I have a big head. Seriously.
I have a bigger hat size than my husband. We call it “the Getskow head” after my maiden name. Some of my kids have the Getskow head. Others don’t. We laugh good-naturedly when the seven year old wears a larger bike helmet than his big brothers. He has a Getskow head.
I also have the corresponding confidence problem.
My attitude often matches my hat size. BIG. My husband and I can, thankfully, laugh on both counts.
Being confident can make me a go-getter. It makes me willing to take risks and to try things I’ve never done. It has enabled me to move away from home for college, live a year overseas on my own at twenty, marry young, move cross-country twice — and have six kids. See what an adventurer I am?
Confidence is a good thing in many ways. Confidence in my abilities allowed me to jump head first into homeschooling nine years ago. Me. From a family of public school teachers doing something crazy and wacky like homeschooling. Yeah, confidence, baby.
My Big Head
The downside of confidence, however, is pride. And a resistance to consider other opinions and ways of doing things. See me in my younger days, our first year of homeschooling?
I knew it all.
The culture at the time was at war over truth and relativism. It probably still is. But back then, I took it as my personal vendetta.
There was right. There was wrong. And we needed — and still need — to acknowledge that fact.
But I took my passion for the Truth a little farther than was good for me — or those around me. In my young mind, there was one way to worship, one way to parent, one way to diaper, and of course, one way to homeschool.
Unfortunately, in my efforts to combat relativism, I went to extremes and completely disregarded a world of thought and opinion. (In my defense, I wasn’t as uptight as some!)
But still, I didn’t have a very open mind to different methods of education besides my own. Not only did this limit my resources, but it also narrowed my field of vision.
For a time, I didn’t dream very big or hope very graciously.
Now it’s possible that I might not have chosen different curriculum way back when. In fact, nine years later, I’m still using many of the same books I bought in the old days. However, my unwillingness to consider opinions other than my own prevented me from learning from others, from the world around me, even from my own mistakes.
“Knowing it all” is a lonely place to be.
I still believe in absolutes. I still believe in right and wrong. And I’ll tell you so if we get into a discussion about it. As my husband says, I definitely don’t have a self-confidence problem. (He jokes that he married Mrs. Always M. Right.)
At the same time, I’ve discovered that I can learn from people I don’t always agree with. My thought process goes something like this when I encounter a new idea or approach that makes me go, “Hmmm.”
- Does this conflict with what I know to be true (ie the Bible)?
- Does this go against my conscience?
- Is this simply a question of personal preference?
- Is there goodness and truth here that I can adapt and apply to my own life, family, and homeschool?
Whether it’s an approach to teaching reading or the idea of letting my son direct our nature study, I can learn a lot about the world and homeschooling by realizing that I don’t know it all.
Have you ever struggled with pride and “knowing it all”?