Every spring it's the same- I begin to question what I'm doing when it comes to home education.
The grass looks greener over at the public or charter school and I'm needing sunshine and a break from schedules. I begin to question EVERYTHING- from homeschooling to our diet and dinner menus, my mothering abilities, choice of hobbies and even my hairstyle.
I recognize this annual pattern and know it simply means I need a break and a fresh perspective....maybe even a haircut!
But still; I send out wild texts to my grown children- questioning them on their happiness and adjustment to adult life, fishing for reassurance that the rest of my brood will turn out.
Have I hindered them in any way by being home educated?
I don't know what I'd do if they told me, "Yes, Mom, I'm hopelessly confused and can't find my niche in society." I guess I'd just nod my head and tell them, sadly, how sorry I am.
Instead, they say wonderful things to me. They boost me up and reassure me by saying things like the following:
From my daughter, when asked if she felt her knowledge was lacking in any way due to homeschooling:
"No, not at all Mom! I feel that I have more, actually, because we learned so much more than what was just in school books- we got to learn whatever we wanted."
" (My son-in-law) read your question and laughed, because he thinks I'm really smart and know so much about everything. Also, we didn't hear and learn all the garbage at school like s*x and cussing, etc., which was awesome. I could be closer to the church compared to the school kids because I didn't know anything about it. I could just focus on important things in life and not have those thoughts like other kids.
I also did a ton more...choir, violin, piano and have visited almost half of the United States. We had animals and we were camping and boating all the time."
I then reminded her that I know at times, she felt left out of that social world that is public school. She responded, "Yeah, but that was just for the social stuff like having a locker and all the school things like backpack, desk etc....things like that. : )"
And from my son:
"Oh Mom, trust me. I work with a guy- super intelligent individual. He is homeschooling his kids on his own initiative. How impressive, his ideologies are not extremist homeschooling, but more along the lines of why you homeschool; cookie cutter education, creating free learners, deflecting the indoctrination. I highly respect him, he asks constantly about my education and is also continually impressed with both my innate ability to learn, and my intellect as a whole.
I will homeschool my kids, not because I'm afraid of the current educational system, or of social norms, but because of who I am and how happy I am with myself. An introspection always reveals how happy I am with who I am.
My many unique attributes that I may truly never have refined - that with time I was able to develop on my own. The constraints of societal interaction which public school contains, is a waste and detraction of inner finding and true development. Ironic that I find out real social interaction is entirely subjective and diverse on the outside of the small locales in which I've lived!
There's no point in totally immersing yourself in group think and social adaptation when you are spending so much of your developmental years wasted on conforming to a temporary standard. I'm so happy, blessed, and fortunate to have been homeschooled! I feel a leg up on the standard world every day of my life. I owe it to you! I promise!
And then, later, he wrote:
"The world wants kids to feel the need to participate in "normal life." It's a hijacking of the inherent need for acceptance. Although kids need social interaction to build social confidence, it needs to be done on a less mainstream level. For the mainstream is just that; it demands them to float that 'way'. Your kids will learn the benefit and safety of individualism while valuing the family. You don't need a group to feel socially safe or accepted."
So you see, it pays for me to question them. I feel buoyed up and ready ( after Spring Break!) to carry on in my so very imperfect way.