Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom
A note from Jamie: Were you a reader last year, when all of our contributors shared their biggest homeschooling mistakes? Enjoy this repost from last October!
I began my homeschooling career like many of you: with a whole host of stereotypes and a conveyor belt education hangover. I believed I wasn’t fully equipped to teach my children and that a system knew what they needed better than I did.
Even though I dared, as many of you have, to venture out on this path–I carried my baggage with me. As a result, I wanted to homeschool the “right” way. I desperately didn’t want to fail my children or screw up their education, their socialization, their lives!
So I read some really good books about homeschooling, searched for the ideal curriculum, and turned down the dial on my inner intuition.
But something didn’t feel right.
The path I took led straight to anxiety and a lack of joy. As Renee wisely pointed out last week, fear will knock on our door no matter what–no matter which educational path we choose or don’t choose. At least let’s allow it to pursue us as we dare to live an authentic life–not the life someone else says we should live.
I don’t know why, but God created me to be a pioneer. I see it in the way my husband and I grew our family, the work we devote our lives to, and the choices we’ve made about where to live. Why would I think that our kids’ educations would require anything less than the courage to step out and be different?
All of us have been created with an inner voice that says yes or no–a “blink” that tells us whether something is or is not right for us. As we follow its guidance, we uncover our best life. Yet many of us rationalize our dreams–our very selves–away, and within minutes we’re convinced that “that idea will never work…that’s too risky..that wouldn’t be fair to the kids.”
Do you know what your kids need most of all?
You! Being who you are and nothing more. That means skipping those assignments in the instructor’s guide that just don’t feel right, instead following the spark of life, energy, and laughter that bring joy and learning to your family’s days.
The art of learning is not as complicated as we’ve been told. As Aristotle said, “All men by nature desire to know.”
Believing that quote has set me free to be me.
Resources that have helped me on the road to freedom:
Warning: Your road to freedom will not be the same as mine–that’s the whole point!
- Leadership Education by Oliver and Rachel DeMille
- Educating the Wholehearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson
- Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto
- A Little Way of Homeschooling by Suzie Andres
- Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne
- A Mother’s Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot
- Teach Your Own by John Holt
- Better Late Than Early by Raymond and Dorothy Moore
- The Call to Brilliance by Resa Steindel Brown
- Oak Meadow Curriculum
Have you ever found yourself failing to follow your own intuition as a homeschooling parent?