Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom
The past few days have taken me on a little stroll down memory lane. You see, last week marked the third anniversary of the start of this blog.
In that time Simple Homeschool has grown radically, and I’ve been incredibly blessed to be along for the ride. Some of you have been reading from the beginning, and I’m thankful for your encouragement and loyalty as readers.
Way back when Tsh of Simple Mom offered me this position, though, I wasn’t sure I was the right fit. “Are you sure you want me?” I remember asking.
There were a multitude of reasons why I didn’t seem qualified–isn’t that always the way we feel when we step into new things? Like homeschooling, for example!
And though not all of you are bloggers, you may still relate to my reasons of why I felt unqualified and what I’ve learned in the past three years:
1. My kids are too young–I lack experience.
When this blog started my three sweet kiddos were six-, five-, and four-years-old. (See them above at that age? They decided to be the “red team” that day. Sooo cute.) Mere babes indeed.
They now hold their own at nine, eight, and seven. Still young, yes. Oh the stuff we’ve discovered together, about life and learning, in the past three years.
But here’s why my lack of experience, or yours, doesn’t matter too much:
Homeschooling can be hard, yes. But it’s not as hard as it looks.
Things tend to look harder, often impossible, before you decide to jump in and do them. When the idea first pops into our minds to consider this type of education for our family, it overwhelms us. Inadequacies abound.
But once you commit to it–once a year (or three!) passes–you find your stride. So when people say, as they often do, “I could never do that!” you know that yes, they could.
I had plenty of theories about education three years ago, but actually living has equipped me more as a homeschooler, and a blogger, than any books I ever read. I have fewer theories now, but I am much more confident.
2. I don’t really know what I’m doing.
Three years ago I had plenty of questions without answers–about both blogging and homeschooling. How do I grow a loyal readership? How do I balance work and family? How will the kids learn to read? What activities should I enroll them in?
Here’s the realization I’ve stumbled upon:
We find what we need as we need it.
In this beautiful life when the student is ready, the teacher appears. When my kids have been ready for certain things, I’ve found exactly the right resource. At the time they needed it, I found the perfect class for them to enroll in.
The idea for baking lessons came to me during a season when I felt my kids were ready for greater independence. My two oldest children now read confidently, in spite of all those early worries, and my youngest is following in his siblings’ footsteps to join them.
I’ve seen this principle in action so many times that I now choose to focus on what is in this moment, knowing what we need in the future will be provided when we get there.
This takes huge burdens off a homeschooling mama’s shoulders. I don’t have to know all the answers ahead of time, and neither do you.
3. There have been times when I’ve wanted to quit homeschooling.
Sometimes, over the past three years, I wasn’t sure we could or should continue this lifestyle of learning long-term. It had little to do with the quality of the kids’ educations, but more to do with mama’s burnout, dealing with tantrums and character issues, and other challenges I hadn’t realized might go along with the territory.
I love the season we are in right now, but we had to go through a few years of homeschooling “growing pains” in order to get here. I’m so glad we stuck with it and didn’t give up.
No doubt this blog will change over the next three years as my own family continues to evolve. I’m so thankful to all of you who read here and find a bit of inspiration in these words.
Let’s keep learning about homeschooling together. Isn’t it freeing to know we don’t have to be qualified experts to enjoy the journey?
Do you ever feel that you’re not qualified to homeschool?