An Open Letter to a Friend Concerning Homeschooling
I have a friend who, after many months of contemplating homeschooling her children, has made up her mind to start after this school year is over. This is an open letter to her, and to anyone else out there who’s finally made the decision… or leaning heavily in that direction.
Dear S –,
Your family’s decision to take full control of your kids’ education has not been taken lightly, and it shouldn’t be. Several months of angst and questions and oscillation have consumed a lot of your time. You love your children with all your heart and you, like every other caring parent in the Universe, want the best for them.
I know the big questions you’ve been asking yourself: “What if this is the wrong thing for my kids, for my family…for me?” Believe me when I say doubt will probably surface whenever someone questions your decision or when you have a trying day (well, MOST DEFINITELY when you have a trying day). But don’t let those people deter you. Don’t let those less-than-stellar days make you think you’re doing it all wrong or you’ve really misjudged your ability to do this. The good days will far outnumber the bad (just like in Real Life). Plus, you have already decided it’s the best thing for you all, so let it rest! You, my friend, are awesome. And smart. And capable.
You’ve also been overwhelmed with the minutia and …ahem…”wealth” of information that’s out there with regards to curriculum and educational philosophy and learning styles and teaching methods etc., etc., ad infinitum. (Not to mention what Church School to choose. Wow….) It can be a lot to take in. But chill, my friend. Your kiddos will be learning no matter what it is you decide to do. And that’s the point, right? It’ll never be perfect, but whatever you do will be what they need right now.
Homeschooling probably feels like the most unfamiliar territory you have ever attempted to traverse. You, like me, were educated in a traditional school environment from kindergarten through university. We are products of traditional learning methods and tests and structure and authority and yes, sometimes tedium and boredom. Some may say “that’s life” but I don’t think it has to be. That mindset might be hard to overcome but I know you’re an achiever and you will instill that in your children. But still, let them lead you. If something is not working, change it. And if they want to jump on the mini-tramp while learning grammar, who am I to judge?
I wish you much happiness on this journey. The great part is you get to make it whatever you want it to be. The amount of freedom you and your kids will have – especially since you’ve been part of the traditional system for a while – will probably be overwhelming at first. But I hope you’ll soon see that it’s the best thing you’ve ever decided to do.
So, I leave you with the immortal words of Bob Dylan: “I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom.” (Hint: you’re that hero!)
With much love,
Looking for more topics about homeschooling, specifically in Huntsville & Madison County?
See all the posts in this series HERE.
You Might Also Like…
- RCM’s Back to School Guide
- How to Get Ready to Go Back to School in Huntsville
- Homeschooling Resources in Huntsville
This post was originally published in 2014 and has been updated with current info.
Karen Gann had a marketing communications career in high tech before taking a sharp turn into stay-at-home-momdom and homeschooling. She grew up in the Tennesse Valley, lives in Huntsville, and is wife to the wittiest man alive, mother to two head-strong and independent girls (they're adorable, really), and human caregiver to the cats. Addictions include Facebook, Pinterest, NYC's Radio Lab, coffee, food, and politics (not necessarily in that order but sometimes all at the same time). She's also the marketing director for Pandia Press in her spare time.
Karen, that’s a great letter! We went through all of that when we decided to start home educating last September. Since then we’ve discovered the new found ‘freedom’ is awesome, and we also found a whole bunch of great people doing the same thing in our area. Yes we deliberated for a long time, but we are so glad we carried it through (and so are the kids)!
Another excellent article, Karen. Thank you!
Great letter. I wanted to point out that we all consider the public school system to be traditional, yet if we study the history of education it is actually a more modern development. Home schooling used to be the norm. Just something to think about. Thanks for the wonderful letter.