Here’s the next letter my series ~ “Letter To Me” reminding myself, and, hopefully, encouraging other new homeschoolers, with what I wish I had known when I started out on our homeschooling journey ~
Don’t follow the cookie-cutter approach and force yourself or your kids into a mould. Homeschooling is about finding your true fit. It is about a tailor-made approach and content.
So even your bought curriculum doesn’t determine how you should teach or the pace at which your children should learn. When you or your child become stressed and anxious, just stop, breathe and realign your goals and expectations with the Lord.
Don’t compare yourself, your kids or your journey with others. It doesn’t matter if your homeschooling or your children are different from everyone else. Ignore those piercing questions and keep your eyes on what the Lord has shown you and you will maintain His grace to continue. When someone’s comment or advice makes you feel ill and ashamed, it is not from Him. Quietly withdraw and affirm yourself in His promises.
I believe that grace ‘to be’ and ‘to change’ is extremely important. Even as babies, I never boxed my kids in with statements. I would say, “So pink is your favourite colour at the moment …” or “You really don’t like broccoli today …” so that they knew they could change their minds and find alternatives.
Allow your children the freedom to dress up when they are small. Encourage them to express themselves, to have opinions and insights. Ask them what they think and feel and reflect it back to them so that they know you have seen and heard them. This is vital and will cultivate the greatest gift a parent can give a child – the strong sense of who they are.
Homeschoolers often ‘get’ this, whilst public-schooled kids strive to remain acceptable and become clones of the popular. It is sadly why others (non-homeschoolers) call homeschoolers “weird”.
And all it is really … is different.
And we all are, aren’t we?
Recently a shop teller asked me why my daughters dress “differently”. She said that she noticed that my girls all dress so creatively and uniquely. Even their hairstyles and handbags are different. I told her that my daughters do not go to regular school. They are homeschooled. She said that public-school kids looked like each other … all the same. Now, my girls are not weird. They just look … like themselves … beautiful!
I took years to ‘find myself’. Even as an adult, I wasted years anxiously trying to be acceptable … I called myself a nerd … and generally felt like a failure. I’m so grateful that my children have such a strong sense of themselves, their style, their gifting, their friendships and their values.
Above all, point your children to the Lord and encourage them to keep seeing themselves through His eyes. Urge them to please Him by being who they were created to be. Encourage them to find their calling and use their gifts for Him. He loves them to eternity and back!
Dare to be different! Live your lives to the full and have grace for yourself and others.
With hindsight blessings,
I’d love to hear your views and thoughts on this topic! Please, would you share yours in the comments?
In case you missed any of my previous “Letters To Me” in this series: