Parenting against the grain
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.
Great post. I agree…no regrets follow your heart parenting.
Thank you 🙂
Really considering to follow suit in future
Well said 🙂
Thank you 🙂
I am so glad I got to read this post, thank you so much for sharing. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one struggling to ‘make that final decision’. Being judged by friends and family is a big hurdle in my mind right now. Luckily I have a long time before having to finally decide but the more I read about it the more homeschooling just feels right for my family.
I am so happy to hear that Alison 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to comment.
I just found your blog from a link from Life Learning magazine, I think. I am so glad I found it. So many of your thoughts and ideas make sense and resonate with me
Thanks for sharing!
Thank you Laurie! 🙂
Oh how I needed this post today! We are on the verge of pulling our two kids out of school. You spoke the words that are in my heart. I am meeting with a fellow homeschooling mom tomorrow to get my paperwork sent in and make the leap. I am so very happy I found you! I will be checking back often. Thank you for sharing this. 🙂
Oh that is amazing. I’m so glad to have helped. Would love to hear how you go 🙂
I love what you write, love the ideas but i also just love the photos on your blog. The last one with Muriel Strode quote is simple gorgeous. Are you a professional photographer? May I ask what kind of camera you have? Do you photoshop them? Great blog anyway 🙂
Thank you 🙂 I have a Nikon D700 and I do use photoshop 🙂
Thank you. I am so glad i found your blog. Ive read loads of your posts now and shared them with my husband (like the ones written about being expected to parent and deciding to homeschool). This post is my favourite. My husband and i are about to decide to homeschool and not get our daughter a statement of special needs (she has dyspraxia and has speech therapy). But it is scary. What will people say? What if i mess it up for my children. Its safe talking to like minded parents and in homeschooling groups but out of that bubble you can be made to feel odd. But i know homeschooling is something i will forever wish i had done or wondered how it might have been.
I know exactly what you mean! I was pleasantly surprised with the reactions I got when I told people we would be homeschooling. I hope it’s the same for you xx
Thanks so much for this blog. I am struggling with this so much right now. I am planning on starting my own Forest Kindergarten this fall mostly because I truly believe my son needs to be out there by the river and in nature. He has no siblings so I’m trying to convince others to join us and it brings me up against what you write about constantly. Thanks for the encouragement!
That sounds wonderful!
Hi. I just came across your blog and it is so inspiring. I am only 10 weeks pregnant with my first, but already thinking about schooling options (jumping the gun a bit maybe 🙂 ). I was just wondering if you will homeschool all the way through highschool as well or if you had thought about it? I think what you are doing is amazing. I would just worry for my own family that the kids would reach an age where I would no longer be able to assist them in their learning (that I wouldn’t have the knowledge necessary to teach them what they need to know). I was just wondering what your thoughts were, if you had similar concerns, or if you had any plans for that time at all yet?
Never too early to start thinking about it!
Yes, we’re planning to keep going for through high school! I’ve written a bit more here: https://happinessishereblog.com/2015/03/homeschooling-high-school/
My friend just introduced me to your blog as my husband and I have been on a journey strongly leading towards homeschooling our kids beginning next year. We have been discussing it all year now! I am a teacher and my eldest daughter is in Prep. My biggest hurdles have been quitting my job (tick!!) and pulling my daughter out of a school she loves (this is the part I’m struggling with). She is a social butterfly and thinks if she homeschools she will never see her school friends again! We are slowly talking her around but sometimes I do feel like a mean mum. Then we have to tell people. I seriously never would have considered homeschooling an option this time last year! But I really believe in it! Am just nervous to take the plunge, make new friends and start a huge different journey than the one I thought I would be on! Reading your blog has been really helpful and I look forward to pretty much stalking you for a long time!!
This is where I am stuck. I KNOW but I have a mental hurdle to cross.