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 say...it'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.

6 comments:

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...

L.L.--
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! ;)