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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Homeschooling Without Influence

I've been wondering what our homeschool would look like without the influence of fellow homeschoolers that I've met/read online. I definitely wouldn't be as confident as I am or half as knowledgeable. The Rainbow Resource catalog is very nice but I appreciate their online catalog when I want immediate answers (and possible inside views).

I receive a good many magazines/catalogs that offer homeschooling advice and how-tos, but it doesn't equal the satisfaction of one-to-one conversations with someone who has been there. I really enjoy Memoria Press' Classical Teacher, which I tend to read more than once, but I could do that without online influence.

Online influence can hurt as well as inform, equip and enthuse. I've doubted myself, I've been envious and I've felt like a failure when I compare our homeschool to others across the great wide web. Part of this is inexperience and a little immaturity but it's also unavoidable. As I've sought God's counsel for our lives, I've become more confident, and I've enjoyed our journey a little more. I've been hurt by others wanting to condemn, judge and otherwise convince others that they are doing wrong by using a product, a homeschooling methodology or parenting methods.

It has caused great insecurity and stress within to read how if I read certain things to my children I would cause them a life of strife and great sin. It has been degrading to have to defend classical methodology to those who don't wish to use it but wish to bring others' down because their own insecurities. I cannot believe that those that attack classical education actually believe that homeschoolers want to harm their children in anyway! I also cannot believe that their thinking is so narrow that they ignore how many Christian leaders, professors, authors, evangelists have been schooled in the Western Civilization. I digress.

Now you may say, you shouldn't allow that to influence you. It does, a little seed is planted and then reinforced by another article or another's blog. Then it grows into this looming insecurity and renders you feeling useless to make any good decisions for your family. Just take a look at the Old Earth/Young Earth controversy. I was going to read every book I could get my hands on to get down to the truth of the matter. Then I realized, everything is just a theory, nothing is fact except that God created. Does it truly matter if the earth is 6,000 years old or 100 million years old? No. What matters is that God created. The scientific evidence we have, we have no idea if it's accurate- we are merely humans. This is a prime example of how harmful we can be online.

Narrations, oh my goodness! If I didn't read about how other children are doing wonderful at narrations or to what degree others do narrations, I wouldn't have a second thought about ours! In comparison, I feel that we are slacking. Which is wrong, we're not slacking it's just my perceived expectations have been skewed by online influences. I try my best to inform, equip, support, encourage in a positive and meaningful way while I spend time online. Faith is something I don't tend to share online, we are all different, unique in God's eyes and what works for God and me, may not work for you and God. I'm not good at being gushy about God either, He knows that and accepts it. He is a great God! : )

Share something positive today online.

 

6 comments:

karendv said...

Jessica,
Thanks for this post! You're right on the money. Also, thanks for spreading the word that it's okay to embrace tension or apparent contradictions in what God reveals -- tensions that should make us humble, if nothing else, and glad that our unfathomable God is greater than we are.
Karen

Barb said...

{{{Jessica}}}}

I think we all feel the same way you do from time to time. I want to share a post from another board that I saved from years ago and it expresses exactly what I think happens to some of us homeschooling moms. (Sorry it is long but it is worth it!)

Barb
Harmony Art Mom

Post:
"We tend to look at homeschool mom A, who is doing great science experiments; homeschool mom B, whose kids are great musicians; homeschool mom C, whose kids read 17 books per week; and homeschool mom D, whose child just won a national art contest. Then we think ALL the moms are doing ALL those things, and we think we don't measure up. All we do is play fun math games. But other moms look at us and think, 'Wow, I wish I could even REMEMBER the math game ideas she makes up.'
"We tend to forget that we are all different, and we do different things. There probably is something that you do that many other homeschool moms wish they could do. Even if there isn't, God gave you YOUR kids, because He knew YOU could do the best for them.
"It is too easy to compare, and too hard to be content where we are. All the homeschool moms that you think have it all together are thinking of somebody else, or something else, that they would like to do, too.

Judy Aron said...

No child will ever know everything. No child will ever be taught everything. No child will ever be prepared for everything. That's are fact.

What you do/teach/experience in homeschool will always be superior education because of the love and direct attention with which it is provided to your children.

If your kids are flourishing,and being challenged, then you are doing exactly what you need to be doing, and I guarantee it is still leagues above any other school experience.

No need to compare yourself, or your kids, or your homeschool methods, or your beliefs to others.. your life is entirely yours to live as you direct in the ways that you see fit.

Praise the Creator, and rejoice in your freedom.

Judy Aron said...

No child will ever know everything. No child will ever be taught everything. No child will ever be prepared for everything. Those are the facts.

What you do/teach/experience in homeschool will always be superior education because of the love and direct attention with which it is provided to your children.

If your kids are flourishing,and being challenged, then you are doing exactly what you need to be doing, and I guarantee it is still leagues above any other school experience.

No need to compare yourself, or your kids, or your homeschool methods, or your beliefs to others.. your life is entirely yours to live as you direct in the ways that you see fit.

Praise the Creator, and rejoice in your freedom.

Debbie said...

How very true on your post. I have accepted long ago, that each child is different. I also don't compare each of my children with the other one. For fear of them thinking they dont have the capacity to do this or that. I do believe as long as they put 'God' first in their journey into the world all things are possible. Thank you for your wonderful thought's on this. Also I just wanted to say your doing a wonderful and outstanding job with your children.
Blessing
~Debbie~

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post. I've started several other comments, but basically I can't make much sense today and a simple "thanks" gets to the heart of the matter. :-)

Kim W.