I could NEVER...
Have you ever heard the statement: “I could never” preceded by what an individual felt like they could never do?
I have - on multiple occasions. But most of the time I hear that statement when someone finds out that I homeschool. And 9 times out of 10 what follows sounds a bit like this:
I could NEVER homeschool my kids because…
I would kill my kids.
I don’t have a B.A. in teaching.
I’m not a teacher.
I wouldn’t know where to start.
they need socialization.
I’m not smart enough.
I don’t drive a 15 passenger van.
Okay, the last one was just for fun. Because let’s be honest. There is a major stigma around homeschool families in the idea that we all drive 15 passenger vans, wear buns, only wear denim skirts, and have awkward children who don’t know how to socialize in public. And granted, there was a time within the homeschooling community where this stigma was kinda true. But not so much today. Well, not in my community at least.
Prior to beginning our homeschool journey almost 5 years ago, I was one of those people who said all the things after “I could never.” I even took it a step further and said hell would have to freeze over for me to homeschool. Well, guess what? Hell froze over.
Okay - not literally. However, my hardened heart towards homeschool has 100% shifted thanks to Classical Conversations. A lot of my fear of homeschooling stemmed from feeling like I wasn’t smart enough to educate my kids. Understanding concepts within learning did not come easy for me as a kid. I hated math, struggled with reading, and spelling, and needed more focused attention than the “average” school kid. My gifts and what I excelled at were not academia. And that feeling stuck with me a for a LONG time. When I entered college I had to work my butt off to get good grades. So that’s what I did. I worked my butt off because I saw I had holes missing in the foundation of my education.
When our daughter entered Kindergarten at the private school she had attended since preschool, things began to shift in my heart regarding her education. I started noticing major holes missing from her education. The plan I had made in regards to her attending this school was shifting. And the fact that she was attending school full time allowed me to focus even more on my professional photography career, so the idea of now shifting from full-time work to homeschool was extremely difficult. But that entire Kindergarten year my heart felt uneasy. Something was shifting and I believe God was having me wrestle with my own plans vs. His ultimate plan.
“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”
As a Christian, I have chosen to live a life guided and directed by God. His plans are far better than my own. And when I choose to listen and follow Him, things always turn out better than I had originally planned. Easier? No. Choosing to listen and follow God’s plan doesn’t always mean that things will be “easier” by the world’s standards. But blessed - ABSOLUTELY yes!
The idea of homeschooling was SCARY for me. For someone who had always struggled with school, the idea of then teaching my own felt like Mt. Everest. The lies began to whisper into my ears. The “you could never’s…" felt even louder. The “you’re not an intellect… You’re not smart enough…” rang loudly.
The summer after my daughter’s Kindergarten year I was at a loss. I wasn’t sold on homeschooling yet and I wasn’t sure what we were going to do. We looked into public school, other private schools… but everything felt wrong. Then I spoke this sentence to my husband, JUST as a thought: “IF, and I mean a BIG IF, I were to homeschool, I would have to be in a community like Classical Conversations.” And this sentence began our journey to homeschool.
I am SO beyond grateful for Classical Conversations and everything it does to set parents up to succeed at homeschooling. It takes the guess work out, provides guidance, direction, community, but most of all, it provided me with the CONFIDENCE that I truly CAN teach my kids. It has also rekindled a love for learning. The type of learning that never ends.
But this post isn’t a commercial for Classical Conversations. What this post IS, is to show that even with my laundry list of “I could NEVER’s” in regards to homeschooling, that list has turned into “I absolutely CAN…”
Are there days that are frustrating and painfully difficult? Absolutely! Those days turn more into character building days than the lessons I had originally planned. Yet - the wonderful thing about those days is I am able to instill the character I want my own to have, not someone else’s.
Homeschooling is not for everyone. It’s just not. And I am not about to preach that everyone should. But if you’re on the fence, if you’re struggling with the “I could NEVER’s” I want you to know that YOU absolutely CAN!!!