I am a second generation homeschooler. I really wasn’t sure if I would homeschool. Not because I hated my childhood, and it’s not because I was worried about socialization (insert eye roll). I wasn’t sure if I had the strength to do it. I knew the amount of time, effort, and heart my mother put into educating my siblings and me, and I wasn’t sure I could do what she did as well as she did it.
From the world’s view, my parents were not qualified to teach. My father never attended college, and my mother was a college dropout. Some would say this was a recipe for disaster. In fact, many did say that!
My mother decided to start homeschooling after months of watching me come home crying from school. Knowing absolutely nothing about homeschooling, she took the plunge and withdrew me from public school. She threw herself into learning everything she could about homeschooling. She researched, planned, and met other homeschoolers. She quickly realized that she could give me so much more than I had been getting at my Christian school. We spent the early years doing unit studies. We read books, did crafts, and experimented with new foods that went along with whatever we were studying.
I was homeschooled from 1st grade all the way through high school. Because of homeschooling I did not have the same kind of childhood as most other children. I wasn’t stuck in a classroom, reading out of a stuffy textbook; I was diving into real life experiences!
- I met with the director of the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab and listened to him speak personally to our co-op.
- I learned Spanish from a missionary who was fluent. (Not only did I learn a new language, but I heard some amazing stories as well.)
- I traveled the country with my family.
- I didn’t just learn about the Civil War, but I stood on some of the most famous battle sites.
- I was able to pursue my love of dance and go on to win first place at a national dance competition.
- My father taught me how to run the family business right alongside him.
Is this what my children’s homeschool experience will look like? No, it will be different. One of the greatest things about homeschooling is that it frees you to pursue what your child is interested in, what your child is craving to learn. Every homeschooling journey is different and at its own pace. That is what makes it beautiful.
In order to be successful at homeschooling you don’t need a fancy college degree, you don’t need to know calculus, and you don’t need the perfect situation. All of that might help, but at the end of the day, it’s not what makes you a successful homeschooling parent. You need the passion to stay up late planning the school year. You need the energy to keep up with all of the fun activities and science experiments that will completely destroy your house. And most of all, you need to just enjoy the time you have with your children. My heart is most full when I am cuddled up on the couch with my kids, cocoa in hand, while we read books or puzzle over a math problem.
Yes, my house is a disaster and I’m exhausted most of the time. But what makes up for it is the fact that I’m seeing my children thrive, and it’s because of homeschooling. Do we have our bad days? Absolutely! But I can honestly say that all of our special moments outweigh any bad day. In the end, my fears of homeschooling were driven out by my desire to give my children what I had. Freedom. Freedom to learn at their own paces, freedom to be themselves without intense peer pressure, and the freedom to become independent problem solvers.
Nicole is a Washington state native and a second generation homeschooler. She is married to an amazing man, Dennis, who has been so supportive of their homeschooling journey. She is a happy homeschooling mama of two little ones, ages 6 and 3. In her spare time she is also a LuLaRoe fashion consultant which lets her get out of the house and build relationships with other mamas. You can read more from Nicole at LuLaRoe Nicole Linn.