Unschooling: Living Without School; Living Free Range-Freedom to Learn What One Wants When One Wants

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Homeschool Mom's Newfound Confidence

This last year of homeschooling has really increased my confidence as a not only a Mom, but a homeschool Mom. I have spent the last year battling with our choice to unschool and wondering if the things I do are really right for us when society tells us they are so wrong. Looking back to last September, I can see a change in my confidence.

I don't know what it is, maybe a mixture of things. Having a support group is also for Moms, not just the kids. And it has been a tremendous source of encouragement. Talking to other Moms and seeing that they all do different things different way. That we all slack off at times or do too much other times. We are constantly trying to find balance. And the way things are done is always changing.

One of my closest friends I met in that group, and although I have only known her a year, she has become a spiritual mother to me. When I first met her, I could not believe that a 40 year old woman would want to hang out with a 21 year old. But I quickly learned homeschoolers don't care. ;) She has been a source of encouragement for me being a young Mom. She always talks up how amazing it is to have children very young, as God made our bodies able to reproduce and he chose to give us our children. She is the one who has encouraged me to talk to my Husband and let God lead the way on children. (Such a major stress off of me.) She is my source of encouragement in reading my Bible and understanding what God tells us. She has taught me ways to continually remind my child that God is the highest of all Kings and that she is a princess of the Almighty God. Samantha clings to those words. (Suzette has been such an amazing Christian influence on Samantha because she understands the true meaning of Trusting God.) She has encouraged me in my marriage, when we have problems, to just pray and ask God what he wants me to do. Because God has a plan, even when others may discourage. She recently gave me a women's devotional that she thought would help in times of need, and she is right. Such an amazing gift from a thoughtful woman. She is always teaching me knew recipes and about health. Giving me tips on homeschooling. All these words of wisdom and sources she has given me throughout the last year have really built me up. I just hope that I have been the friend to her that she has been to me. And maybe one day I will have the experience and wisdom to lead somebody. Side Note: A big plus is that all her 6 children have been a true blessing to Samantha. She gets along with all of them, from ages 1 to 13. Yes, I know most people view the age thing as a little weird, but homeschoolers are different. They generally don't grow up as fast. But don't get me on that rant. Anyway, Samantha has found out so much about herself through playing with her friends and receiving encouragement from them, because they go through many of the same things.)

I believe the second thing that has caused such a change in me is experience. I am by no means a veteran homeschooler who has put 3 kids through highschool and 2 through middle. But we have known we wanted to homeschool since S was 2, and I have been putting my all into it ever since. Researching, trying different teaching methods, talking to other people, going to seminars and fairs. And I believe now that we have experienced homeschooling in  a more official way, a less lonely way, we are more confident. We have experienced it in a way where we join groups, but not to many. A way where we get involved in our community and meet others. We have learned through many different styles. We are registered with the school. We have to do the paperwork and follow the "rules" like good Boys and Girls, but it has been so much more a Blessing than a pain. I feel like we know what we are doing. I don't have to constantly worry about how we do things, because I can see now that we are all truly different. My child has grown SO Much over the last year, academically, spiritually, and emotionally, and I have homeschool to thank for that. I no longer question myself day and night. I no longer am embarrassed to tell somebody, "She is a bit behind in memorizing her math facts. Her brain just isn't ready, and I won't force it until it is easy on her. But she is one heck of an artist!" You should see the looks I get when I compare the importance of art, her passion, to Math. And I say, "Yes, art is just as important as math, if not more important, because art is her passion." The wide eyes....Oh my. But that's okay. We all view education differently. I just know now that just because somebody views it differently than me does not make me wrong. It does not mean my child will fail. It means I am a Mom doing what I know is best for MY child, and nothing will change that. Not a stranger who tells me that I need to be more formal in my teaching. Not a friend who tells me my kid should go to school. Not even a fellow homeschooler who tells me that I MUST use the newest curriculum. No. I will follow HER lead. And keep my head held high as I try to change the world one person at a time.

Update: Preparing for my new position as Secretary on the Board. Should be an interedting new experience. I am meeting with last year's Secretary next week. And I  have a board meeting in July. Then I will be settled into my new position! Samantha also has a yearbook signing party tomorrow. Yearbooks are in. Yay! She can't wait to see what all the fuss in about. Ha. Homeschool goes year round. But that's okay. I like it that way.


  1. Im so glad you are growing so much. Homeschooling not only helps the children grow a lot but the parents as well. I just want you to know how much your friendship has helped me grow. You have made me think and it changed everything. I dont just do things because "thats how you are supposed to raise kids" I have never been normal so why should my parenting. Lol. You let me vent and help me when I get discouraged because of my family. And you had my first kid and made mistakes for me lol. I think you are doing awesome with sami. :)

  2. It does. It really does. Jessie always asks me if homeschool is for her or me. And I always say both of us because I'm learning and growing too. She has "unit studies" and so do I. She gets freedom and so do I. She meets new friends...and so do I.

    I'm so happy to hear that, Brandi. Thank you. I am so glad you and I became friends...and family. ;) You help me to not feel alone. You make me feel not so insane about my views. When the whole world is fighting you it is nice to have somebody. It is hard to not follow the normal, but what is normal? You know? Our kids, all kids are special and different and we should treat them special and different and do things according to what they need, not what society tells us we need to do.

    Ha. And yes! I will continue to make mistakes with her too. You're Welcome. lol

  3. Lol im glad you will keep making mistakes so I dont have to.

    Yeah it is awesome to have someone to help me when everyone makes me feel like everything I do is wrong. I really am happy we became such good friends. Thanks to band hero. Lol yeah everyone says every kid is different but they want everyone to teach them the same and all that mess. I dont get it.

    I love the fact that I will learn so much and so will she. Its a great thing. We learn together and that is a different bonding thing for Aubrey and I. And makes your and my friendship better too. Lol

  4. Ha Ha. I'd say our friendship is worth $60.00 Actually, I font even think he cared enough to rebuy it. lol

    Oh yah. It all goes back to you showing interest in what they enjoy. Even though I'm Mom and at thus age I shouldn't be cool anymore, I am the first person she goes to to critique her drawings. We look for books together. Watch videos together. Ibhave learned as much about art as she has! lol Plus taught her some techniques I learned from art lessons when l was little. I can't wait to see how it goes for you and Aubrey. Two is just the beginning! And it is still just the start for Samantha. The teen years I hear are really interesting for unschoolers!

  5. I don't understand why people give you such a hard time all the time? Samantha is clearly learning and she enjoys it! I couldn't imagine that life for Kylie Jade, but I know that is how Samantha likes to be. Kylie Jade and Sam are so different though, but I think that is good for them to be friends. They get to be friends with one another even though they are SO different. I loved that Samantha was so excited to show Kylie her year book and Kylie asked questions and truly was interested. I think seeing us as friends has helped them both. Samantha definitely creeps out of her shell more when she gets comfortable around Kylie and I love it. I don't get why people try and tell you how to homeschool. It is different for every family. We home schooled WAY differently than most everyone I know and that is okay. You involve yourself with Sam and explore with her. My home schooling experience was different because after we "could do it on our own" we were kinda left and I just didn't understand. I don't see you doing that with Samantha. I cannot wait to see how she grows this year and I cannot wait to watch their friendship blossom even more. I love that we can expose them to differences and encourage them to focus on what is important!

    I find it very interesting how she learns and am excited to see what the next year holds for all of us! The one in school and the one unschooled.