• Things homeschooling has taught me about myself

    As I write this tonight, I’m sitting in the ICU waiting area outside an area where the son of one of my best friends is suddenly, unexpectedly, fighting for his life. This friend and I met each other a little over six years ago at a casual meeting at a coffeeshop. A few of us had happily discovered online that even though we didn’t know each other in real life, we had a common purpose: trying to kick off a secular homeschool support group in our local area - - the first of it’s kind.

    There were a couple ladies in this introductory meeting that immediately felt like we’d already known each other for years, and those gals bloomed quite quickly into near and dear friends. This was more than just a pleasant surprise for me. As someone who had struggled for almost ten years to find a homeschool support group that was the “right fit” for our family, I had no idea how overwhelmingly grateful I would feel to find even two people who had similar goals, similar concerns, and a similar warped sense of humor about our homeschooling journeys.

    I thought of myself as an “old homeschool hat” by the time I met these gals, but the more I chatted, dished, compared and contrasted, and swapped stories with them, I learned a few things about myself as I saw similar traits reflected in these ladies.

    1. Even though I was doing something counter-traditional - - home educating my child - - it didn’t mean that I didn’t long my kids to experience some of the traditional trappings of school that I was most familiar with - - such as collaborative projects, field trips, and competitive academic events. I realized that conventional education had aspects about it that had actually enriched my life, and that if I could figure out how to integrate those into a homeschool scenario, it would benefit my sons.
    2. Pow-pows with these ladies revealed something else we shared in common. I had never before questioned if I were “smart enough” before, but homeschooling brought me face to face with the question of whether I was capable of teaching my own children - - especially in the high school years. (I can also say, happily, that these pow-wows helped all of us realize that it’s far more important to be facilitators rather than teachers. Every jot of information that is in the known universe is out there to be found, if we can simply help facilitate our children with the means to find it.)
    3. One thing that still surprises me from this homeschooling journey is how it has reminded me how much I love learning myself. I think the absolute turning point for finding true joy in our homeschool experience was when I realized I didn’t have to be the “teacher” of my children - - I was their “fellow student.” Enthusiasm about learning something new is absolutely contagious. And by passionately following our curiosities - - mine as well as my boys’ - - we created an environment that benefits me to this day. The realization that you never have to stop learning!

    But the biggest lesson I’ve likely learned through this adventure called homeschooling is that I can’t do it alone. I need advice. I need support. I occasionally need to bitch and moan. I need someone to share my victories and failures with. As I sit here supporting a fellow homeschooling mom who is going through probably the most difficult thing any mom will ever go through, I realize that without that little secular homeschool support system we created years ago, that would not be possible. So, I’m thankful for all forms of homeschool support I’ve received through the years, most notably this forum at SecularHomeschool.com. It’s my goal to work as hard as humanly possible to make sure this site stays active, relevant, inclusive, and yes -- SUPPORTIVE for the duration.


    With that in mind, let’s CHAT. What have YOU learned about yourself via this homeschooling journey? What insecurities has it revealed? What strengths have you uncovered? What are you surprised about? I want to hear them all!!!

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Things homeschooling has taught me about myself started by Topsy View original post
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