I remember God nudging me to click the Yes, Going box on the Facebook Invite for Mom’s Night Out for local homeschool moms. I saw that one of my acquaintance moms was going so I got the courage to click YES. But as the days grew closer I felt more and more intimidated about going. It’s ironic that I can attend huge Chamber events where I have to speak in front of 200 plus business owners, but to attend this moms group I had sweaty palms and butterflies.
Why is it I feel intimidated by other parents?
Maybe it’s their Facebook pictures of their amazingly decorated homeschool rooms. Maybe I feel inadequate because I consider them SUPERMOMs because they stay at home, manage their houses, and homeschool their kids and I have a home helper that helps with household chores and watches my kids everyday.
But mostly I think I was intimidated because I know my son isn’t like all the other kids. He is unique, very active, amazing and socially and developmentally slower than others his age. He can memorize things in minutes, carry a tune and stick with a beat better than his 40 old mother but if you ask him to sit in a chair for 20 minutes you are lucky if you get 5 minutes.
I Said I Would Never Homeschool My Kids
At the Homeschool Moms night out I was shocked to hear how many moms said that they would never homeschool. Some fell into it because of circumstances like mine where one of their children had unique challenges which needed more one on one support than public or private schools could provide. Some fell into it because of their lifestyle in the military and moving all the time. Some were called by God to homeschool their kids and some just knew it was right. Ironically out of this group of 14 women none had been homeschooled growing up yet all had made the decision to homeschool.
Not All Homeschooled Kids Are Brilliant
Prior to this night most of my exposure with homeschooled kids was that they are incredibly talented, top of their classes, Ivy League material. Just last week the, homeschooled 5 year old kid in my son’s Awana’s class was giving me a biology lesson on flowers. And the last homeschooled family I had to my house, well the 9 year old girls drew me pictures like this in 5 minutes FREE hand out of their imagination. I have a stack of 12 pictures like this one below. Who wouldn’t want their kids to be homeschooled if they are going to be this talented? Right? (Did I mention they also didn’t watch any TV.)
But that night I learned it’s a MYTH. Although statistically, homeschooled kids do out perform public and private school kids on things like SATs and ACTs (or at least the HC curriculum I use), these women shared with me that it’s a myth that homeschooled kids are brilliant at everything. Each child is unique and struggles and excels at different things. And sometimes a D in Algebra in a sea of As in other subjects is okay. Note my son’s coloring job below… not sure if artist is in his future.
Home Schooling Is Character Building For Both Parents And Kids
Your child and their behavior is a mirror to your own behavior and character. “Do I really sound like that?” Through this close daily personal one on one time with our kids, we learn about our own character flaws and hopefully learn to improve them.
So far in the few weeks of homeschooling my kids we have learned about attentiveness, faith, giving, honesty, and obedience… now do they really understand what they are saying… maybe some but I know I have been blessed by the reminder of these character traits and am working on living them more fully in my life.
Many of the moms shared that although the teenage years might be the most difficult in the homeschool journey they are also the most crucial for solidifying relationships amongst parents and kids and siblings. In fact several moms shared how much deeper relationships are because you have to learn to communicate with, understand, and love each other daily. Feelings and issues come to the surface and can be dealt with now rather than them turning into relationship problems later on in their adulthood. Although difficult at times it is a blessing to have this strong connections amongst children and parents.
It’s Okay To Get Help
I think one of my biggest fears is labeling my child. I have watched parents and family I love label their child that then becomes part of that child’s speech and label of themselves… in some ways giving themselves permission to be less. I don’t want that for my child. I got to see Kyle Maynard a man born without legs or hands this summer. I was so impressed with how his parents never enabled him to be less than his full potential. His story is incredible. But it made me realize I was doing too much for my son and that he needed to grow and learn to do more things on his own.
But after this meeting and listening to some moms who had challenges with their unique sons I realize that getting some more help might be helpful in the sense that an outside person may be able to push Joshua to his full potential in ways that I can’t. It doesn’t have to be about labeling but rather about helping my son learn and grow.
So all in all I am so glad that I went to learn more about homeschooling from veteran moms and moms just starting like me. They were an incredibly special group of women who made me feel very welcomed, encouraged me, and are helping me navigate this new journey of homeschooling. Now I wonder how many of them reading this will pick out all my grammar and spelling mistakes… LOL!
Mary Starr Carter
the Total Wellness Doc and now Homeschooling Mom
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.