The above picture accurately describes the feeling. This is definitely the way I felt after the firm decision was made to take our kids out of public school.
It’s that time of year again…’back to school’- if you are thinking about trying to do your children’s education at home, but haven’t quite pulled the trigger- this can be a truly difficult time filled with worry, doubt and strife. Of course, this does not compare to the level of worry, doubt and strife achieved AFTER you do pull that proverbial trigger😊
The feeling of being blindfolded…stepping out into the abyss – I’m guessing it’s safe to say most of us felt that way to some degree. The good news is that you will eventually find solid ground and the blindfold slowly but surely falls away!
Today there are tons of resources out there- examples, advice and support. If taking your kids out of the traditional classroom setting is weighing heavily on your heart and mind…if sending them out the door on that first day of school just does NOT feel right – there’s a chance, simply put, that it is not.
So, for those who are soon heading out the door for the first day of school- have an excellent year! If you think you might want to try staying home instead…you might feel like the guy stepping off the cliff. That’s ok- you’re not alone. Take advantage of every resource and encourager – in hindsight that blindfolded ’oh no help aaaahhhhhhhhhh splat’ kinda feeling I had in the beginning was completely worth it 😊
Last Suday I had the distinct honor and pleasure to be one of the featured authors at a local book clubs’ ‘New Author Launch’. Each of the speakers got to talk a little about how their book came about, then read from their newly published work for 5 minutes. After everyone had their turn at the podium we sat at tables with our books displayed for sale. It was great fun!
Twenty books were featured – a diverse collection…a journey through the ‘60’s complete with photographs of nude beaches – an apocalyptic dystopian end of world young adult novel – a tale about a dog written from the dogs point of view, to name a few.
This was not my crowd- not my target audience. I was one of the youngest people in the room (I’m 53). None of these folks had schoolage kids, and from chitchatting before the event I gleaned that most were fairly liberal, hardcore public education types. I didn’t expect much traffic at my bookselling table.
Nevertheless…as I sat at my assigned table- books laid out in front of me for all to see – they came out of the woodwork. An adorable little lady who had to be 100 years old stopped and picked up my book. She grinned at me and said, “I’m going to buy your book because you presented so well, and you must be so brave to have done this. I want to see how your story turns out”. I was touched – almost cried😊. A retired public schoolteacher approached and said she admired the decision to do school at home, and would do so herself in this day and age. An older white haired couple who had presented a book about their traveling gypsy puppet performing days stopped by and told me they homeschooled in the gypsy caravan back in the early ‘70’s – they loved it, and love that it’s a ‘thing’ now. One of the few people at the event younger than myself took pictures of my book so she could share it with her ‘many friends who are considering the possibility’ of school at home – to hopefully buy on Amazon😊
By the end of the afternoon way more people than I ever dreamed had stopped to mention something about knowing someone who did, should’ve, or wants too – do school at home. I was pleasantly surprised. We are everywhere!
Homeschool myth #7,092: kids will become lazy, awkward, antisocial weirdos if removed from the classroom environment.
A dear friend asked me, “What are your boys best memories about doing school at home”? The perfect answer would be: Our gracious, selfless, caring mother put her life on hold to cherish and teach us- we love her so much for making this sacrifice. NOPE…that ain’t it!
Hands down the best part for my 2 boys was sleeping in, and wearing pajamas all day if they could. In the beginning I tried my level best to fight this truth…I quickly gave up – seeing that it wasn’t hurting them in any way. In fact, I could see many positives. They weren’t tired and cranky all the time- able to take on huge/difficult class loads with less exhaustion and stress. And despite that freedom they both taught themselves (I helped a little😉) how to manage time- learning to get as much done as they possibly could rather than squeaking by with minimal effort.
No (ok, less) ‘burn out’ was another big bonus…we dealt with less teenage angst and upheaval than most folks we know. Another bonus was the ability to work AND volunteer during normal school hours (they got dressed for this haha). Out there in the real world learning about responsibility, making money, giving back to the community- interacting with all kinds of folks- seems to have left our kids well rounded and well adjusted. Both kids transitioned into college life easily – getting good grades, making good friends- working, playing, both living off campus now doing some real adulting. Not lazy. Not awkward. Not antisocial.
If you don’t want sleeping in and all day pajama wearing then don’t! You get to make the rules. Of course all kids are different – school outside the traditional classroom might not work…I’m here to tell you from experience that it CAN work wonderfully- without the stereotypical negative repercussions people envision for homeschool kids.