Occasionally, like this morning, I feel like the "Poster Parent for Homeschooling." I don't know if this is something the homeschool community would really approve of. I'm probably sort of the 'black sheep' of the family. I'm not conventional. And, mostly, that's because I'm NOT weird. Ok, I am weird. But not in the way MOST homeschool moms are.
Let's be real. Most homeschool moms are completely totally devoted to their kids, their husbands, their homes, and their Jesus. That's ok. It just is NOT me. I love my kids. I love my husband. I love our home. And, I love Jesus. But, I'm the most self-centered grown-up I know. I'm excellent at the art of taking care of me, and you've all heard me get on my soap-box about it here on my blog. I believe in order to best serve my family, I have to take care of ME. I'm quite the expert.
Also, my kids are SO NORMAL. For homeschoolers, they truly are. I've had people be surprised when they found out my kids were homeschooled, because well....they don't give off that vibe. C'mon, you all know what I'm talking about. Even I find myself picking homeschoolers out at the store, or on a field trip. How can I do it? There is just a vibe. It's my own personal version of 'gay-dar.'
Now, for some...THIS is the exact reason we are friends and they come to me. I've defied the odds. I've held on to myself, and I've managed to turn out relatively normal offspring AND homeschool. I prove that it can be done. For others, I'm the ONLY person they know that homeschools, and therefore I'm the default choice. In the last 3 months, I've been approached by 4 moms about homeschooling, or the decision to pull their kids from school.
I pass a long all the knowledge that I've learned over the last 14 years (yeah, I've been at this for 14 years....my eldest is about to turn 16 *sobs* but I homeschooled my nephew from the time he was 12 and he just turned 26.) And, I reassure them that it WILL all even out in the end, and I can be sure of it because I have the proof living in my house.
I have a child who read at 2, and a child that didn't really read until 8. I have a child who had to start over with math--back to addition--in 5th grade, but is now spot on grade-level wise. It does ALL even out in the end.
I get to tell people that you WILL lose your shit. You will scream and shout and bang your head on the table (so will your kid.) You will think you were insane for choosing this path. You will want to pack them all up and put them on the school bus tomorrow morning. You will doubt your ability to do a good job.
I get to tell people that you WILL get through it. You will have days where it goes so beautifully smooth that you feel like the GODDESS of all things homeschool. You will get to watch the 'lightbulb' go on over your kid's head (and in their eyes) and know that YOU helped get them there. You will watch a bond form between siblings that simply isn't possible when they are spending 8 or more hours a day apart. You will get to snuggle your high school students and watch the billboard music awards.
While I may not be who the homeschool community at large would choose to represent them (throwing up a sign language H, represent!) I don't feel like I'm doing a bad job. At worst, I show some families how they don't want to be, and I'm cool with that. At best, I show that balance can be found, I'm cool with that too.