Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I Am Not Alone!?!

Community Yet Another Identity Crisis Resolved

In the short time that I have been adapting to my new identity as a Homeschooling Mom, I have made my way from traveling down a somewhat lonely, yet exciting new path to finding there are TONS of other Homeschooling Moms out there on many connecting and overlapping paths - I just had to keep looking!

At first I found a few Mom's (and kids for Padawan to virtually hang out with) at Currclick.com through their Live Classes, Lego Club and Chess Club. I had also found a few "fan pages" to Like on Facebook. Then about a month or so ago, I went to The Circle of Mom's page on Facebook. I hadn't thought of Circle of Mom's in over a year- I had never really used it and didn't exactly know how to use it...But because of that I suddenly I found the motherload of Homeschooling Mom's! (pun intended) It was like they had all been hiding in plain sight!

Lately, I have just been overwhelmed with excitement reading all their blogs, following some of them on Facebook, and watching how all of these Mom's are all so eager to share tips, resources,and answer questions!

My experience of being a Public School Mom was nothing like this! I would occasionally get an email from Padawan's room mother, but it seemed like everyone was so busy doing thier own thing to connect with anyone- unless your child was involved in sports- and mine was not. He didn't want to be involved with anything.

Well, after a few days of hanging out with this plethora of Homeschool Moms out there, the issue became not so much "Is there anybody out there?", but "Where do I fit in?"  Who knew that taking my son out of public school would create such an identity crisis for me!?!?!?!

Anyway, I'm not good at fitting in to begin with...I never have been good at fitting in. I was always that awkward, shy, nerdy, teacher's pet in elementary and middle school, who turned into the acne faced, really awkward, not-so-good-with-fashion, too-shy-to-speak-to-many people,Beta Club-National-Honor-Society kind of nerdy teacher's pet by High School. I managed to make a few acquaintances and maybe a real friend or two, but I still always seemed to be the third wheel.

I guess I was just a late bloomer. It wasn't until I was in married, , and joined a church that I gradually started to realize that I was no longer who I was in school. That people LIKED me and wanted to INCLUDE me- what a concept!
 
I have to admit though...I'm pretty much satisfied being an introverted loner. I like being alone- I actually prefer it most of the time. But it is nice to have at least a couple of close friends or acquaintances or someone to share things with- especially my new journey in homeschooling. I'm sure my family and Facebook friends don't want to hear me going on and on about it all the time and my old parent-acquaintances just wouldn't understand.

But back to my identity crisis- Because even though I had other plans for this blog post apparently that is why we are here!

The way I see it (Yes, I know..I have WAAY too much time to think!).... Trying to find out where exactly you fit as a Homeschooling Mom is similar to knowing that you are a Christian, but if you are going to find a church home, you really need to know what Denomination fits. Sure, you're welcome to walk into ANY Christian Church (I hope!) or you can hang out with anyone at all, but sooner or later you may want or need to be able to openly share with someone who for the most part thinks like you and would completely understand without much explanation or judgment.

Well, being a Homeschool Mom is kind of like that...... AND SO that all brought me back to my previous post about What's My Homeschooling Method. Life seems to take me in circles like this at times. :)

As a Spirit-Led-Relaxed-Eclectic-Montessori-ish-Unschooling-Traditional-Trial-and-Error kind of Homeschooling Mom you can see my dilemma.

I'm way to Relaxed to feel comfortable openly discussing my methods and non-methods with the Traditional group, yet not Relaxed enough to fit in with Hard Core and Radical Unschoolers, and too Christian to feel comfortable talking about God all the time in a secular group.

(I just want to point out- I'm not ashamed of the Gospel- I just know how a certain In-Your-Face, Holier-Than-Thou Christian has turned some of my family members away from God, and I try not to over share- I prefer to let my actions speak instead of my words- but that's just me.. God uses us all in different ways.)

Well, you're probably thinking- it doesn't sound like you would fit in comfortably anywhere in the Homeschool Community! Yeah, that's what I thought too. But we're both wrong.

Believe it or not, I found out that I fit in with the Christian Unschoolers.

Now, I admit that I don't think as unschoolish as some (or maybe most) of these parents, but its OK! Quite a few of the Mom's I have chatted with were quick to let me know this. It didn't take me long to realize it was because the method to our madness for the most part is the same.

It is as simple as this... In addition to believing that our children learn best when given freedom to explore and choose what they learn and how they learn (to varying degrees), our households are not (meant to be) child-centered or parent-centered; they are (meant to be) Christ-centered and as parents we should be listening for God's still-small-voice and the witness in our spirit that goes with all the decisions we make in life -- including those pertaining to raising and educating our children. To apply the ideals of Unschooling (or any other method) so rigidly that we put them above God's leading would make the method a religion in itself.


I finally found my peeps!

3 comments:

  1. Hi Jen, I found your blog through the above mentioned Christian Unschoolers. You wrote pretty much the same things I agonise over constantly! I've been home educating my kids since birth. My oldest is 8. I have been going back and forth b/t being a relaxed/eclectic homeschooler, to unschooling (but not radical). I am "forcing" myself to take the next few months to unschool, and not do any formal lessons unless I am asked to do so by the kids. My kids are loving it, but I keep wanting to push things along.

    Anyhoo, nice to meet you!
    Nik

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  2. Hooray, I found you! I can't wait to catch myself up here. Just by reading your right sidebar, I can tell we have a lot in common.

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