Thursday, June 05, 2008

Homeschooling 101 (for beginners and veterans)

The last homeschooling conference I attended was in 2002. My oldest had just finished 2nd grade, I had an 18 month old and was pregnant with my third child.
Last weekend I attended another homeschooling conference with a few more years under my belt, and a few more thoughts and experiences in my cluttered head.
The thing that I really enjoyed about the conference was just the comfort of being around other families, that for the most part, have the same views as myself. I could breathe.
The county I live in seems very spiritually dry to me. When I say I homeschool, I immediately feel I have to say, "you think I'm crazy, right?" (I do say it sometimes!)
I don't say this as prideful or even romanticizing it, because it is frequently hard to live that way. It feels very "counter-cultural" to be homeschooling in the part of the country that I live in.
So. It was so refreshing to be able to attend a conference where there were mostly people who were as like-minded as I. I loved that I could have a conversation with vendors or attendees, and without explaining, they knew what I was saying, and could also offer encouragment.
All that to's important to keep revisiting why we homeschool and to continually get refreshment while doing it. I have a great, small, support group here where I live, but utilizing other resources is so reinvigorating as well.

I was so pleased to read Ann@Holy Experience's thoughts and links on homeschooling here and here. I encourage you to take the time to read these two posts, and the links within if you are homeschooling, or want to homeschool.


L.L. Barkat said...

That's really interesting about how you feel here. I feel so proud to be able to say "I home educate my children. It's a privilege not everyone can have." Maybe it's just that I don't care any more what people think; I taught in schools and I see a radical difference between my kids' skills at comparable ages. Still, I can see how it would be fun to be around many likeminded people! :)

laurel said...

Having like minded people around is such a blessing, isn't it? I am thankful that many families in our church homeschool, and it feels like a very natural choice for my family. However, there are other aspects of my life that I don't have that same network, and it can be hard. I am looking forward to attending the homeschool conferences in Atlanta next year.
I think that is the beauty of the internet and blogging. The sense of community that is sometimes lacking in my immediate area is soothed by the wonderful women I have "met" online...whose like-mindedness is so encouraging and inspiring.

Andrea said...

I never said I wasn't "proud" or "blessed" to be able to homeschool my children. It is such a gift. Please don't misunderstand me! :) I also try to convey that to people who are curious. At least I hope I do!!

But. Sometimes I just get tired of the *reaction* to it. The explanations, the "looks", and so on. I guess that is what I was saying. So, at the convention it was just refreshing to just have a wealth of support and encouragment *wherever* I was.

Laurel--you are right having like minded people around *is* a blessing. I am very blessed that many of my close friends live near me, attend my church, and also homeschool. It makes the journey easier.

Beck said...

I would love to homeschool my kids. Really. But there are no other homeschoolers around us, and I only have the three and I worry that they'd feel very sad.

Brenda said...

I didn't know you lived in an area where homeschoolers were rare. I would have told you I did too a year ago...and found out differently! Where had they been hiding all that time?

I LOVED Ann's posts. Gotta go back and read all those links. There is a lot there.

Christine said...

It's just so simple to want to be understood, isn't it? "Like-minded" is not that easy to find here either and it is sometimes a burden. We're going to our convention at the end of the month and I can't wait!! Now all I have to do is go live on a farm like Ann, and not just read about it! ;)