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Posts Tagged ‘challenges of home schooling’

For those of you who have found yourself home schooling perhaps for the first time and without any intention to every doing it, I offer up the letter I wrote in 2013 when I concluded my home school journey. Nothing I have ever done has ever been as fulfilling and life-altering. The end result is that now at 25-years of age, my daughter is not only very close to me, but also she is a human being that I respect and can trust (and others can trust).

I believe it was the time we spend together over math, reading and everything else that forged our bond. It was hard to do and run a business at the same time. It was challenging when my child ran into difficulties. It was everything you are feeling, but on the other side, I can say it was worth it–it is never going to be a waste of time to spend time and energy on your child(ren). Be encouraged. Here’s my letter to the other moms from 2013:

STANDING AMONG GIANTS

I am a midget among giants. I finished my ten-year home schooling journey this week among women who have been at it for more than two decades and have home-schooled more children than can be counted on one hand, sometimes two. I am the little oak among the giant redwoods. Home schooling any child is a labor of love.

Home schooling multiple children is a task for women of virtue. It is not for the fainthearted. The mother of the home school child, usually the one primarily giving instruction and training to the child, is at the same time teacher, disciplinarian, visionary, administrator, and muse. It is her job to make sure the child learns everything he or she needs. She holds the keys to his or her future. No pressure.

As guardian of all aspects of her child(ren)’s education, academic, extracurricular, spiritual and social, the home-school mom has no vacation, no respite, no job to run to from which to receive reinforcement, approval or a pay check. She is ever surrounded by kids. But she thrives here, among her offspring, taking life from their successes and encouraging them when they fail. They are her reinforcement, they give her approval (when not giving her grief).

She is rarely idle, always thinking of the next year, the next project, the next activity, the next game, the next recital, the next drama production, the next meal, the next child coming up for whom she will repeat and revise all that she has done for the first, second, . . . and so on.

My colleagues (fellow home-school moms) are a hearty bunch. They don’t back down, but they can laugh at themselves. They exude confidence to their children even when their own hearts are troubled or fearful. They understand the uniqueness of each child, his or her strengths and weaknesses. They see the whole child, from infancy through adulthood. No change, no evidence of progress escapes their notice. Their children are their purpose.

To her friends, she is a comfort, lending a listening ear, a nonjudgmental shoulder to lean on or cry on. She knows her own way has been bumpy, so she doesn’t express surprise when bumps appear for others. She offers her experience. She offers her hope. She offers her books or resources. She offers what she has even if she doesn’t have much.

To her children, she is alternately a cattle prod to move them on and a warm, soft blanket to comfort them. She remembers them, she laughs at their jokes, and she values their opinions. She’s their mentor. She’s their friend, but she’s not sentimental about her children. She loves them enough to give them boundaries . . . mostly to keep them safe.

For herself, she takes little. She has put aside career to nurture home, to build family, to make a future for her children. She has boundless energy and numerous skills most commonly with handicrafts. She knows how to make anything and everything. She is beautiful inside and out.

My sisters, my friends, I salute you. God sees you!

Mary Mullin, June 2013

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