Doing a little blog surfing of my favorite homeschool sites this morning and I came across a link to Relaxed Homeskool that was humorous, but also poignant. I read what Principled Discovery had to say about it…and now I am sorting through my own feelings.
I have homeschooled continuously since 1989. That fact alone sort of scares me. I have a four year old so I don’t always notice the passing of time..there has always seemed to be kindergartners and new babies..Now, at 48 there don’t seem to be more new babies and with the “old baby” about to turn five at some point my life will slow enough for me to notice that there has indeed been a passage of time.
I grew up with patchwork midi skirts and pot, peace signs and white lipstick. Granted I was at the end of that being of the Bobby Sherman, David Cassidy teenibopper generation but it impacted me in a huge way. I remember thinking in my wild 1970s teens that my generation was ready to change the world. That individualism would be the key, and that we would spend our lives in a peaceful haze of art, music, philosophy, and marijuana smoke. Life was good.
Ten years later I found myself a conservative Christian, homeschooling, mom of two..and yet..and yet…
Because homeschooling was so OUTTHERE I was still not part of the establishment. I was still the hippy intellectual sans the marijuana, who lived the Bohemian life even amongst my new found conservative leanings.
But homeschool caught up to me and pretty soon it was pretty mainstream. So I joined the grind your own flour for bread, raise your own chickens and goats, sustainable living lifestyle…it was not mainstream, and I had wanted to homestead since I first opened a Mother Earth News back when it was not made with glossy paper and displaying blatant house porn on its covers.
But that has caught up to me too, and I am realizing that I am no longer the cool hippie-chick that I was. Nope. She has morphed into a hot-flash powered, hippy chick that finds herself saying (may God forgive me) “You know, when I started homeschooling back in the ’80’s….”
I think my generation had such high expectations of where we were going to take our children, we believed that they would be part of a different world..a kinder and gentler place.
Maybe we were looking for a Greek revival, but in intellect rather than architecture. If so, in some ways we got it. We saw society begin to worship their bodies, and their intellect in the 90’s.
In all my years in and around homeschooling I have realized that no matter what we do we will be superior. There are always groups, and each will be more superior than the other. In the homeschooling movement now we have secular and Christian, unschoolers, Classical learner…
We have the homesteading moms, the gracious living moms, the frugal moms…each is exceptional and better than the other, not by anything that is said but by an undefined something.
Now, when I say I homeschool I am not sure what is associated with it. Most often it means that I am trying very hard to survive my midlife crisis whilst surviving the second set of teens..I am cringing with the knowledge that it is a full ten years before I am finished with teenagers and I am not sure how it will be to deal with teenager rebellion at 58.
So, I don’t know if I am so over it, or not quite over it, or right in the middle of it. I know it is a life style that I am committed to and actually, I do try to stay away from other homeschoolers, if only to maintain my own individuality.
More and more I find that it is hard to write about homeschooling or even read about it because, like Relaxed Homeskool, I think there has been SO much information overload. It is a way for people to make money now.
I was on an email list of a group of five women nearly twelve years ago. One was Kym Wright, who is now a respected homeschooling author. She did not write to make money, she wrote because she loved what she was doing. Since that time there have become so many additions to the information out there that it is almost impossible to comprehend it.
As humans we have a tendency to take simple things and make them complex. Educating our children should be simple and joyous not complex and stressful. I wonder then,what will it take for us to make the conscious choices to move back to that place. What will encourage us to leave our computers and head for the garden with a magnifying glass and a sketchpad? Because I think we like the idea, and we like talking about it but we are afraid to leave the comfort of the computer screen because we may miss important information and thus our children will be scarred for evermore.