We are now officially Kindergartners! We have mailed off our NOI (Notice of Intent) to the proper people, despite the “advice” of some to hold off doing this until the Muffin Man turns six. Every family has their own reasons for homeschooling, and quite often there will be people who do not understand why you’ve chosen this journey. PLEASE do not let that discourage you! Remember that God put you on this journey for a reason, and He will never leave you to walk it alone!
Family members you’ve looked up to for years may turn their noses up when you mention homeschooling. You may hear things like “well, our kids went to public school and they all turned out fine”, or “public school can’t be that bad, you went there”. Some will seem amazed or even enthralled with the idea that you are doing something so spectacular, and will voice their well-intentioned thoughts with something like, “Wow! How will you ever get any work done? I mean, I don’t know if I could have mine home all the time. Don’t you think you’ll get bored never going out or having any fun?” While they do mean well, some people just do not get it. Many people still have the idea that homeschooling means doing school at home. They picture all of your kids sitting at the kitchen table (or worse, some actually think you will clear out a room in the house and add desks and chairs to it) and you standing up in front of them giving lectures all day. Let me take a moment to compose myself from all the snickering and giggling I am doing at the mere thought of that. 🙂 These same people will be amazed when they find out that you take field trips to places other than the library or grocery store, and that school is often out by noon. They will be even more shocked when they hear your kids asking to do their schoolwork because you have made it so much fun for them. They will sigh and wish this for their own kids. You will smile and whisper a “thank you” to God. 🙂
I also want to take the time to mention a surprising group of “friends” whom you may feel discouraged by in your homeschool journey. Veteran homeschoolers. First off, let me start out by saying that having a network of veteran homeschoolers that you can turn to for help, support, encouragement, or advice is an absolute must! Surround yourself with people who have been there/done that so that you do not feel alone. We need good friends to support us and keep us from giving up when times get rough. What we do not need to do, however, is take every bit of advice as being mandatory to act upon, nor do we need to compare ourselves to others. As I said before, every family is different. Every family travels this road in their own vehicle, at their own pace. That means that what may work for one family, may not work for another. A curriculum choice that fits your best friend’s three kids may not fit your one at all, but it may work for five of your sisters seven kids and not for two of them. Every child is unique in their learning abilities. No advice followed or not is more important than doing what works for your family. When you seek advice from your network, be sure to keep in mind that the only person you need to measure up to is God to whom we are accountable for all our actions.</p>
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all they ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct they paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6