Since my children were born, I’ve prayed they would be best friends.
I never realized that this prayer would alter my entire life.
Like many moms, I planned on sending my children to public school and spend the days pursuing my own goals.
I wanted to be a famous writer.
But within a week of sending my oldest daughter off to kindergarten I knew I would homeschool, and my dreams of writing the great American novel would have to be put on hold.
“Naomi is so annoying,” she said one day after school.
“What?! Why are you saying that?” I asked.
It appalled me that the little sister she’d loved so much said the one word that I have since forbidden in our house.
The idea that all younger siblings were “annoying” was rooted in the fact that she was now hanging out with her peers, who were more or less exactly at the same developmental place as she was.
Anyone not her age was deemed uncool – including her baby sister.
Then, I had to ask myself, if one of my most heartfelt desires was my children being best friends, why would I keep them in an environment that fostered regular separation? Why would I daily place them a facility that inherently caused them to thing those younger were somehow inferior?
- Do I believe age-specific events are acceptable? Yes.
- Do my children always get along? No.
- Should my children never think the other one is acting annoying? Get real.
I wanted to foster the relationship between my children as much as possible; and homeschooling enable me to fulfill that dream.
Who Really Is My Best Friend?
Today, my sister is my best friend. She is the one that understands what it was like to grow up in my life, because she was there.
Of all the people I claimed were my “best friends” in school, I don’t have any contact with any of them. Not one.
Before I deleted all my friends from Facebook, I would comment from time to time on their post, but that was the extent of it.
On the other hand, my sister is someone I call daily, she lives across the street, and we have a standing “date” every week to watch a show together.
But if we both went to public school, why go through all the trouble of homeschooling if we turned out to be best friend anyway?
I’d say because sadly, there were so many lost years we weren’t best friends.
So many times when I thought she wasn’t cool enough for my friends and me.
So many times I treated her with disdain.
Did I Yank My Child Out of Public School?
Because I was newly pregnant and still grappling with the idea of homeschooling, I decided to leave my daughter in public school for the remainder of the year.
Some want to start homeschooling mid-year, but I allowed my desire to homeschool blossom until I was really sure.
The idea that I wasn’t “organized enough” or “patient enough” or “selfless enough” started being replaced with the realization that homeschooling was God’s will for my life.
Are Public Schools Evil?
Even though I am a homeschooler, I’m not one of those that think public school is evil. Nor do I think that moms who chose it are inferior.
My daughter’s kindergarten experience was mostly positive.
She had a great teacher in an excellent school.
Other than a few “your not coming to my birthday party if you hang out with such-and-such on the playground,” she was no worse for the wear.
My First Year of Homeschooling
I wish I could say that our first year of homeschooling was trial-free, but it was pretty rough.
My daughter constantly compared me to her kindergarten teacher and I equally compared her to my “ideal” homeschool student.
But we made it through the year, but there were lots of tears.
And lots of growth…in all our us.
Not only did the relationship between my daughter grow stronger, but the relationship between my children and myself got better.
I started homeschooling in 2009; and even though my days are filled with writing my novels and blogs at 4 am, I know I’m on the right path for my family.
There are days with tears and days with laughter.
My children continue to connect (and collide) and I hope that my decision has planted seeds that will one day grow into a fruitful garden.
What’s Your Reason for Homeschooling?
What about you?
What’s your reason for homeschooling?
Comment below, people need to hear your experience and wisdom too!
For those of you homeschooling or considering homeschooling I HIGHLY recommend Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit by Teri Maxwell . I’ve read it at least three times (it’s thin) and it has quite literally changed my perspective on homeschool and children in general.
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