, charter schools, community schools, virtual schools, homeschooling, tutors, college course credits, and mentoring. Education comes in many shapes and sizes. Just like picking out Johnny's first tricycle, the choice is all yours.
Homeschooling can be a commitment or it can just be something you are trying out to see if it will work or see how long it will work. We started out just seeing how things worked. We did not feel the passion or the purpose immediately. We were interested in homeschooling, but we weren't sure we could REALLY do it. Well-somewhere along the line our interest became our choice and then our commitment. Like a marriage you don't give up on when the going gets tough- We have stood by our choice and committed our lives to homeschooling our children. ( and we like it!)
Is it easy? No.
Do I always love it? No.
Do my kids love it? Yes.
Do I doubt myself? Who doesn't!
Is it rewarding? Extemely!
Is it worth it? Yes
Is it for everyone? No.
Just like choosing between bottle or breast, vaccinations or not, disposable diapers or cloth. You would not go around asking every pregnant woman if they REALLY think they can be a parent? No! (unless you want to get punched in the face) You congratulate them, you acknowledge the huge commitment they have made, and you cheer them on to the finish line.
So I say...stop comparing my life to yours. My life is not yours and my kids are not yours. Unless you truly believe my kiddos are somehow being neglected or abused you have no civil rights to question my choices. I say quit looking for faults in other parents and stand by your own choices, your passions, and your family and I will be here to cheer you on. What are friends for?
P.S. If you can't say something nice, just be polite and quiet and blog about it later.