When I was thinking about homeschooling, had done all of the research, and decided that this could really be an awesome childhood for our kids…something still held me back. I couldn’t make that final decision. I had that uncomfortable feeling of doing something ‘weird’ and out of the ordinary. Did I really want to be that family? How on earth do you tell your family you’re going to homeschool your kids? What would they think? I umm’d and ahh’d for ages about it. My husband and I talked about it constantly. Ok, I talked about it constantly. I had given him lots of reading to do and he was convinced. So after convincing him I now had to convince myself! I suppose I wasn’t really expecting him to agree with me…I may sometimes come up with some crazy ideas. So when he ended up agreeing wholeheartedly that this would be awesome for our kids I was hit with the reality that I would actually have to do it. It wasn’t just a cool ‘wouldn’t that be nice’ idea anymore. And I had to actually tell people we would be doing it!
Looking back, I’m not sure why I was worried about it. I have never been a ‘mainstream’ kind of parent and my family was very used to that. I am probably more of what you would call an attachment parent, but I don’t like labels. We just do what works, and what feels right to us. So why was I not afraid to parent so differently, but I was afraid to educate my child differently? Because when it came to my parenting style I believed in myself, and I believed what I was doing was the best for my children. So I asked myself, is this just a nice idea or is it something I really believe in? Do I think this is the best thing for my children? Do I think I am motivated to make it work how I want it to?
I think you know I answered yes to all. And that’s what gave me the confidence to commit to homeschooling. I knew that no matter what anyone else thought, I was making the best decision for my kids. Life is far too short to make decisions about your life according to what other people will think, or what is considered the ‘norm’. Childhood is even shorter. My kids will only ever get one childhood… I only get one shot at this. I will never have this time with my children again, and I want to spend their childhood with them. There’s no chance to go back and change it. I don’t want to look back and think ‘if only I had been brave enough to do that, that really could have been great’. So no, I’m not sending them to school if I don’t think that’s the best decision for them. I’m not comfortable settling for ‘normal’ and ‘safe’. Weird and amazing and happy is fine with me! Yep, I’m comfortable being that family. And maybe along the way I’ll change some perceptions of what that family is actually like.
And so I do what I have always done when it comes to parenting my children. I do what feels right. It might not be the right choice for other families, but it is for us. And because I’m confident in that decision, any negativity doesn’t affect me. I know our truth. What am I modeling for my children if I simply go along with everyone else just because ‘that’s how it’s always been done’? If I can’t stand up for what I believe in? That’s not what I am trying to teach them, and so I need to live that as well. And I am unbelievably glad and grateful that we made this leap.
Living according to your own beliefs is so freeing, whatever decisions you make. I don’t think I will ever regret doing what I think is right, but I might regret not being brave enough to try. It is so worth pushing through that uncomfortable feeling of parenting against the grain to follow your heart. You’ll never regret it.