Beyond Stereotypes: The New Face of Homeschooling

Written by Misha Thompson of The Offense of Joy.

A note from Jamie: Trying to conquer our homeschooling fears means we have to also overcome negative stereotypes and limiting beliefs. The discussion in the comments on Monday reminded me of this encouraging post, written and published last February by Misha.

Recently I posted a question on my Facebook page. Can you tell me honestly, I asked, all the reasons you would never homeschool your kids?

Within less than a day I had over 50 strong opinions posted and some even stronger ones in my private in-box.

“Before I started homeschooling,” one friend said, “I was frightened I would lose my sense of humor–and start wearing jumpers.”

“I would never have enough patience. – I’m not organized enough. – I’m not smart enough. – I don’t think I’d have enough energy. – I am an introvert. – I would be too lonely.”

“I want to have a career. – I would never be able to make friends. – My kids need socializing.”

We have all have felt theseworries and many of us have had them spoken from friends or family members.

Here are three things to remember as you consider homeschooling:
[Read more...]

On Being Busy Or Being Full: How Can We Tell The Difference?

Written by Misha Thompson of The Offense of Joy

I read an article recently that made me want to jump up and down and shout and smile! It was written by the fabulous writer Anne Lamott about the decisions we face in life.

“..At 80,” Anne says about the students she is teaching, “will they be proud that they spent their lives keeping their houses cleaner than anyone else in the family did, except for mad Aunt Beth, who had the vapors? Or that they kept their car polished to a high sheen that made the neighbors quiver with jealousy? Or worked their fingers to the bone providing a high quality of life, but maybe accidentally forgot to be deeply and truly present for their kids, and now their grandchildren? …What fills us is real, sweet, dopey, funny life.”

I come from a background of a lot of busyness – and all for very good reasons. When I got married and had my first baby I carried over that sense of needing to say yes to worthy requests and being available for beautiful opportunities – especially for people. I really love people. What I neglected to calculate into that was who I am. Or even more so: who my children are and their capacity.

My husband introduced the radical concept to me of choice. He lives in the realm of freedom and possibility. Don’t laugh – although I know I deserve it – it had never dawned on me that it was okay for me to choose things based on how I wanted my life to be. Or on how much I could realistically do without it costing our family a bit too much.

Okay, maybe freedom of choice was something I was aware of in the broad sense. But I still lived with a constant sense of letting people down, feeling guilty, trying to do it all or withdrawing because I felt I couldn’t handle most of it.

That didn’t work out very well for me.

Photo by Michael Thompson

A couple years ago I started thinking about living by priorities versus pressure. I started thinking about the difference between being busy and being full. My life is still very full, but now I am on a daily journey of rejecting the pull of being busy.

These are the differences I have noticed in choosing to be full over being busy: [Read more...]

What I Have Learned my First Year of Homeschooling

Written by Misha Thompson of The Offense of Joy

What have you learned this school year?

I am in the final month of finishing up our very first year of homeschooling and I am asking a lot of questions: What have I learned? What would I change? How did the kids do? How will I do it differently next year?

In the midst of all this, two ladies in particular have been helping me think through some pretty big queries in my life. Neither of them were homeschoolers (that I know of), but both were parents, authors, wives and women whose choices have challenged me.

These writers have helped summarize what I have learned. [Read more...]

Should I Homeschool Or Not? – Part Two

Written by Misha Thompson of The Offense of Joy

Last month I wrote part one of this article–you are welcome to click here to read it.

The decision of whether or not you should homeschool ultimately comes down to one single factor: knowing your child(ren.)

I had a special treat on Mother’s Day and as I was enjoying my time alone, another mother I know walked in. She has homeschooled four boys and we got to chatting.

“Misha,” she said, “it really does come down to knowing your children. I worried and stressed so much about keeping them up to grade level and making sure I taught them all they needed to know.

But really, what I wish I would’ve done more, is just sitting down and reading for hours. Enjoying their company. It goes so fast.” [Read more...]

Should I Homeschool Or Not? — Part One

Written by Misha Thompson of The Offense of Joy

To homeschool or not to homeschool, that may be your question.

And that only leads to more questions: How do I know if I should or not? What should I even start to think about? What about curriculum? If you have at all considered homeschooling these questions have probably run through your mind.

I am by no means an expert on this topic. I recently began this journey myself, so the unique questions of starting out remain fresh in my own mind.

I often wished there was a step by step list that would have shown me where to start. This is the first of two articles (the next one will be in May) that I’ve written with that list in mind.

Here are six ideas to consider as you make this important decision. [Read more...]