If there’s one thing I didn’t expect about becoming that kind of mother–the homeschooling mom–it was (and remains) how easy it can be to doubt yourself.
Just when I get past a moment of doubt–yes, it’s okay that my 5th grader isn’t an awesome speller yet and yes, it’s okay that my 2nd grader doesn’t know what D.N.A. stands for (or whether Femur is a bone or a country), though the homeschooled elementary age kids down the road are already learning advanced biology from their mother–other doubts lurk in the wings waiting for the right moment to make an appearance!
I know I’m far from perfect when it comes to homeschooling. I’ve come to be kinder to myself over the years along the homeschool journey and to deal better with insecurities when they pop up. I’ve come to better identify that my ‘right’ way of doing something for my family, for my kids, and for me, is uniquely my own. My family’s homeschool journey is our own. My children’s education is their own.
Comparing or keeping up with the homeschooled Jones’ is like comparing apples and
oranges chocolate. I know that I can’t necessarily look to (or depend on) others for signs or cues that I’m doing something right. Rather, measuring myself or my kids to other homeschooling moms or children is only a recipe for doubt.
My Signs: That I’m Doing Something Right
I do know I’m doing something ‘right’ when my kids tell me that they much prefer a particular nature park in Europe to the human design of Disney World theme parks in Florida because of how the natural beauty resonates. Or when they walk into a rural New England library and recognize a copy of artwork they’ve seen hanging in the Louvre.
I also know I’m doing something ‘right’ when I drive down the road and my kids notice how beautiful the landscape around them happens to be–like when we recently drove through New Hampshire’s Franconia Notch.
My signs that I’m doing something right are before me 24 hours a day/7 days a week (though the signs are quietest when they are sleeping soundly!). When in doubt, all I really need to do is look around and take it all in–just like they are doing, beautifully.