Homeschooling moms, like other people, are all unique. Sometimes ‘experts’ forget this and push their own method of homeschooling, organizing the home, or scheduling, forgetting that it won’t work for everyone even though it works for them. And, hey, it’s not only the experts who do this.
Now, as Christians, we all agree on some absolutes. God is good. His rules for living apply to everyone and are good for everyone. These are truths we submit ourselves to, even though at times they may not ‘feel right’.
But there are other ideas that are not part of God’s revelation. They work for some, but burden and discourage others. We all need encouragement in different ways, because we all have different families, challenges, and personalities.
This was so evident when I was a panelist at our local homeschooling conference!
Some moms were intrigued by the detailed schedule handed around and nodded at one speaker’s statement that “rigid routines are relaxing”—and for some people, obviously, they are. Steve and Terri Maxwell’s popular Managers of Their Homes is based on this premise. But other moms were discouraged by the idea that scheduling might be essential. When I confessed that schedules don’t really work for our family, one mom interrupted the talk with an enormous sigh of relief and an excited exclamation of joy.
Some moms were excited at the thought of getting outside courses for their teens so that they would not have to worry about difficult subjects, marks, or transcripts. However, one mom approached me with tears in her eyes, thanking me for emphasizing that at-home courses and mommy marks will work just fine. Her family did not want to outsource high school courses, but felt great pressure to do so.
So, when you read about homeschooling methods or resources, remember: just because it works for others doesn’t mean it will work for you. On the other hand, just because it doesn’t work for others does not mean it won’t work for you. You need to understand your family, your goals, and yourself to decide how to run your homeschool and what will work best for your family.
That’s why I like to explore what different families do by reading Weekly Wrap Ups or other ‘fly on the wall’ resources. That’s why I go through Cathy Duffy’s 101 Top Picks occasionally. As our children grow and life changes, I need to re-evaluate where our family is and reconsider how we homeschool. Seeing what others do helps me decide what might work for us.
Yes, homeschooling moms and families are all different. What’s more, as time passes, each family will change. So one homeschooling method, philosophy, or curriculum does not even fit one family for all time. It’s so important to remember this when you feel pressured by an eloquent speaker or tempted by a shiny curriculum!
What does always work, however, is love for our children and obedience to our God. May He bless us and our families as we wrap up this homeschooling year and make thoughtful plans for the next one.