My heart hurts when I witness a loving homeschool mom question if she is giving her children ENOUGH.
I know the tendency is there for all of us to ask this question. Believe me, I have done it - and continue to do it - no matter what anyone tells me. I struggle to stay in my own lane.
Are my children learning everything they should? Do they have the sports opportunities they need? Do they have the social outlets other children have? Will they be prepared for the college everyone else thinks they should go to?
Am I doing enough for my children, or could a "school" do it better?
We are a society of COMPARISON. We are a society of PROOF and measurable success.
These things are what lead us to think we are NOT enough. As you progress through your homeschooling tenure, you become stronger at blocking out other voices and feeling the need to prove yourself to the world.
Moms (and dads) - you ARE enough. By the very fact that you homeschool your children, you are giving them ENOUGH.
*Disclaimer: I know there are good bad examples of homeschooling out there. I'm not addressing those. I am speaking to the parents that are committed to their children and committed to the practice of educating them at home.
5 Reasons You ARE Enough
Listen to me.
This is the job you have been called to do. Homeschooling has been laid on your heart. You owe your children a parent who is confident in their decision to homeschool and confident they are giving them ENOUGH.
1. No one knows your child better than you do.
Homeschooling allows for a 100% personalization of your child's education. Because you spend all day with your child you know what time of day they learn better, under what physical circumstances they learn better, and what their learning style is.
You are an EXPERT - an expert on your children. This is nothing to be taken lightly. How many other people in the world are experts on YOUR children? Probably none.
When you doubt if you are doing enough for your children, remember the intimate knowledge you have of them and how this allows you to customize their education.
Don't be so hard on yourself!
2. Consider what you are NOT giving your children.
Through homeschooling your children you are not giving them mindless worksheets, homework for homework's sake, Common Core curriculum, wasted time, and watered down history through textbooks. You are not giving them silent lunch, shortened recess, a rowdy bus ride, or punishment for a group because one child misbehaved. You are not giving them lockdown drills or the threat of other students bringing guns to school.
Next time you are doubting if you are giving your child enough, just remember what you are NOT giving them, ok?
3. Determine YOUR goals and standards. Period.
To be honest, we spend way too much time thinking about everyone else's standards.
When you begin homeschooling, take time to craft a goals and mission statement. Who says your child needs to be reading by the age of 6? Who says they need to know their multiplication tables by third grade? Who says you need to make "Social Studies" a subject in your homeschool?
I had a parent a few weeks ago telling me their FIRST GRADER was going to need tutoring because they weren't reading at a certain level yet. Who says? Who makes these nebulous standards?
Have the courage to look at the system and realize how flawed and broken it is -- YOU are the authority on what your child needs and the benchmarks they should be meeting!
Homeschooling gives you the freedom to determine the course of your child's education. Use that freedom and make homeschooling your own.
4. Remember, Your Children Benefit Just From Being With YOU.
Maybe you are in a season where you have toddlers and infants and are trying to school an older child at the same time. Maybe you are caring for an aging parent while homeschooling. Maybe you are in a season where your health is not good.
Whatever the situation God has put in your life, it will work for good in your homeschool. Your children benefit just from being with YOU. They benefit from YOU being there when they first learn to read, or as they struggle through long division and get a simple pat on the back reassuring them they are doing a good job.
Nothing replaces reading aloud snuggled on mom's lap, a fun field trip to learn about animals at the zoo, or learning to bake grandma's favorite cookies from grandma herself? Nothing replaces serving an elderly family member or learning to be patient while mom recuperates from surgery.
What better training is there for real life than real life itself?
5. Less is really MORE.
We are living in a society that conditions us to think more is better, busier is better, and faster is better.
In so many instances these things are WORSE.
Children no longer have a chance to be little - we foist so much upon them at such an early age.
When our children are very young it is enough to provide them with a lot of books and plenty of time to play. As they get a little older we can add in a simple math program and learning to read.
We must train our busy minds to help our children go DEEP and not wide.
If you feel you aren't giving your children enough, you are probably giving them just the right amount.
So, to the mom who wonders if she is giving her homeschoolers enough... I say SHE IS.
Let's all support each other and keep the pep talking going. Homeschooling is a unique calling and we need friendship, support, and encouragement.
What would YOU say to the mom who thinks she's not doing enough? Let me know in the comments below!