Before I had kids I never once thought I would ever homeschool. Nor had I ever known anyone who homeschooled.
I often think that we cannot possibly homeschool another year. We originally planned for me to be a stay-at-home mother for one year. Remember, homeschooling was never part of the plan! Twelve years later I have to settle my nerves by saying to myself, ‘just one more year, make it the best!’
The prospect of going back to work is a bit ominous. My unpaid job as homeschooling Mom has had so many benefits – will I find something as rewarding? And there’s the resume gaps…..
99% of the time I feel very good about homeschooling, even though it often feels like swimming against the tide. 1% of the time I feel like it’s pure insanity and we’ll certainly regret it later.
I am thoroughly impressed with all the homeschooling parents I have met over the years. The amount of energy they expend and the level of creativity they exhibit astound me. Homeschooling is so cool because you really can tailor it to the needs of the child and family. When done well it’s a beautiful thing.
By the time the 4th of July rolls around many of us are thinking more of beaches, baseball, picnics and fireworks than our freedom and independence. After putting up with last winter, we have every right. I often take for granted something we’ve always had; something many others may never experience. In America we have the freedom to homeschool. We have the option to replace public education with a home-based program reflective of the needs of our individual children.
In many countries (including Brazil and Germany among many others) homeschooling is illegal or heavily restricted. In other countries it is socially unacceptable. In the U.S. each state is left with the responsibility of education, and regulations for homeschooling vary from state to state. In Maine we are required to report that we are homeschooling and have someone with a Maine teacher’s certificate view each child’s portfolio annually. I think many homeschoolers will tell you that these ‘restrictions’ allow for many variances and much flexibility in programs – and the freedom to choose what is best.
This 4th of July I feel thankful for all the freedoms I have – and homeschooling is one that sits very close to my heart.