I homeschool my children. By choice.
This entire concept boggles the mind of many people that love me. Apparently much of the non-homeschooling world equates homeschooling with something horrific, like small pox. These people do have a good point. Both small pox and homeschooling can be ugly and are extremely contagious. One must be very careful, however, as there is no vaccine against homeschooling.
I began my homeschooling journey because of a book. (With me it always begins with a book.) I was searching for some proof that homeschooling was a Bad Idea. At that point in my life, I couldn’t fathom how homeschooling could be legal OR healthy.
Then Blair Warner, from The Facts of Life changed all of that. (Yes, I realize that Blair Warner is a fictional character, but to me Lisa Whelchel will always be Blair Warner, so just hush up.) Blair Warner was a homeschooling, stay at home mom. The whole idea blew my mind.
I read her book about the different kinds of families that homeschool in different ways. That’s when I realized not just commune lovin’ hippies or ultra conservative mothers in denim jumpers homeschooled. Lots of people that I would consider ‘normal’ homeschooled. As I realized this something inside of my brain began to shift.
I went on to read more books, because who would just take Blair Warner’s word for it? Each book I read confirmed what Blair said: people from all states, economic background, and philosophies of life were homeschooling parents who raised smart, socially adept children.
That’s when it happened. One day I thought to myself, “I could do that whole homeschooling thing.” Immediately, I tried to recall the thought, but it didn’t work. Then I tried to ignore it, but it refused to be ignored. I could homeschool. And it was true, I was completely capable of homeschooling my children, I could do it.
From thinking I could do it, it was a short step to thinking I should do it. (That is another post for another day.) So after reading even more books (yes, I have the library on speed dial) and talking with my husband, we decided to try it.
And now we love it. Yes, I have days when I am convinced I am screwing up my children. I worry I’m leaving out something important that they will need to become well adjusted adults and one day I’ll wind up on Maury Povich being booed by the entire studio audience. Then there are the days when I could cheerfully sell my offspring on e-bay. For free.
Fortunately, those bad days are few in number. Most of the time I am immensely grateful I made the journey from thinking ‘homeschool is the root of all evil’ to ‘homeschool may end up saving us all.’ And I have Blair Warner to thank for it.