Over the last 13 years of homeschooling, I have learned a thing or two. It's not to sweat it. I really can't screw up my children. Right?
I look at today's teens and this generation and wonder, "Good Lord, where is the respect, relationship values, work ethic, morals and basic value of human life?" Maybe the generation before me looked at me and thought the same thing. But as a mother, a mature mother, I look at 'others' and choose my teens to NOT be like them. It's sometimes not popular to be the outsider, the different one, odd person, etc. But does this mean that we should ignore our morals, what we believe in, raising children techniques just because of judgment from those we really don't have respect for us in the first place? Think about that a minute. I care what my GOD thinks of me and my family. Society can go ahead and think I am different for wanting to unschool my youngest. I don't care. Really. What matters to me is that GOD is looking down on me and smiling because I am raising good Godly, self sufficient, caring men. Men who care about others, put others first, non-selfish men who aren't afraid to work on providing a good life for their own families. Why should the ones looking down on me (or you) for raising & educating your children 'outside the norm' have any effect on our families?
With age this knowledge comes. I remember when I first started homeschooling I would watch other homeschool mothers and think, "Wow, how do they do all that?" or maybe think that I'd never be as good as them. I had to learn to STOP COMPARING myself to other women! I am the homeschool mother that I am supposed to be. I homeschool the way I feel the Lord wants me to. All mothers are different, they homeschool differently and they have different agendas and goals for their children. That doesn't mean their goals and homeschooling method is wrong. It just means that it is right for them (and works for them).
It's also ok to change your method of homeschooling. When I started, I set up a classroom, taught aBeka curriculum, kept attendance and grades. 13 years later, I'm am so relaxed, happy, content and teaching what I think my son should learn instead of what the 'world' thinks he should learn. You may be thinking to yourself, "How is he going to function in the real world if he doesn't learn what everyone else in the public high schools are learning?". My answer to this is simple, "Just fine." Life is NOT like high school or public schools. My sons can have a full loaded conversation with any adult of any age. They aren't afraid to go into a store and ask for help. They aren't afraid to help others in need, no matter where they are.
My one son actually seen a elderly man trying to lift dog food into his trunk of his car. My son quickly handed the grocery bags to me and said, "Hold these, I'll be right back" and went and helped him. The man was grateful and I was proud. Moments like that is how I know that me teaching 'out of the box' methods are working for our family and in society. They will be just fine in the real world.
I guess I am writing this this morning to encourage you that when you come to a crossroads in your homeschooling or life (notice I said when and not if), don't be afraid to step out of the crowd and do what is best for you and your family. The Lord will honor you for putting your family first rather than following the crowd. Look at Jesus. He didn't follow the crowd. Thank GOD he didn't follow the crowd!
Happy Homeschooling............out of the box! :)