Most of the time, when I write a blog post that is not about what we are doing, cute pictures of the children, or reviews, it is something that has been inspired from a conversation or other happenings in my life. After our homeschool meeting the other night, I started writing a post in my head (waiting of course until I had time to get it down) about homeschooling equals freedom. The post inside my head changed a bit yesterday after I read several different types of conversations online between homeschoolers.
I was first thinking of the freedom we have not to have to comply to anyone else's standards. When you homeschool, you don't have to worry about how much or little time you spend in a certain area. You don't have to worry about things like appropriate grade levels. If your child loves the topic you are discussing in science and wants to spend 2 years on it, you can. If you finish your math book in March, you can buy the next level and keep moving forward. If your child learns best in the afternoon you can do school then. If they have an opportunity to do some "real life" work on the farm or in the shop with daddy you can let them. You can even do school at night or on the week-ends if that works out better for you. There are no rules! Your homeschool is unique just as each child is unique and you have the ability while homeschooling to make it your own. You don't have to stress about grade levels or completing your work on someone else's time table.
This can be a hard concept, especially when you first get started. It can be scary when you first get started, and you don't want to "mess up" you kids. You feel like you have something to prove to those who are not supportive of your decision. In some cases you really may have something to prove if your children's other parent or your spouse is not supportive of your decision. You can successfully homeschool your child! You will make mistakes along the way, or wished at times that you had done things differently, but your child is so much better off at home with you then he could ever be in the public school system.
It's hard enough when we as homeschoolers feel like we are battling with the world. It is even worse when we have to battle with other homeschoolers. Homeschooling equals freedom. Isn't that one of the reasons we homeschool? Why then to we make others feel like if they aren't doing something the way we are, or using the same curriculum we do, or refusing to use the curriculum we don't that they are doing something wrong? I know I have blogged about this before, but I just don't understand this kind of thinking. It's one thing to give your opinion to someone, or telling them what works for you. It's another matter completely to act as though others are wrong because they don't homeschool your way! We are all unique just as our children are unique what works for you (or doesn't work for you) might be opposite to me. You may be against a companies philosophy or direction, but I may not. That doesn't make me wrong. Some of the things I have been reading have made me think of that line in Star Wars Three, the one where Anakin says, "If you're not with me, you're my enemy" and Obi Wan says, "Only a Sith deals in absolutes." This isn't how it should be. We like our freedom to make our own educational choices and need to give others the same freedom. We should not make them feel as though they are doing something wrong or that their homeschool is not as good as ours. Instead, we should be encouraging one another.
"Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do." 1 Thessalonians 5:11