Blogger Template by Blogcrowds

We've been visiting some extended family. They are wonderful, caring folks. Their children are sweet and fun. We've had some great food. Some good conversation. But the glaring differences in educational philosophy, child rearing, church preference, etc. appear to be glaring.

I'm the only one in my family who homeschools. I'm not militant about it at all. Yet, somehow I feel like my children are more scrutinized, criticized for their behavior. If one of the boys does something naughty, I always wonder if someone is thinking, "If those boys were in school, then they wouldn't do that." Or, "Gee, if THAT'S how homeschooled kids act, then I'm against homeschooling."

I worry that my family is the very imperfect, routinely mortifying poster children for the entire homeschooling movement in the eyes of my extended family. I hear how my nieces and nephews are straight A students, in plays, in sports, busy, busy, busy running to birthday parties and games and appointments.

Here's how our day typically goes:

Get up, do school, do chores, play some, eat, repeat, eat again, play, get ready for bed, do our very elaborate bedtime routine, then go to sleep, read a book, watch something on the internet or a Netflix, finish up chores. Do it all again tomorrow.

This does not make interesting holiday discussion. My life is boring. But would I want it any other way? My extended family rarely finds themselves all home for dinner. One brother in law is gone to another city for a few days each week. They are great people, who love each other and love the Lord.

But I just feel so different, not better, just different. I don't believe that God has the exact same plans for each family. I think I'd just like to be in the company of some likeminded people sometimes. I'm the only one at church, the only one with small kids in my entire remote town who homeschools, and the only one in my family, too.

7 comments:

Hi. I was homeschooled myself, and I turned out just fine. Your kids will appreciate you for the extra time and attention you give them despite any differences you may have with other families.

Best wishes! :)

November 24, 2007 at 4:10 PM  

Not a homeschooler, but boring and different nonetheless. I pray God will send you (and me) a "kindred spirit." Until then, may He be our portion and share...

November 26, 2007 at 8:45 AM  

Give yourself time...you are new to all of it, and maybe b/c of it still a bit unsure. But if you feel like you are following God's leading for your family, that's what matters. I hope it gets better and that you an make a homeschooling mom friend.

November 26, 2007 at 3:58 PM  

The title of your blog caught my eye over at "Lisa Writes", Did we ever sign up or say to ourselves that someday we would like to be a Pastor's wife? :) But here we are!

You are a wise mother not to be running from here or there in the pursuit of whatever. Your life does not sound boring, but wonderful.

November 27, 2007 at 8:31 AM  

I hear you exactly...my kids do seem different than the relatives, and not always better behaved, etc. We are blessed to have a lot of homeschool families through church, and around. Have you ventured to a homeschool convention? I know Illinois has great ones www.iche.org but I'm not sure about other states. That's the place I find my grounding as a homeschool mom, realizing that 1000's of other families are just as boring as mine!! :)

December 1, 2007 at 7:55 AM  

Julie,

I would definitely second the homeschool convention. When we went to our first one, we honestly felt like we were going to see hundreds of Duggar families. Instead, only one or two looked like that (you know, 40 kids, all dressed alike). The rest looked . . . like us.

As I read your posts elsewhere and read your blog, I feel as though you and I have quite a bit in common. So, if the Lord ever calls you to Virginia, we could hang out, lol. Maybe neither of us would feel so . . . different. :)

Dana

December 1, 2007 at 1:08 PM  

Julie, this post is so insightful, and I think you have figured out some things that it takes some homeschooling moms decades to discover...your family is unique and that the general day to day necessities of life ARE boring and routine but they have to be done. Some people struggle for years thinking that they are not living up to the picture perfect model of a family. Guess what? Thatfamily doesn't exist.

I think when all is said and done, my older children would tell you that the greatest things they learned by homeschooled was what was "caught" rather than "taught" in this household, the attitudes and "real" conversations that took place around the dinner table and, yes, even while riding in a van and poking holes in packages of cocoa! Your children are so blessed that you are their mom!

December 4, 2007 at 5:08 AM  

Newer Post Older Post Home