I love homeschool conventions. They are exciting, busy places that renew my faith in parenting and give me hope for America. At conventions dedicated parents come together to learn, think and to engage with others who want to raise their children to be the best they can be. We homeschool parents are dreamers. We have big dreams for our children and their future and we have big dreams for ourselves.
Sometimes our dreams and expectations work against us because we can’t possibly live up to the expectations we have for ourselves. Every year when I attend conventions I am humbled by the incredible parents I meet, and also a little saddened that so many feel inadequate to educate their own children.
More than once I have had mothers crying in my booth because they are so overwhelmed with all the curriculum and educational choices. They feel torn between literature based curriculum, classical methods, the Charlotte Mason approach, workbooks, textbooks, unit studies, and a host of others. What if they make a mistake? What if they mess their kids up? What if they fail their kids altogether? I think we have all asked these questions at one time or another, but somehow going to a homeschool convention sometimes makes parents think that there is one magic way to homeschool out there and they just have to find it.
I don’t think so.
I think that you do the best you can, taking into consideration your temperament, time and talents and then go for it. If you find it doesn’t work as well as you thought, you can always change and do something else later. You aren’t married to a curriculum.
I was at the Midwest Convention in Cincinnati in last month and had a very vivacious mom ask me for help. She was overwhelmed by all the choices but she had decided that Sonlight was the curriculum she wanted. The problem was that she felt confused as to how to make it work for her family. We chatted for a while, looked ahead a few years, assessed her children’s needs and then made an educational plan that seemed reasonable... combining the children where we could and putting them in separate ability-level subjects where necessary. She jotted down some notes and soon she felt confident that she would have a great school year next year.
As we were finishing up our discussion, she turned to me with a big smile and said, “Thanks so much. You have un-overwhelmed me.”
Un-overwhelmed. I love the word picture that paints. I love the essence of that word. Doesn't it breathe hope into a hopeless situation and make you think of ocean breezes and quiet times with your family?
If you would like to be un-overwhelmed and feel like there are too many choices, too many variables and you want to chat with someone that can help you figure out what could work for your family, please contact a Sonlight Advisor or go to the Sonlighter Club Choosing Forum.* You will get the help you need and can be un-overwhelmed and ready to have a great 2013 school year.
*You will have to register to get on the Sonlighter Club Forums, but you can ask questions and get answers on the Choosing Forum without earning or purchasing a membership.