I’ve been homeschooling for 20 years. That’s a long time, so believe me when I say, “What you are doing matters.” If it didn’t, I would have given up long ago because it can get hard. Really hard.
But I can tell you it’s worth it. Because here’s the deal: just the fact that you are willing to take that kind of responsibility for your kids’ education shows that YOU CARE. THAT alone is huge. The unspoken ripple effect of a caring parent is bigger than we realize. There are countless studies that prove that a loving, caring parent makes all the difference in a child’s development, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Caring parents typically raise caring children. And we all know the world could use more of those.
The homeschooling environment encourages thinking. And thinkers change the world. They are the ones who contemplate life outside the box. They are the movers and the shakers who don’t follow the herd just “because.” I have a love/hate relationship with this fact, because it can make daily life more challenging than I want…”Why can’t you people just cooperate with the plan?!!” Sometimes our kids dispute our reasoning behind a decision and want a clear explanation. Sometimes it’s appropriate. Sometimes it’s not. But that’s another thing that they learn. These thinking children may ask questions you cannot answer, doubt things you never questioned and do other things that would have never crossed your mind to try. But they WILL make a difference in their lifetime.
Homeschooling lets kids be kids. They can get book work done AND still have plenty of time to be a kid. A childhood is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children because it really contains so many life lessons: the gift of wonder, the gift of time, the gift of curiosity, questioning, trying, the gift of play and accomplishment, creativity and innovation.
It’s easy for we homeschooling moms to drown in the waters of expectations, busyness, details, and fear that what we are doing isn’t enough. Take it from an older mom: don’t waste your time and energy on these things. Take that energy and use it to be engaged in these moments with your kids, to simplify, to enjoy this time with them (because it is fleeting) and to BE a person worth imitating. Because the most important things we pass on to our kids won’t be found in curriculum, lesson planning, or science projects. It will be found in who we are and how we live life WITH our kids.
And you know what? No one can do this thing with your kids like you can. You are a perfect fit for your children and they for you (even though it doesn’t always feel like it). So embrace the uniqueness of your family and yourself, as a mother. You are making a long term investment that doesn’t always bring an immediate return, but there’s a very good chance your kids will thank you later. So don’t lose heart, WHAT YOU ARE DOING MATTERS!