Dear Younger Me: You Were Right

Dear Younger Me,

This is the older, wiser (and a little more tired) you wandering back over 20 years to the beginning of your homeschooling days to give you some encouragement!

There are a few things I’d like to say that I think you will want to hear:

First of all, you were right.  When you decided that homeschooling would be the best option for your kids, you were spot ON! Five of them have graduated so far, and although each one is unique and has chosen a different path, every one of them is a person you are proud of and whom you call friend.  Some found their passion at a young age, others took a little longer, but you were right in believing that eventually they would find who they are and what they were made for.

You had some good instincts, and though you doubted them at times, you need to know that they were legit.  You believed that it wasn’t your job to teach your kids everything but instead to facilitate their education.   You weren’t sure exactly what that looked like but decided to make 2 main things your focus:

1) Encourage a love for learning.  This happened mostly by simply not burning them out.   That meant that you didn’t load them down with bookwork at too young an age but instead gave them lots of time to play, explore, and experiment  on their own. You trusted in their natural ability to learn at their own paces. There were times you felt guilty about the fact that other kids seemed more studious than yours and sometimes more advanced, but ultimately your kids thanked you for giving them a childhood that allowed them to develop naturally without unnecessary academic pressure.   In the end, they never really lacked what they needed to know because by then they owned their education.

2) Teach them to be resourceful.  You knew that, if you taught your kids how to find out what it is they want or need to know, they teach themselves, and that simplifies A LOT!  Keeping lots of good books within arm’s reach and showing them how to ferret out good information has been, and still is, key.


You’ve heard that character always comes first.  It sounded good and seemed right, but does character ALWAYS take precedence over curriculum?  Actually, yes.  Yes, it does.  As crazy as it sounds, teaching your kids integrity, faithfulness (follow through), honesty, a good work ethic, etc, is what has made them stand out as they get older, in their relationships and in their work places. They have been complimented over and over again, as have we (their parents) for their strong character.  It makes them someone people want to be with, whom they respect and want working for them.

And keep those kids working!!!  Don’t feel guilty for having them do their fair share of chores.  You cannot do this homeschooling thing and stay sane unless your family is a team!  Don’t be afraid to use work as consequences and know that it’s okay if some days there is more work that happens than bookwork!

So I guess the bottom line is I want to reassure you that you can trust your instincts with your kids! You were meant to be their mom, and they were made to be your kids.   You were made to spend this precious time with them, and although the days will often seem long, the years are short.  You will never regret investing into their lives, and when it’s all said and done, you will get to see these amazing people go out and make the world a better place.

As for you?  Don’t forget to take care of yourself.  Don’t waste your time on things that don’t matter.  Often the important things are the simple things.  Be intentional in making sure that you don’t over-schedule.  Hit the “pause” button regularly to check in on yourself.  Are you rested?  Are you getting enough physical exercise?  Are you putting good food into your body?  Are you overwhelmed?  Do you need to simplify? Don’t over-play or overthink. Leave margin in your days for spontaneity. 

And BREATHE.  It’s really NOT important that you are the perfect mom. It’s not what you do as much as who you are that will leave the greatest impact on your kids!

Your kids are going to be okay!!  Trust me.

(To see all the articles in this series, click here)

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