"So you're homeschooling?"
"Yes." Waiting for the barrage of questions.
"Wow, I could never do that."
"Sure you could! Let me know if you ever consider it, we'd love a buddy!" and I move the conversation on to something else.
Why? Because I'm tempted to say this.
"Yes, you COULD homeschool, you just choose NOT to. There is a difference. Ask me how I know!"
I WAS that mother. I totally supported homeschooling moms, hats off to them but I did NOT want to. I knew it was in our future because of the district we were in, but I was not AIMING for it, not longing to do this.
I'm not gonna lie. I miss the quiet.
But you know what, you CAN homeschool....you just may choose not to. So if you are considering it, and think you CAN'T, let me remind you this.
You are you. Your children are yours. No one else's. Homeschooling doesn't require some wonderful knowledge or training. Do you think teachers knew everything first day of college? No! They LEARNED, studied, picked concentrations, focused. But they worked at it. Do you not do that as a parent? Is there some big instruction booklet I missed getting, because if so I'd SURE like one because my kids are irking my damn nerves lately.
You learn as you go, just like you do EVERYTHING in life. Practice makes perfect....except in parenting. And homeschooling. Every day, month, year could bring a new challenge, interest, child, plan, and so on. You never know what's going to happen....just like in PARENTING! And this crazy thing we call LIFE!
So, don't say you CANNOT homeschool. Say you want to but you're ________ (insert descriptive word here, scared, nervous, selfish, etc.) Because it's ok. I am too. So are a LOT of homeschooling moms. So are a lot of teachers! How many teachers do you think might drink themselves to sleep in the first few weeks (years?) of teaching because it's just such a new and different job? But they keep going back, learning new things, learning new skills and bonding with their students.
Except you don't have to do it with a whole new batch of 20 every year! You have the joy of seeing your children understand concepts and grow and learn. It can be awesome, I've learned that in the short time we've done it.
And it can also make you lose your ever loving mind. You will scream, cry, curse, stomp, drink, eat, and threaten to send them back to public school. Guess what, it's ok. Move past it. Seek solace in something. Talk to a friend. Write a blog! (I mean, hypothetically...)
Do not compare yourself to the other homeschooling moms you meet. Especially the one who's done it for 12 years. Because guess what, she started somewhere too. However, get her number because you're going to need it. Pride cometh before the fall after all, don't be stupid, listen to the veteran's advice!
In the end, they are your children and your decisions. You're going to fail at some things and excel at others. That is REAL LIFE. Contrary to the nice little box the current educational system wants us all to fit in, we're not like that. We are all on learning curves every single day of our lives. Striving to learn.....something.
I don't understand the pissing contests we all get into as parents. I am all for advice, venting, chatting, etc. But, my spawn, my decisions. Homeschool moms are no better than any other mom, and the different types of homeschooling moms are not better than public vs. private school moms. We are all just women who want what's best for our babies.
One of my favorite quotes is, "It's okay not to know how, it's not okay not to try." And that's all, we really can do, every single day.
No matter where your child goes to school.