So many people think of homeschooling as something you do to your kids. However, through my years of homeschooling I have learned that it is not all about the kids. The amount of growth you experience as a person is immense.
Gaps in Your Education
The fear of “gaps” in someone’s education is often cited as a reason for not homeschooling or for homeschooling in a school-at-home manner. Sadly, learning alongside my children has shown me not gaps, but canyons, in my knowledge.
I have a lot of education: graduated high school with honors, have a Bachelor’s in Finance and a Master’s in Public Administration, however, the deficiencies in my education became abundantly clear once I began homeschooling.
Education is a private matter between the person and the world of knowledge and experience, and has little to do with school or college.
Unfortunately, I feel school taught me to study to pass a test but remember very little, to do just enough to be seen as a “good” student but nothing more, and confine my learning to set times. Being curious helped me to see all the things I have yet to learn and take steps to rectify my “gaps.”
Mother Culture: the Ultimate Rabbit Trail
Pursuing your education is the ultimate rabbit trail. When I began to consider educating my children, I gorged on my mindset reading list and began to recognize areas I needed to improve upon. I read The Well-Educated Mind and A Charlotte Mason Companion, which offered a way for me to expand my knowledge. Embracing Mother Culture.
I read Jane Austen in my late 30’s, belonged to a book club where I read The Good Earth, Jane Eyre, and The Odyssey, and I’m only now, at 42, reading Dickens. Field trips to a museum or the ballet are not just for my children, but for me. In the past ten years, I have learned more about artists, composers, and scientists than I ever thought possible.
Personal Development and Acceptance
Homeschooling has not only influenced my intellectual growth but has impacted my personal development. It has made me search for ways to be a better mother and person. It has opened my eyes even further to different opinions and beliefs. Every day, I have to balance my needs with those of my six children. At least for me, this is a difficult task.
I have to admit, though, that I spent many years trying to be the “right” kind of homeschooler. The one who plans the entire year out in advance with the strategic use of post-it notes. The mom who has her children perfectly trained to stay in their rooms until 7:30 or 8 so she can have quiet time to herself before the days starts. The mother that chose a curriculum when her child started kindergarten and has never wavered or changed course.
Luckily, I’ve reached the point where I can judge pretty quickly if something is suitable to my personality. You will never find a chore chart or a weekly meal plan in my home. I’ve accepted that these tools do not work for me and have given up feeling guilty because I “should” be doing them.
For my family, homeschooling is simply the way we live and learn. My learning and curiosity spills over to my children and learning alongside them inspires my curiosity. It isn’t a one-way flow of information from me to them. It is the woven fabric of our family life, the inspired living that expands all of our worlds.
When you step back and view all of life as your homeschool, you see that it encompasses everything. It inspires you to lead a more interesting, fulfilling life and to, therefore, create a more engaging experience for your children.
It’s about so much more than just the children.
This is part of my homeschool mindset; you can read more about that here.
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