Recently, I have been going through my ‘Inbox’ and looking at all the home education blogs I am signed up to. I have been bringing my awareness to the feelings inside my body when I read them. If I catch myself sighing heavily and the energy leaving my body then I hit the “Unfollow” button. You may be aware of some of these blogs or even be following them yourself. These are the blogs that show beautifully photographed, ‘House and Home’ magazine, quality images of their Home Educating family life. These are the blogs where ‘Super Mum‘ lives as she home schools or maybe “Unschools” 14 children, cooking different meals for each child to support their newest food experimentation, arranging for professionals to mentor each child’s passions, arranging (and photographing) educational and wonderful family days out, being a domestic goddess with a creative home and lets not forget, running her own small business. In fact, they have turned themselves into a business. I read these blogs and think, or often say out loud, “REALLY? come on man (woman) give the rest of us a chance here will ya?”
So why do we read them? If you are a home educating family like us, you will understand that what we are doing is still seen as “Abnormal” by most people in our society. That, every day we face suspicious looks from the Checkout Clerk at the local supermarket who looks straight at your children and asks “No school today?” and you can not help but feel…well, naughty! Like when you were a teenager and bunked off school, but this time, you are taking your children with you!!! Most home educating families look for connection and support, for reassurance from other home educating families. Home Educating groups often become like family to each other. Being, ever resourceful we search the internet like professional researchers, seeking out any morsel that may be useful in supporting our way of life. We find some great stuff, but at some point, we come across those picture perfect home schooling families that send us into a panic and make us not feel good about ourselves.
Here, is what I am learning. Seek out only what and who supports you, trust yourself, you do not need the other stuff, that is all just showmanship. Be kind to yourself and ignore the voice inside your head that whispers, “But, what if I miss some great inspiration or activity from one of these blogs”. I often find myself needing to speak to a close friend for support in pressing that “Unfollow” button as if I was giving up cigarettes or chocolate. Of course, they say “PRESS IT and stop reading this stuff!”
Life is not perfect, so why should home schooling be any different? Most home educating families I know, in person, are struggling through day to day, wondering what on earth they are doing and whether their children will be able to spell their own name by the time they are 18 years old. It is gritty, it is intense, it is chaotic, it is crazy making and sometimes, you want to leave home but, it’s also beautiful and wonderful because it is real. So, we need to trust ourselves and know we are good enough at NOT being the perfect homeschooling family.