Homeschooling, unschooling, Charlotte Mason, classical, natural, eclectic, religious, secular, on-line, off-line, curriculum, structure, no structure, schedule, no schedule, sleep in, not sleep in, socialize, not to socialize, co-op, no co-op, classes, no classes, free resources, pay for resources, content standards, no content standards, thematic units, death to Common Core, high five for Common Core, no extra curricular activities, yes for extra curricular actitivies-but wait, are those activities within your school district, like, inside of a school building or does even the thought of entering a school building make your skin crawl? Dad stays home, Mom stays home, no one stays home, single mom, single dad, working parent, non-working parent, spend money, don’t spend money, enough, not enough, too much, too weird, too forced, too awkward, a trailblazer, a hover parent, helicopter parent, duct tape parent, hippie parent, awesome, scared, confused, frustrated, crazy, anxious. Support, no support, questioning, judgement, all alone in a small world, on an island or part of a dedicated tribe…shall I go on? The possibilities are seemingly endless.
Too many emotions, feelings, “things” to sort through to discover and define your particular journey into this endeavor. You chose to do it or are thinking about doing it, or will do it either now, later or never. Ultimately, like so many things, the decision to do you through this thing called life in addition to adding the “homeschooling” (I don’t agree with this word truthfully)element is an enormous mind set lending itself to a plethora of undefined emotion that truthfully can never neatly fit into a compact package, let alone a single word or phrase. Each time you try, you will find yourself still struggling to define it, whatever “it” is, in yet another way, another word, another phrase-hence leaving you with another “feeling”. Home educating translates into emotional roller coaster, but for many it translates into one word: peace.
Maybe we could start with the question, “what is school defined as”-something a bit more concrete than a feeling. School :
: an organization that provides instruction: as a : an institution for the teaching of children b : college, universityc (1) : a group of scholars and teachers pursuing knowledge together that with similar groups constituted a medieval university (2) : one of the four faculties of a medieval university (3) : an institution for specialized higher education often associated with a university <the school of engineering>d : an establishment offering specialized instruction <a secretarial school> <driving schools>
2a (1) : the process of teaching or learning especially at a school (2) : attendance at a school (3) : a session of a school b : a school buildingc : the students attending a school; also : its teachers and students
a source of knowledge <experience was his school>
4a : a group of persons who hold a common doctrine or follow the same teacher (as in philosophy, theology, or medicine) <the Aristotelian school>; also : the doctrine or practice of such a group : a group of artists under a common influence : a group of persons of similar opinions or behavior; also : the shared opinions or behavior of such a group <other schools of thought>
5: the regulations governing military drill of individuals or units; also : the exercises carried out <the school of the soldier> Resource:(http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/school)
If you believe that what you are doing falls into the category of school, that’s great. If you do not think your efforts or methodology fit into the category or the definition school, that is more than adequate. Is “homeschool” or “unschool” always the correct terminology for what you do or is it simply home educating in the the way that best fits you and your child undefined-no titles or categories necessary? What’s the difference to you? Does it even matter to you what others think about what you are doing with your children, education wise or otherwise? Who are you trying to impress or why do you need validation from anyone? Some feel the urge to post and share the most beautiful of the beautiful, others the sob stories, some the mess of somewhat organized chaos, others share nothing. I say share your truth in its purest form as you see fit, but only share what speaks to your heart or keep it tucked gently inside as a lasting memory exclusively reserved.
The reality of it all is that however you label whatever you call yourself doing, you are doing the best you can in this moment in time. God gave you your children for a reason and you are all they need. Do not second guess yourself, but do try and fail, try again and keep trying until you have achieved whatever you want your children to achieve in the time you have been given with them. They will never learn everything in the world there is to learn, and you beautiful life long learner, will continue to learn with them. Keep pushing forward surrounding yourself with a supportive community of home educating folks who are proud to walk arm in arm with you and your family.
The next time your decision to educate from home is in doubt, being questioned or in limbo, think to yourself-or say it out loud-totally your call…”WTF!” and be proud knowing that it’s a choice that is, was and will be yours. Own it, exhale and know the the #dhsm community supports you and “We Think it’s Fine” and so are you.