August 4, 2014

Homeschooling Insecurities

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, children's garden

I hear that parents of homeschooled children are often told they should get used to feeling like they aren't doing enough, and that routinely second guessing their effort is normal. I'm already appreciating the ways that homeschooling is going to stretch me and demand that I reach hard for this. I've said it before but this is way outside my comfort zone, and yet it still feels like the clearest choice for us.

Right now I can't imagine a better way forward.

While I'm confident about our decision, my feelings are still mixed. Everything we did up to the point of deciding to homeschool has done away with my biggest worries and concerns, and that feels really good. Even the wonder about my ability to meet my own needs in the midst of the added responsibilities that homeschooling will bring has dissipated tremendously over the last few months. What I grapple with now is a familiar vulnerability.

In the same way I guarded what was precious knowledge at the time—my decision to give birth at home—I find myself guarding the plans we make for homeschooling. I feel uncomfortably open to judgement and want desperately to shed the pangs of needing to prove myself or justify my decision to others; if i'm honest it is a moot effort to even discuss this very personal decision with those who can't understand it. It's as hot as any political topic I've ever cared about.

Unlike birth at home, which is a private event and in our case lasted only a few hours, I sometimes wish that homeschool didn't span an entire childhood and that it was an easier choice to keep hidden when I don't feel like going there. But Roscoe is so loud and proud and happy to know he is homeschooling and I want to be equally so. I'll have to continue to balance my introvertedness and my insecurities about being misunderstood by those who are close to us, and focus instead on sharing my heart with those who are truly open and interested in supporting us on our journey.

At least until I find my own true confidence in this process.

The process that will teach me how to do it better. A process that I'll probably get wrong in order to learn how to do it right.

We'll get there. I know it.

I have to believe that there is more than one way for children to be well educated and prepared to live a life of their own choosing.

This post was inspired by a recent online class on PBH journaling that I took with Lori Pickert from The Camp Creek Blog. 

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