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Each Homeschooling Mom and Family is Unique

 

Each Family’s Path is Different

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.

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10 Comments

  1. Leanne says:

    Fantastic post and so true!

  2. Tricia says:

    Thank you for encouraging and offering practical examples – yes we all need encouragement in different ways. Wonderful post to reflect on as we wrap up this school year – or any time!

  3. Mary says:

    Your words really spoke to me today… comparison is such an awful trap. Obedience to God is what matters most – and it’s who we’re accountable to!

  4. Thanks for that reminder! I appreciate being a “fly on the wall” via your updates.

  5. JoAnn says:

    This is so true. We have found what works for our family, and the only time I struggle with that is if I’m comparing myself to what other families do. 🙁 I don’t do that nearly as much as I used too. People won’t homeschool like I do, and I won’t homeschool like they do, and that’s ok. Thanks for these encouraging words. 🙂

  6. Annie Kate says:

    I’m so grateful that this post has blessed you ladies! Thanks for letting me know!

  7. Rebecca says:

    So true – it is important to know what works best for our family – and each child. Thank you for linking this up and sharing it!

  8. Hi Annie,
    I agree with you. It’s so easy to want to impose our way of doing things on others. I’m not much of a schedule person, but I know that structure helps my kiddos to know or anticipate what’s ahead. That gives them comfort. So finding the middle ground will be great.

  9. Corrie Jeannette says:

    Thank you for this post! We will be new to homeschooling this fall and its such a good reminder not to compare myself to others or to think I’m doing it wrong cause we don’t look like other families! Your last paragraph was my favorite and one I need to remember! Thank you again 🙂

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