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Question: What do you get when you add one homeschooling mom plus one homeschooling mom plus one homeschooling mom?
Answer: You get a bunch of women throwing around words like curriculum, portfolios, testing, and socialization. And you’ll hear their eyes rolling over that last word. They’ll snort and move on because homeschooling moms know that socialization isn’t worth wasting their time talking about it.
I’ve been writing my blog, Courageous Jane Homeschools, since December and I’ve been slowly working my way through the alphabet writing about all things homeschoolish. Don’t be fooled by the title … this is not a tutorial. If you think you might enjoy a light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek-but-mostly-true view of homeschooling, then buckle up and read on!
Today’s letter is “I.”
In the world of homeschooling, I is for inspiration. Homeschoolers find inspiration everywhere. “Teachable moments” abound in our lives. My friend, Christine, has a baggie of earwigs on her kitchen counter because her boys found a nest of them in their climbing tree. Her impromptu science lesson on earwigs spilled over to my house as I happened to find an article about the best parents in the animal world and earwigs made the list! I forwarded the article to Christine and she shared with me a story about finding a wolf spider carrying its egg sack. Isn’t it sweet how we’re able to inspire each other this way? Always learning … that’s our motto!
Speaking of inspiration, I used to feel inspired to clean my house by the thought of other moms seeing my mess. Then I happened to catch one mother after another in their own homes, with their messes showing (Gasp!), and I’m now inspired to show them grace by openly admitting that I just ran boxes of stuff upstairs to my bedroom as they pulled into the driveway.
I is for imagination. My 10-year-old is currently writing a comic about Puffles and dreaming about his next Lego set. Without an electronic device feeding his brain, his imagination runs wild. He’s thinking up stories and chasing me down to tell me his latest idea for another creation of some sort. I watched him and his best friend playing in the backyard one afternoon and noticed they had no toys with them, but they were enacting an elaborate scenario from their imaginations. Homeschooling moms generally have lively imaginations as well. We like to imagine that tomorrow will be different … the kids will get up wanting to cooperate with our schedules and our plans and they will be thrilled with every meal we offer that day! We like to imagine we’ll get through a day without something being spilled, broken, cut, thrown away, dumped, or colored on. We like to imagine what our houses would look like if we didn’t homeschool, and what they would sound like if all the kids were grown and gone.
I is for ice cream. You might consider this medication when applied to a mother’s mouth at the end of a long day, after the kids are in bed and there is time to think. (Some use wine to the same effect, but wine starts with “w” so that will have to wait for another post.) Full fat, creamy ice cream, straight from the carton, while sitting on the couch with a fabulous book or an engrossing tv show, feet on the coffee table, a breeze blowing through the open window … oops, lapsed back into my imagination there for a moment. Where was I??
I is for illness. My son was sick recently. He hadn’t been sick like this for years, and suddenly he was throwing up. He threw up 9 times in 6 hours the first day. Of course, it was on a day when I was scheduled to be out of the house! I joked with some other homeschooling moms that I was paying the consequences for letting my child go out into the world. “This is what I get for socializing him!” Unfortunately, he was sick on some pretty nice days. Why couldn’t he get sick in the middle of winter when I want to hibernate and would relish the excuse to stay home with him??
I is for idiots. This is what we hope our children won’t act like when we take them out and about during regular school hours. Yes, I know idiot is not a nice word and we should never refer to our children this way. (If you’re offended, click that pretty little x up in the corner right now, or stick around to see what I have to say. You have a choice.) Here’s the thing: #1 – I love the word idiot. It rolls off the tongue and sounds delightful to my ears. I feel the same way about the word “bonehead,” but again, it doesn’t start with “i.” #2 – Some people DO act like idiots. In my mind, you’re acting like an idiot if you choose to lick a metal pole in the winter on a dare – if you know your tongue will stick. You’re acting like an idiot if you give a cop the finger. And in my honest opinion, you look like an idiot if you walk around with your pants hanging around the middle of your butt while your boxers still sit at your waist! I could go on, but you get the picture, I’m sure. As a homeschooling mom, one of my biggest fears is that my kids might act like idiots and we as the parents will get the blame “because we homeschooled them.” Warning: homeschooling doesn’t give you a free pass. Your kids could still end up acting like idiots. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I is for itchy. That’s how I feel when we get too many homeschool moms in a circle and decide to “discuss” something. It makes me itchy. We wouldn’t be homeschooling if we didn’t feel strongly about it, but sometimes we start preaching to the choir. I eat, breathe, and live homeschooling, but sometimes I just get tired of talking about it all the time. However, I’m not one to make others uncomfortable by saying “Can we just change the subject already?!?” So I sit there, feeling itchy. Can anyone else relate?
I is for “I love homeschooling!” I should go back through my Facebook page to see how many times I typed those words. I’m sure I make my non-homeschooling friends crazy with my adoring words for this choice we’ve made, but alas, it’s how I feel. Yes, there are trials and tribulations to be withstood, but it’s all worth it at the end of the day. I hope you feel the same way about your own choice.
Thanks for jumping on this crazy roller coaster and riding along with me! If you’d like to read more, enter your email at the top of the page to be notified when I post again, and browse through the archives to see where the alphabet has taken us so far.
Courageous Jane is not a superhero. She’s really a wife, mother to four, blogger, and friend. She doesn’t really wear a cape but she does help others recognize and overcome everyday fears like speaking up and stepping out into new adventures. The two scariest things she’s ever done is deciding to homeschool, and allowing her children to grow independent of her. You can find her at http://courageousmama.com or on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/
CourageousJaneHomeschools or Twitter @CourageousJane.