Letter 2 – Ideals and Compromise

Letter to myselfLast week I started a new series ~ “Letter To Me“.  As I  reflected over my past 19 years of homeschooling, I wrote a letter to myself sharing what  wish I had known when I started our homeschooling journey ~ Here’s this week’s letter ~

Dear Nadene,

When you start homeschooling you will be very idealistic, very determined and very scared.  You will begin months before and read stacks of books, make choices and form a narrow perspective of how to successfully educate and grow your children.  Your ideals, principles and disciplines will be tested and tried, and many will change. 

When you start homeschooling, there will be very few other homeschool families, and you will wonder why some flounder and fail and can’t figure out how to homeschool successfully.  You will look at some unschooling families with doubt and scorn. 

You will wonder how anyone can learn without a strict schedule, timetables, and lessons.  And you will strive and stress to “do it right” and it will eat at you at night.  Nadene, you will try to teach all . the . time. until you realise that all that effort kills your children’s natural desire to learn.  You will push them and pressure them, even punish them, and wonder why it all feels so “wrong” when it is supposed to be so “right”. 

To your shame, your junior high child will not do any official tests, exams or formal curriculum for 2 years!  Even your husband will think that you have dropped the ball.  You will fail.  Your kids will fail to measure up.  Your ideals will be tested and failure will bring changes.  You will learn to adapt, abandon stuff, alter your approach until you find your peace and your children unfold, relax and enjoy learning.  There will be days with nothing “to show”, but joy will fill all your hearts.  You will trust that your child will flourish when she is ready and she need not have any shame or distress in not being ready. 

Remember, you said right at the beginning, “Nothing is cast in stone“?  Well, it is true.  You will find yourself figuring it out, for each child, all the way, and it will not end up looking anything like you thought it would all those years ago.  But it is good. 

You will champion Charlotte Mason!  Her approach works!  You will be amazed at how simple her principles are, yet how challenging and ever just out of reach.  Every time you read her words, you will be encouraged to reach higher, go deeper. 

May I encourage you to embrace change and failure.  It is the way you will learn God’s grace.  Let Him dissolve all your glass castles full of your narrow ideals.  Lay them down and allow Him to lead you.  

When you are distressed and despondent, allow the Lord to restore your soul.  He will never leave or forsake you in this journey.  Trust Him and it will be good!

Blessings, Nadene

Previous posts in this series:


9 thoughts on “Letter 2 – Ideals and Compromise

  1. Pingback: Letter 25 – Change | Practical Pages

  2. Reblogged this on HORSES DIRT AND MOTHERHOOD and commented:
    I have been a recent convert to Practical Pages and so far, I have found just what I needed.
    Tonight, I was scrolling through looking for a post to share on my blog for tomorrow. So I am a bit early, I didn’t want to forget this post.
    Check out her blog for lots of great ideas and tips!!
    I have enjoyed her letters to herself as she began homeschooling 19 years ago. I can relate to so much of each of her letters and some of you will as well.


  3. aaahhhh…. perfect! I have been scrolling along looking for something to share on tomorrow’s blog. Funny though isn’t it? We have all these great ideas in the beginning, sometimes even at the beginning of each school year. Over time, we learn just as much as the kids do. I also tend to favor the Charlotte Mason method-ish… Blessings! see you over at my blog tomorrow!


    • @vicki, thanks for your reblog! I enjoyed browsing your blog! I confess that I’m also not a Charlotte Mason purist, but I find her principles the strongest guide and approach to our homeschooling. Blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

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